Friday, December 26, 2008
But seriously, it's been a fun Christmas and we have played lots of games and had tons of fun with family. My sister, brother-in-law, and new niece are coming to visit tomorrow, so we have some after-Christmas fun still to anticipate. Yeah!
Friday, December 05, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The latest New Life Worship CD has been in my CD player nonstop. I bought the downloaded version, so I don't have access to lyrics and can't find them online. I typed these out because it's one of my favorites. (Warning: they may not be correct. There are few words that were hard to decipher. I gave it my best shot.) It has encouraged me so much as I have listened to it. Repeatedly. I hope the lyrics encourage you, too. Pick it up if you have a chance. It's totally worth it.
Find rest, my soul
Confess your freedom
Embrace your healing
I will cast my cares
You are always there
You are greater, greater than the fight
That rages for my life
I have found my rest is in
You are brighter, breaking through the night
Lighting up my sight
I have seen my rest is in You
Find hope, my soul
You know He’s with you
My Savior God
Still I will praise You
I will cast my cares
For You have always cared
You are greater, greater than the fight
That rages for my life
I have found my rest is in
You are brighter, breaking through the night
Lighting up my sight
I have seen my rest is in You
His yoke is easy
His burden is light
I have decided
I’m gonna fix my eyes
On the Perfecter
The Author of my faith, Jesus Christ
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
So I'm blogging on vacation. But this is probably all you will see (or hear) of me. Hopefully I'll have some good pictures to post when we return. For now, you can check my Facebook for some new and older ones. :-)
Oh, and before I go, here's my current favorite Psalm:
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
O Israell, put your hope in the Lord, for wiht the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
Miss you all! We look forward to seeing you next week. And I love you lots, Mel.
Friday, August 08, 2008
1. My favorite bedtime attire is right now, shorts and a tank top. We don't have A/C in our bedroom, and there have been some hot nights!! (No, that's not what I mean, Jenni).
2. The perfect meal would include something Italian and super cheesy with a hearty side of Vinny's garlic bread and a big glass of Diet Pepsi.
3. The most memorable girl's night out I've ever had was when ...it's hard for me to pick the "most" because so many have been so great. One that stands out is when some of us went to Starbucks after the Women's Conference. It was spontaneous, which is not my nature. We had a fun time! That was in March 2008. I was 30-years-old (if I have to admit it).
4. My earliest memory is being in the basement of our first church for Sunday School. I have no idea how old I was.
6. Right now I am blogging, of course! And drinking Diet Pepsi.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
I have been a fan for around 6 years. I definitely knew about it and watched races prior to that time, but I was very casual about it. When I moved to another city, I decided to start watching more regularly so I could have something to share with my dad (he has loved cars and racing for a very long time).
I began watching and cheering for his favorites because, well, that's all I knew. I hated the ones he hated, too. Oh, that Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. To mention such names is tantamount to swearing in his presence. So I got into it and realized how interesting the season as a whole could be. Like other sports, you compete all season for the big year-end "prize" - to be the NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion. (Used to be Nextel Cup, used to be Winston Cup...but that's another blog.)
Some of my favorites did better than others. I loved Matt Kenseth. He's from Wisconsin (Midwestern-born like me), drives a Ford, and I liked his humble personality. He won the championship in 2003. Two years in a row! I loved Kurt Busch when he drove a Ford (one of the key criteria in my home). He was brash and bold, but he was a great driver. He won the championship in 2004. I cried. (Stop laughing.)
So now we skip ahead to 2008. Kyle Busch is really showing his stuff. However, Carl Edwards is up to four wins (second to Kyle in this category). Carl is from Missouri (I lived there for 7 years). He has the best personality of any guy on the circuit. He is a tough competitor, but he's friendly, gives a great interview, and is respectful. I really like Carl. I met him in October 2004. He was just entering the scene, and I was able to get the above picture with him. Single girl, single guy - my head was spinning. Sure, I'm a pastor. And Carl...well, I knew that would likely never work out well. But a girl can dream, right?
I am amazed at how popular he is now. He has the best shot to win this year's championship of all the guys I root for (Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Carl, Jamie McMurray, David Ragan - they all drive for the same owner). And he won the race on Sunday! It was a great race with plenty of ups and downs. It's like a movie; you can't stop it in the middle or skip to the end lest you miss some great plot twist. It's tense; the protagonist may lose it all. And when he pulls off the win, it's that much sweeter. I didn't get to watch it until Monday, but I still screamed and yelled for him. There is nothing like your guy winning. I'm sure you agree, no matter what sport you follow.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Observation Jesus knew the importance of God's timing and allowing Him to prepare the way. His family was not aware of it, so they pressured Him to come out of anonymity. However, Jesus was confident in knowing that the Father would show Him when the right time arrived.
Application "The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing." How many times have I seen this proven true in my life? Even when waiting means prolonged pain, God's timing is still best. The current pain will eventually pass, but the perseverance gained and the closer walk with God will be worth it. I know because it has been true in the past. I believe it will be true in the future. Even those closest to me may not see the timing as God's, but I must continue to trust and believe. I will hold on because I want to see "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:14).
Prayer Dear Father, You are my Strength and my Shield. The consequences of sin are at times devastating, especially when I didn't commit the sin. Yet I am reminded that I, too, am a sinner and am in need of Your grace daily. Please guide me with Your counsel and hold my hand today. I desperately need Your presence to comfort me and keep me safe through the storm. I may get wet, but please preserve my life so that I may tell the story of Your great goodness. Forgive me of my sins - for my bad attitude, my desire for revenge, and my ungodly thoughts. Wash me and purify my heart. Show me how to respond in a godly way. Transform my heart and mind as only You can.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
It wasn't even on SALE. Hel-lo?!?! (Get it? Hello Kitty?) I don't know the last time I bought a clothing item at regular price. I just thought the Hello Kitty was too adorable, and I figured a hot pink sweater for a baby girl could be worn over many things in the winter. I hope so, because I think it's just precious.
Then my clearance shopping instinct kicked in and I purchased the following items for next summer:
That would be 2 pairs of shorts, 4 tank tops (all items were 98 cents each), two floral print dresses, one insanely cute smocked pink top with brown polka dots (her nursery colors will be pink and brown), and two peasant-style tops with stitching on the sleeves. Oh, and I didn't include them in the picture, but there is a set of onesies with Disney princesses dresses. One says "It's all about the..." and has a picture of a dress. SO cute! I am so glad she found out she is having a girl - it's so fun to shop when you know who you're shopping for!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I suspect he may have a kitty cold (which is apparently life-threatening at his age), so we have to keep them apart for a couple of weeks. They were so funny when they were able to play together a little bit. I have no idea how to get the video from a mini-DV tape onto my computer, but I would love to so you could see it. I was scared that Monkey would definitely hurt Legato, but the vet said it would be very unlikely that he could cause him real harm.
Ohhh-kkaaayyyyy....maybe you should watch them play before you make a judgment call like that. It's pretty rough in the land of Monkey. Until he gets neutered in a few weeks. Then he may not have quite so much energy.
Monday, July 21, 2008
You need to pray, my friend."
-Fred Stoeker, The Healing Choice (p. 133)
Friday, July 18, 2008
2. What are some books you read as a child? Nancy Drew mysteries, Hardy Boys mysteries, Box Car kids, The Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley Twins...pretty much everything I could get my hands on!
3. What is your favorite genre? Probably Christian non-fiction. I read a ton of ministry, marriage, and other Christian living books. I love Christian fiction and fiction in general, too.
4. Do you have a favorite novel? I have a difficult time choosing favorites. To narrow it down, some of the top ones I can recall are The Covenant by Terry Blackstock, The Awakening by Angela Hunt,
5. Where do you usually read? At home, on the couch.
6. When do you usually read? In the evening, often before bed.
7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time? Oh yes. I have a number of books in progress. I buy more books than I can read at one time, so they keep piling up on the floor, the shelves, the nightstand...
8. Do you read non-fiction in a different way or place than you read fiction? I usually read fiction straight through, often in a few days. If I don't have the time, I will drag it out a little more. I read non-fiction more slowly to process the content and what it means to me personally.
9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library? I buy most of them. I like to have them to loan out and I like full bookshelves. I also highlight and mark up the books that really mean a lot to me. In addition, as a future author, this is a great quote from another author: "I buy them. Because if nobody buys books, authors starve. Sad but true."
10. Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them? Yes, I keep them. I loan them out as well, but I like to have them for quick access. I often plan on re-reading most of the books I have.
11. If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child? N/A
12. What are you reading now? Hmmm...I have lots of things in progress. Matt and I are reading The First Five Years by Bill and Pam Farrel together. I am also reading The Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas, In Search of Eden by Linda Windsor, a re-read of Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore, and a book recommended by a friend called The Healing Choice by Brenda Stoeker and Susan Allen. The intended audience is wives who have been betrayed, but I have found that it applies to a much broader spectrum as the woman who writes the first half dealt with her mother's battle with cancer. Many of the truths I have read are universally applicable to everyone who has taken an "unintended journey" in life (who hasn't?). It really has given me some great tools to draw closer to God. I'm only about a third of the way through it, but it is incredible in its ability to honestly address pain and how we deal with it.
13. Do you keep a TBR (To Be Read) list? I buy what I want to read. If I can't afford everything I am interested in (generally true), I save it in my Amazon.com cart so I can retrieve it the next time I'm ready to place an order.
15. What books would you like to reread? A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. Joy That Lasts by Gary Smalley. Visioneering by Andy Stanley.
16. Who are your favorite authors? Oh, I have so many. I will list just a few. For non-fiction, it would be Gary Thomas, Brenda Stoeker, Beth Moore, John Ortberg, and Andy Stanley. For fiction, Angela Hunt, Karen Kingsbury, Terry Blackstock, and Dee Henderson.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
However, if you are a sister, you also know that there is no bond like a sister bond. We are linked forever by our blood and our heritage, our memories and our faces, our laughs and our shared experiences.
I have two sisters. They live 8 hours from me. One is pregnant, due near the end of October. I feel far removed from this incredible event in her life. I haven't seen her since the end of March, and I don't know when I will be able to meet her beautiful baby because of the distance between us. I talk to my sisters on the phone, but we don't get to "share life" as fully as when we lived in the same town. They still live in the same town, and sometimes I get jealous of the times they share. I am the oldest and not used to being the one left out of things.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
As beautiful as this earth is, it is not forever. As much as I love my clothes/books/shoes (fill in the blank), they are temporary and will all wear out or be discarded. My feelings seem so real that I can forget what is real: God. God alone. Only God is real and everlasting. Being centered on God will provide lasting satisfaction. Nothing else will fill my deepest longings. I have been reading and re-reading and reading again the Word of God. It is the real truth I need when the lies are masquerading as truth. So in lieu of my personal thoughts, I wanted to list some other verses I have loved lately. I hope they encourage you as only God's truth can.
Psalm 27:13-14 "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
Psalm 73:23-26 "Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 116:1-2 "I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live."
Psalm 91:9-12 "If you make the Most High your dwelling - even the Lord, who is my refuge - then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."
2 Samuel 22:29-31 "You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light. With your help, I can advance against a troop; with my God, I can scale a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him."
Monday, July 07, 2008
Here are the rules: All of the answers must be just one word.
1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Your significant other? Hysterical
3. Your hair? Long
4. Your mother? Smart
5. Your father? Fanatic
6. Your favorite thing? Home
7. Your dream last night? Unsure
8. Your favorite drink? Starbucks
9. Your dream/goal? Trust
10. The room you’re in? Alone
I tag Mel...I haven't talked to her in a while, and I miss her.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
He he he...did you think it was really a baby? OK, maybe not.
I am NOT a pet person. I think I have made it abundantly clear that I don't like animals. THen why, oh why, does this kitten have to be so cute? His name is Monkey. He found us, so we took him in. Our little orphan kitty. Awww.
Don't be deceived by his docile appearance in the picture. He is very annoying when he runs around like a crazy cat. Sometimes, if Matt's gone, I put him back in the cage when I get sick of hearing him jump on everything and wondering what electrical cord he is going to chew through first. Once he's old enough (2-4 weeks hopefully), he will definitely be morphing into an outdoor kitten. But we found him at 5 weeks old, and he's only 6 weeks now, so we want him to get bigger so he has a fighting chance out there as a country cat.
I never thought I'd have an indoor pet, even temporarily. What is this world coming to? Will I soon believe in global warming? (HA - that's a joke, people. I like a cute kitten; I didn't lose my mind.)
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Thanksgiving was stressful with a flat tire on I-80, but still a great time...
There are so many more...Matt and I love traveling together. I can't wait to relax and see what this year's adventures will bring!
Monday, June 02, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
My work to-do list is long from being gone those two days and busy with lots of stuff today...it includes (but is definitely not limited to):
1. Looking over the Discovery 101 class material for Pastor Marvin's class next Sunday
2. Finding some closing ceremony skits for our VBS meeting next week
3. Helping Steve start to plan the VBS All-Volunteer Meeting
4. Making a CD label for the VBS music CD
5. Working with Michelle to get everything ready for the VBS registration table next week
6. Send out next week's worship set (good thing I just remembered that)
7. Figuring out what to do for a VBS promo poster to put up around the community
I can't think about what else right now...or the to do list at home. I am just glad I can go home tonight. There is a graduation open house every day this weekend, but I am not too worried about that. I'm just glad there IS a weekend!
By the way, I really want to share the great stuff God is doing in my life. I just haven't had time to type it all out. But He is awesome and so faithful.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Whew. Good thing I avoided being teased at work.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Other than that...this week is not as busy as recent weeks have been for us. I am embarrassed to say that (because of visitors) we finally put away the Christmas mess that had exploded in our living room and never went away. Yes, we had Christmas trees in our home in May. Actually, we still do but they are now evergreens instead of decked out "Christmas" trees. Matt created a park scene by grouping a bunch of evergreens (we have a lot of trees) and some other plants around our church bench. It's creative. It keeps me from having to dismantle Christmas trees...um...evergreens...only to put them back together in a few months. Now I wish we had another bench from the church to put in the entryway. I like having one there. I think I might stalk some former members of the church and see if anyone knows where they went.
That's all I can come up with now. I wish I had a picture of the park scene. I'll see what I can do when I get home and maybe post it later.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Church in the Lurch
Under the Bell Tower
God in the Living Room
Life by the Cemetery
Learning Patience from...a House
If you have any other cute ones...throw them out for me. I need something fresh.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Here are the rules:
1. Write your own six-word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post.
4. Tag five more blogs with links.
5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.
So I will give it my best here:
I tag T, Judy, Natalie, Hannah...who else...that will have to do for now.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Another friend e-mailed, and it was a God thing. That's all I can say. She has been through a lot, a LOT in her nine years of marriage. What an encouragement and a support she is.
Other friends have been so loving and caring in the past few months, and some are going through their own hard times. To all my girlfriends, far and near: I love you. I can't imagine my life without you. Thank God for friendships that draw us closer to Him and give us a glimpse of His love for us.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I am a woman.
I like romance.
I love to surprise my husband.
However, I can easily get stuck in the same ruts, and we have only been together for three years and married for two years. I found this book a few months ago. I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg in flipping through it, but here's a sample:
Give her one Hershey's Kiss.
Give her one thousand Hershey's Kisses.
Remove all the little paper strips (that say "Kisses" on them) from a couple hundred Hershey's Kisses. Fill a little jewelry box with them. Wrap 'em up and present them to her.
Write a clever certificate explaining that the little paper slips are coupons
redeemable for one kiss each.
If your husband complains about not being romantic naturally, get it for him. Take away his excuses! (Just don't tell your husbands I suggested it; I like them and still want to be their friend.)
It was $11.53 at Amazon. It was a great investment in my marriage. I look forward to using the ideas for a long time.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Transparency is a gift we give. Often, when I give it, I receive it back as well. So I will step out, be transparent, and allow what others "intended to harm me" to be used for good (Genesis 50:20).
So be it.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
- I love Hostess 100-calorie packs; specifically, the chocolate cake and cinnamon streusel ones. I eat one almost every day.
- I bring my own ice to work. At some point, bags of ice in the freezer were nowhere to be found, and I like to drink my pop with ice. So I started filling Ziploc bags with ice in the morning and bringing it with me a few times a week. I don't think it's that weird, but when Bill made fun of me and my ice, I realized other people may see it as so. I'm not terribly concerned about it; I brought ice again today.
- I am 30 years old and do not have a washer or dryer hooked up in my home. (That's not weird as much as it is very, very sad.)
- I love "What Not to Wear." I constantly evaluate my wardrobe on the basis of "The Rules."
- My sisters and I grew up playing church in our front yard. We sang worship and special music with the legs of our trampoline as microphones. Not the huge trampolines they have now, but the little ones with the super-short legs. I also preached and prayed. I guess it was a pre-cursor of things to come...
- I always thought that my love of NASCAR and some other spectator sports would be a big "plus" in getting a man. After all, they love sitting on the couch with the remote watching sports all weekend, right? I found the one who does not. And, ironically enough, I am very grateful. He is creative and interesting and, although he boggles me with the things he comes up with, I am glad we don't obsess over football games or baseball stats or even NASCAR points. (Trust me, I have seriously lightened up on the NASCAR thing since being married to Matt. I even gave up the chance to see a race this year.)
- I love pictures. I get pretty upset if an important occasion passes and I do not have a picture by which to commemorate it. I am usually willing to ask passing strangers to take a picture because the chance of not getting one at all is too much to risk. Thankfully, we have some pretty great pics taken by total strangers, such as this one from our second anniversary: