Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Romans 12:12

Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A reflection on control (or my lack thereof...)

I've discovered that everything is really all about control.

The truth about control:
I've discovered first hand that God has it and has always had it.
I've discovered that for a time, and from time to time, I've been under the illusion that I have it. For the past month and a half I've been (am) learning to surrender it.
Tonight again I feel the crushing sensation of giving it up.

Every day it is giving up control again. Every day it is a realization that I am owed nothing, that I have no right to the house with the picket fence, the 2.5 kids, and the family dog. Even when we have those things, they are not OURS. Even the agonizing pain I am experiencing now, is not my own... it was God's purpose that Ben and I be refined by fire for HIS glory.

God's word says:
"Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the Ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength."
I Chronicles 29:11-12

So I find that my problems stem from a faulty belief... "MY possessions, MY dreams, MY friends, MY husband, MY child, MY family, MY job, MY education, MY future, ad infinitum..." And releasing these "MY's" is quite undoing... and painful and continual. While I know my faith is secure, and that I've been a follower of Christ since childhood, the undoing of "MY's" forms a different commitment, a painful yet necessary operation--- in which all of life is rearranged.

I have been pondering Howard Dayton's ideas on ownership versus Lordship:

  • If we are going to be genuine followers of Christ, we must transfer the ownership of our possessions to the Lord. "No one... can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions" (Luke 14:33). In my experience I have found that the Lord will sometimes test us by asking that we be willing to relinquish the very possession that is dearest to us.
  • It is important for the child of God to realize that his heavenly Father orchestrates even seemingly devestating circumstances for ultimate good in the lives of the godly. "I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these" (Isaiah 45: 6-7)
  • "God can't use a person to the maximum, until he or she has been hurt deeply." A.W. Tozer
  • God is the owner. He is in control of every circumstance, and He has promised to meet our needs.

I can not say that I am content, that would make me a liar. But I can say that my heavenly Father is teaching me much about contentment and I pray to be found faithful, even in my great, great weakness, failure, and mistrust. I often cry, "Lord I believe! Help my unbelief!"

"For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines... He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." Hebrews 12:6, 10-11

Saturday, November 8, 2008

For Ben...

I'm pretty much convinced I have the best husband in the world. Through everything he has never once complained. I'm so blessed to be married to Ben. This song reminded me of his attitude and outlook even during some of our darkest hours. Without getting too sappy... our love has grown so much stronger because of this experience. Love you, honey.

I can't believe it's over
I watched the whole thing fall
And I never saw the writing that was on the wall
If I'd only knew
The days were slipping past
That the good things never last
That you were crying

Summer turned to winter
And the snow it turned to rain
And the rain turned into tears upon your face
I hardly recognized the girl you are today
And god I hope it's not too late
It's not too late

'Cause you are not alone
I'm always there with you
And we'll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
'Cause when you feel like you're done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
When your worlds crashing down
And you can't bear the thought
I said, babe, you're not lost

Life can show no mercy
It can tear your soul apart
It can make you feel like you've gone crazy
But you're not
Things have seem to changed
There's one thing that's still the same
In my heart you have remained
And we can fly fly fly away'

Cause you are not alone
And I am there with you
And we'll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
'Cause when you feel like you're done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
When the worlds crashing down
And you can not bear the cross
I said, baby, you're not lost

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Letting go...

Concretely, abandonment consists in seeing the will of God in all the people, events and circumstances present to you. If God tears up your beautiful game plan and leads you into a valley instead of onto a mountaintop, it is because He wants you to discover His plan, which is more beautiful than anything you or I could have dreamed up. The response of trust is "Thank you, Jesus," even if it is said through clenched teeth.

One of the greatest paradoxes of the Gospel is that surrender is victory. "The man who loses his life finds it." What makes surrender difficult is our lack of faith, our fears and insecurities, our need to manage our own lives and those of others, our little plans to which we cling so tightly.

You will trust God only as much as you love Him. And you will love Him not because you have studied Him; you will love Him because you have touched Him---in response to His touch. Even then your troubles are not over. You may still wrangle with God. You may cry out with Jesus, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" Only if you love will you make that final leap into darkness: "Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit."

-Brennan Manning

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eliot's Story

I know... two entries in one day... but I couldn't resist sharing it.

I happened upon Oprah tonight and was touched by the story of Eliot Mooney. A baby that lived only 3 months, yet his parents' faith is so strong- and they give all glory to God. Watch their video on you tube first...


It made me think about our baby, and how its life is sacred, and God cares. And our baby is in heaven with the Lord. Reading Ginny's (Eliot's mom) blog describes so exactly the way that I am feeling, and imagine I will feel if the Lord provides another child for Ben and myself. I hope you will take the time to read through some of her thoughts, she speaks much more eloquently than myself, and yet it speaks the truth of my reality for now... check out the entry on October 11th... it pretty much says it all.


Praise You in this Storm

What my heart is holding on to by a thread...

I was sure by now,
that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again,
I say amen and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain, "I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone
how can I carry on if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain, "I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth

Friday, October 24, 2008

Psalm 57

Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me,
For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge
Until destruction passes by.
I will cry to God Most High,
To God who accomplishes all things for me.
He will send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches him who tramples upon me.
God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth.
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens
And Your truth to the clouds.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Cease striving and know that I am God.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Grief Observed

There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in.

And no one ever told me about the laziness of grief. Except at my job--- where the machine seems to run on much as usual--- I loathe the slightest effort... They say the unhappy man wants distractions--- something to take him out of himself...It's easy to see why the lonely become untidy, finally, dirty and disgusting.

Meanwhile, where is God? This is one of the most disquieting symptoms... Why is He so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent a help in time of trouble? I tried to put some of these thoughts to a friend this afternoon. He reminded me that the same thing seems to have happened to Christ: 'Why has thou forsaken me?' I know. Does that make it easier to understand?

An odd byproduct of my loss is that I'm aware of being an embarrassment to everyone I meet. At work, at the club, in the street, I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they'll 'say something about it' or not. I hate if they do, and if they don't.

You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover hou much you really trusted it? Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.

Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand.

Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time, empty successiveness.

Psalm 86
Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and oppressed.
Preserve my life, for I am loyal; save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; pity me, Lord; to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant; to you, Lord, I lift up my soul.
Lord, you are kind and forgiving, most loving to all who call on you.
LORD, hear my prayer; listen to my cry for help.
In this time of trouble I call, for you will answer me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Between the lost and the found
We're all hanging empty
Empty and upside down
But I'm hanging on
Though the fall may tempt me
And I believe in the dawn
Though I tremble in the night

Amidst these ins and these outs
There's a fine line of purpose
I follow even now
Through the haze of despair
That confuses and hurts us
I look to see that You're there
And I run toward Your light

Beyond these reasons and feelings
Beyond the passion and fatigue
I know You're there
And that Your Spirit is leading me
Beyond all this

Now I don't know when
But I know that You're coming
You're coming back again
And the earth will burn away
And the sky fill with thundering
As it announces the day
That has finally arrived

While the time is still now
While we're hanging empty
Empty and upside down
But I'm hanging on
With all that is in me
And I'll sing my songs
And I'll laugh until I fly

Beyond these reasons and feelings
Beyond the passion and fatigue
I know You're there
And that Your Spirit is leading me

Beyond all this

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus

"... and that's the way the Father of Jesus is: He loves those most who need Him most, who rely on Him, depend upon Him and trust Him in everything. Little He cares whether you've been as pure as St. John or as sinful as the prostitute in Simon the Pharisee's house. All that matters is trust. It seems to me that learning how to trust God defines the meaning of Christian living. God doesn't wait until we have our moral life in order before He starts loving us."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hold Me Jesus

Well sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big And my faith just seems so small
So hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul I swear there must be blisters on my heart
So hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down
I'm falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

I'm singing hold me Jesus
'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Monday, October 6, 2008

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.
C.S. Lewis

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Sentiments Exactly...

There's bound to come some trouble to your life
But that ain't nothing to be afraid of
There's bound to come some trouble to your life
But that ain't no reason to fear
I know there's bound to come some trouble to your life
But reach out to Jesus, hold on tight
He's been there before and He knows what it's like
You'll find He's there

There's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
That ain't nothing to be ashamed of
I know there's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
That ain't no reason to fear
I know there's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
Reach out to Jesus, hold on tight
He's been there before and He knows what it's like
You'll find He's there

Now, People say maybe things will get better
People say maybe it won't be long
And people say maybe you'll wake up tomorrow
And it'll all be gone
Well I only know that maybes just ain't enough
When you need something to hold on
There's only one thing that's clear

I know there's bound to come some trouble to your life
But that ain't nothing to be afraid of
I know there's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
That ain't no reason to fear
I know there's bound to come some trouble to your life
Reach out to Jesus, hold on tight
He's been there before and He knows what it's like
You'll find He's there

-Uncle Rich Mullins

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Blessed and Broken

“I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground” (Isaiah 44:3).

Just one of the many verses that have been sent to me through e-mail, cards, texts, and phone calls over the past 2 days. 2 days... it feels like a year. Thank you dear friends, please keep them coming, my weary soul covets your prayers.

I do feel dry right now, I do feel thirsty, I do feel broken, I do feel needy, I do feel too many things to comprehend.

I do feel that schedules don't matter, plans don't matter, our "schemes" for what "we" should do with "our" lives are silly and inconsequential.

I spent a lot of time being selfish before all of this. I still feel selfish. My heart longs for my unborn child. I spent a lot of time talking about what was going to happen. What my life was going to look like. It wasn't malicious, or purposefully self-centered. But pretty much things were under control. Things are not under my control. That is ok. But that is a new reality. I said, "Lord willing..." but in my heart, I pretty much thought it would be my way.

I've been asking for forgiveness a lot. I want the Lord to know that I am totally His. His Will, His Plans, His Purposes. My mind and heart don't have room for anything else now. I can't walk without his Hand. One breath from Him and we rise or fall.

I know His plans for me are good. Satan won't defeat me, though he tries to slay me in the battleground of my mind right now. Strangely, right before all of this happened, I had been reading Isaiah 40 during my quiet times. It talks about how God is in control. How can I question his sovereignty in all of this?

"Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
And marked off the heavens by the span,
And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has informed Him?
With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge?
And infomed Him of the way of understanding?
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;
Behold, he lifts up the islands like fine dust.
Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,
Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless....

Do you now know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might he increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Glory Baby

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby.. You were growing, what happened dear? You disappeared on us baby…baby.. Heaven will hold you before we do Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you… Until we’re home with you…

Miss you everyday Miss you in every way But we know there’s aday when we will hold you We will hold you You’ll kiss our tears away When we’re home to stay Can’t wait for the day when we will see you We will see you But baby let sweet Jesus hold you‘till mom and dad can hold you… You’ll just have heaven before we do You’ll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it’s hard tounderstand it ‘cause we’re hurting We are hurting But there is healing And we know we’re stronger people through the growing And in knowing- That all things work together for our good And God works His purposes just like He said He would… Just like He said He would…

I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies and what they must sound like But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

And Baby Makes Three!

Ben and I are so excited to announce that we are expecting a little one April 11, 2009. It has been an amazing journey to this point, and we are so thrilled to begin this new chapter together. We truly covet your prayers as we ask for health and already the beginnings of a relationship wtih Christ for our new baby. I am going to my best to keep the blog updated with the latest of what's going on during my pregnancy. To begin, a Psalm that I have been meditating for the last 4+ weeks...

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Such a comfort to know that our little one is being molded and shaped by a Sovereign and All- Powerful God!

Here is some video footage of our sonogram today , more photos are posted on my facebook site!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Message from Team Hoyt

As the wife of a two-time Ironman (Arizona, and Kentucky), I have quite an admiration for the preparation and perseverance involved in the sport. I have seen first hand the dedication it requires. Not only does the athlete endure a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike, and ending with a grueling 26.2 mile run--- it also involves thousands of hours of training over nearly a year before the event.

I was introduced to Team Hoyt by my husband, even before he started training for his first Ironman race. It is the inspiring story of sacrifice, unconditional love, and faith in a force larger than ourselves. As you watch the inspiring video below, I encourage you to think of the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father...

A son asked his father, ' Dad , will you take part in a marathon with me?' The father, who despite having a heart condition, says Yes.

They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying 'Yes' to his son's request of going through the race together. One day, the son asked his father, ' Dad , let's join the Ironman together.'

To which, his father said 'Yes'.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Life Update

Thank you so much to all who have been praying for Life Larsen. She has made AMAZING progress, that none of the doctors can explain beyond God's hand. A litte snippet from Matt and Lauren's blog...

"Life is off the ventilator. We can see her little mouth again. Everything went great. Her oxygen saturation is better than ever. She is breathing all on her own. She is showing no signs of Pulmonary Hypertension at this point. Her head sono just came in ... the bleeding is unchanged and the ventricule dilation is resolving.

Good News,
Great Joy,
To All [of us] People!

God has come to rescue and restore! He has worked mightily. He has broken into the pain of our world, carried our burdens for us, restored us, and transformed our sadness to joy, our despair to happiness.

I got to hold Life first, since Lauren got to hold her already. I got so nervous. I kept asking "How do I do this?"

We sat in the rocking chair and had a staring contest for about 15 minutes. We eventually had to call a truce because I wanted to see my wife hold her.

I just kept thinking to myself, "My God, we have come ... You have brought us ... so far!" I am no longer holding the weight of the world on my shoulders, but rather a beautiful 6 pound baby girl in my arms. I used to feel stressed, now I feel like a father."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pray for Life

If you are reading my blog today, please take the opportunity to visit the following link:

Through our Bible study group from DBC, we have been praying for Matt and Lauren Larsen. Lauren had some complications during her pregnancy that resulted in periods of bedrest and such. Baby Life was born premature, but appeared healthy. Shortly afterwards, however, things quickly turned serious.

While Life has made progress, it seems to be 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Her current condition has the potential to cause severe brain damage. Pleae pray for her quick and complete recovery, as well as peace and comfort for Matt and Lauren.

I know that our God is the Great Physician, and can heal even the deepest wounds.

Monday, August 11, 2008

More Than You'll Ever Know...

I can't stop thinking about how blessed I am to have such a wonderful, PRAYERFUL family, and friends who are family to me! This is one of my favorite songs by Watermark, and it pretty much says it all.


Something brought you to my mind today
I thought about the funny ways you make me laugh
And yet I feel like it's okay to cry with you
Something about just being with you
When I leave I feel like I've been near God
And that's the way it ought to be...

'Cause you've been more than a friend to me
You fight off my enemies
'Cause you've spoken the Truth over my life
And you'll never know what it means to me
Just to know you've been on your knees for me
Oh, you have blessed my life
More than you'll ever know,
More than you'll ever know

You had faith, when I had none
You prayed God would bring me a brand new song
When I didn't think I could find the strength to sing
And all the while I'm hoping that I'll
Do the kind of praying for you that you've done for me
And that's the way it ought to be...

You have carried me
You have taken upon a bruden that wasn't your own
And may the blessing return to you
A hundredfold,
A hundredfold

Monday, July 28, 2008

Kids do the Darndest Things!

Ben and I were told about this article by a friend and had to see it for ourselves. Although amusing, we found it to be completely frightening.

Considering I live in Denton, I know exactly where this place is, and drive by the Imagination Station several times a week. Here's how I find it to be all kinds of wrong:
a. the kid ended up at Hooters (where he was eventually picked up by authorities)
b. he crossed a major road that is a main entrance to highway 35
c. he potentially encountered many a less than "friendly" stranger
d. his day care did not pay enough attention to the fact that he was obviously NOT in the bathroom, and had left the center for quite some time, nor did any one except for the "hooters staff" notice him on his hike!

Unbelievable! Check it out for yourself!

Five-Year-Old Boy Leaves Daycare; Goes To Hooters
posted 4:20 pm Fri July 25, 2008 - Denton, TX

The five-year-old boy walked out of the Imagination Station day care near 35E Northbound, crossed Dallas Drive and went to the Race Track gas station to buy a soft drink and snacks. He then ended up in the Hooters parking lot a half a mile away.

"I was pretty impressed that he made it that way without getting hurt," says Hooters General Manager Brian Mason. Mason and his workers spotted the child before 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. "He let us know that he looked both ways before crossing the road," Mason says. "He stopped in the middle and looked both ways."

Mason says the boy was not afraid, but called police anyway. "We kept him in the back, coloring, and kept him preoccupied until the police showed up." The day care's owner Debra Pugh did not want to be interviewed on camera, but says the boy asked to go to the bathroom about ten minutes before five. When his father arrived minutes later to pick him up, workers realized the child was missing. They believe he got out through a fire exit that by law has to stay unlocked. Investigators are looking into the incident.

"We are looking into the timeline," says Officer Jim Bryan. "But I think the greater concern is the distance that this child went in the time frame that he was at the day care." Imagination Station is a plan one center, which means inspections are conducted every three to five months. Regardless of what plan they are on or how often they are to be inspected, parents we spoke with stand by their day care. "She's a caring woman and I like her. She really takes her children like her own children. She really cares for them."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Ok, so I couldn't resist sharing this with the world. It is just too funny for words. I've watched it a million times, and every time it just gets more hilarious to me. Enjoy...


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Mornings...

Ben and I have been teaching in the 11 o'clock Young Toddlers class for four years now! It is crazy how the time has flown by, and I was reflecting today on just how blessed we have been to serve in this ministry. We have the privilege of getting to know so many Godly parents and children. It is neat to see how Christ is woven into their lives from such an early age.

One of the coolest things we get to experience, are the relationships we develop with some of the families as their 1st born, then siblings, come through the room. I cherish the time I get to spend with such Godly counsel.

Ben and I have started babysitting for a few of the families. Last Friday we got to sit for 5 yr. old Jake and 2 yr. old Jed Simpson. We played with Jake's new bike, ate popsicles, and watched Garfield & Friends!

On Friday we are going to spend 3 whole days with the cutest kids in town, Lauren and Luke Rumley. We can't wait to take them to the water park, playground, and some other special treats while their mom and dad are out of town.

I learned today that another one of our toddler families lost their 3rd baby to miscarriage suddenly this week. The sweet mommy sent me a text this afternoon just letting me know she appreciated the love I was able to share with her toddler at Sunday School. Just hugging her little one helped her to know how much we're hurting for them.

I'm so thankful to the LORD that he has entrusted us with these precious ones. They are a sweet spot in my week, and I pray that each of them comes to the knowledge of our Savior quickly. He is our only hope in a fallen world.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A New Song

I have been the wayward child
I have acted out
I have questioned Sovereignty
And had my share of doubt
And though sometimes my prayers feel like
They're bouncing off the sky
The hand I hold won't let me go
And is the reason why...

I will stumble
I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes
I will face heartache
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

Bitterness has plagued my heart
Many times before
My life has been like broken glass
And I have kept the score
Of all my shattered dreams
and though it seemed
That I was far too gone
My brokenness helped me to see
It's grace I'm standing on

And the chaos in my life
Has been a badge I've worn
Though I have been torn
I will not be moved

- Natalie Grant "Will Not Be Moved"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Trainee Turned Instructor!

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have officially... become a Jazzercise instructor! Thanks to all of you that have been praying for me and encouraging me to keep on going! I was really nervous this week preparing for the written test and audition, but everything last night went amazingly well. I felt very at peace and had a lot of fun.

Today and tomorrow I will be heading back to Dallas to attend seminars that will help me put sets together, perfect my "moves," and learn the business end of the franchise. I plan to be teaching my own classes in only a couple of weeks! Very exciting! I was telling Ben last night that it is really neat to go after a goal and accomplish it. It has been a very fulfilling process. I am so excited about helping other people achieve personal fitness in a healthy and FUN way!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Countdown Mode

One of the best things about teaching 5th grade is that the end of the year goes by quickly. As 5th graders- (the top of the elementary school food chain!) we get a few extra priviledges. We have a kickball tournament with the kiddos for the last week of school and also have a swimming party on June 4th (June 5th is our last day of school). Truly, we are in countdown mode! In honor of the end of the school year, I thought I would add to my blog a very important list that all teachers will smile and agree with!

You Know You're a Teacher When...
1. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line.
2. You get a secret thrill out of laminating something.
3. You walk into a store and hear the words "It's Ms/Mr.> _________" and know you have been spotted.
4. You have 25 people that accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another.
5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under twenty minutes.
6. You've trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day: lunch and planning period.
7. You start saving other people's trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom.
9. You want to slap the next person who says "Must be nice to work 8 to 3 and have summers off."
10. You believe chocolate is a food group.
11. You can tell if it's a full moon without ever looking outside.
12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says "Boy, the kids sure are mellow today."
13. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public.
14. You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin.
15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
16. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own needs.
17. You can't pass the school supply aisle without getting at least five items!
18. You ask your friends if the left hand turn he just made was a "good choice or a bad choice."
19. You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils
20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer and finally,
21. You understand instantaneously why a child behaves a certain way after meeting his or her parents.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A sigh of relief!

I am excited to say I have good news on the Jazzercise front! I taught two more songs today and they went great! I think I am finally starting to ease in to being comfortable on stage. Any time you are put on the spot in front of people there is risk involved--- but hey, how would we experience anything without trying, right? I got two Jazzercise instructor shirts and a new pair of shoes, so now I feel like I'm suited up for the job.

In other news, our best friends Nick and Elisabeth Srader are having a HUGE celebration tomorrow! Nick is graduating from Criswell College!! These two have been our long time friends (aka family) since we moved to Denton over 5 years ago. It has been amazing to kind of "grow up" together as married couples. I'm so proud of Nick's accomplishment and I can't wait to par-tay tomorrow at their house after the ceremony. I am truly blessed to have such a great friend in Elisabeth, and Ben and I are so thankful to the LORD that we are able to share this wonderful weekend with them!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Jazzercise "Junkie" turned "Flunkie"

So I'm writing to blow off a little frustration with myself. I am admittedly a Jazzercise Junkie. Those of you who are into Jazzercise probably understand this term. It is given to those people that attend regularly and the instructors can call you by name... if you aren't there-- they wonder what is wrong!

I decided to turn my passion into something more... I have decided to try out to be a Jazzercise instructor. It may sound easy, but my friends, it is no simple task. Because Jazzercise is a franchise- I actually buy into the company and become a franchise part owner. It will be a great Tax write-off, and investment. Besides the financial commitment, there is a staunch try out procedure. On the weekend of June 13-15th- I will travel to Dallas to audition. There I take a written exam (on exercise physiology and anatomy), turn in CPR certification, take several classes, and then perform 2 out of the 10 routines I have learned ahead of time. These are pulled at random, and you have to teach them to the other people that are trying out, who act as your students.

All of that said, I have spent the last several weeks learning how to teach the routines I thought I knew. It is completely different when you are standing on a stage, listening to the music, many people standing and staring at you for direction. Not to mention I am somewhat of a "spatially challenged" person- and I am trying to say "Grapevine right" when my body is moving left. You also have to make sure you cue far enough in advance that people get the direction- but not too far ahead.

So today I feel I had my first flop as a future instructor. I have been practicing and practicing the routines, and my mentor, Anne, had been preparing me to get on stage and do the real thing for a real audience. When I tried my hand at it today-- well, I have to say I just need to keep my chin up and keep trying. I came home sobbing, feeling somewhat embarrassed and thinking that some of these people might not be too excited about the new instructor joining the team! It seemed that every thing I had practiced flew right out of my head. I know that my "Type A" personality doesn't leave much room for error, but it is hard for me to give myself any grace when I feel there are people paying to have a good workout!! :)

So my husband has graciously offered to be my guinea pig student and let me practice in front of him so I can get my jitters out, and hopefully not feel like such a "Jazzercise Flunkie" next time. If any of you are interested in joining me for some practice sessions, let me know. I could really use the help and experience from my friends.

So if any

Monday, April 7, 2008

Prom Night 2008

So I went to Prom this weekend.

Ok, I went as a chaperone....with my husband....to Centennial's Prom at Southfork Ranch.

As part of Ben's admin. internship he has to do 125 hours of observation. We headed to the Prom and were given the following duties: picture police, and dance floor patrol. The school did a good job of setting up ground rules for the evening. There was a dress code that had to be followed: no really low back dresses, no plunging necklines, etc. Let me tell you there were quite a few unhappy ladies that had to stuff pieces of fabric into their fancy dresses!

Probably the highlight of the night was "helping" couples separate themselves from makeout sessions and back to front dancing (not sure why the grinding is so popular these days?) It was quite funny to think back on those high school days.

I couldn't help but wish I could go up to these young people and tell them not to waste their time, energy, and emotion on empty infatuations, that only end up in broken hearts. Unfortunately- so many of those relationships have such drastic consequences! So many life changing decisions can be made in those moments... I'm so thankful that God protected both my husband and myself from heading too deeply down the path of teenage angst. Watching the kids made me think about starting to pray for my own kids to trust in the Lord of perfect love, and for their protection from Satan in a scary world.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I've been thinking lately about one of the things I am most thankful for....

I am really so blessed to have such a Godly, hard-working hubby. Ben is doing overtime right now trying to complete his grad degree in educational administration in addition to the extra hours he constantly puts in as a high school choir teacher. For the UNT program, Ben has to complete 125 hours of admin. observation (outside of his regular day). Not once have I heard him complain.

How lucky am I to have a man who is motivated, willing to make sacrifices, and seeks to please the Lord in his daily walk. I am really excited about our future and all it holds.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Forces of Nature

Thanks to all of you who prayed for a safe trip at Sky Ranch. We really had a great time and the kids truly enjoyed the experience. We had very few hiccups and only a few minor behavior issues. As far as I'm concerned I can mark this year's fifth grade trip a huge SUCCESS! :)

Now you may be wondering why I marked my post as "forces of nature..." Well myself and three of my fellow teachers were part of an experiment at Sky Ranch that involved a zip line and gravity at work! Needless to say my students took much pleasure in watching me walk up to the top of the four story building and zoom off into a huge wooded area. I pretended it was no big deal- but when I got to the top and was having to trust a flimsy looking cable- I was trying to figure out the best plan if I needed to break my fall!

The point was to see how the students could change our speed by adding elements. For example, at one point they had a back pack with a large block of solid rock on my back (we learned I could go nearly 3 seconds faster!).

What was funny was that the third time I went down, the students had to figure out how to slow me down. They had me tie a tarp to my shoe laces and ride (and I quote...), "Like you are a flying squirrel!" down the zip line. I was excited to win the big prize because we succeeded in going the slowest (it took me a whole minute) to get all the way down to the ground. It was fun- and I may have earned a few brownie points with my kiddos--- One can only hope! :)

Other fun camp memories include making the pet llama, Tina, (hence Napolean Dynamite--- however Tina is a boy!) spit on one of the fifth graders, discovering the differences between boy and girl animals with my students, getting into a shouting match with another school over who is the "crunkety crunkest," and watching many of my students eat smores for the first time!

Ok, one more funny story! One of my "precious ones" asked the horseback riding instructor what he should do when his horse had to go to the bathroom. He replied, "Just keep walking... he'll just go as you're riding." His comment? "Well won't he have to squat down on the ground?" QUITE the learning experience, I say!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Here I am again...

I'm back. I really am going to try and be better about posting... I ran into a friend today who gently reminded me that she likes to keep up with me on my blog! I'm trying anew today!

So I'm about to head to Sky Ranch in Van, Texas with over 100 fifth grade students on Wednesday. It is a time that I really look forward to. Besides the academic benefits of hands-on science and outdoor learning; It is so neat to see all of the kids personalities come out of the wood work. Some of my shiest students become outgoing, and the kids also get to see us teachers in a new and different element. Each year both the students and teachers put on a skit, we get to go horse back riding, and I've even heard talk of a water slide this year! It is truly an experience that the students talk about for the rest of the year.

I must say that Spring Break has been fabulous. The Lord knew that I really needed this time to be rejuvenated for the rest of the school year. It can be a little crazy as the spring hormones set in among the children over the coming weeks. :)

On the same note- I know that in my earlier post (much earlier, I know) I mentioned the TAKS pressure and upcoming tests. I am overjoyed to say that the Father has truly given me the fruits of those labors, and I am resting in the knowledge that my students have overcome that hurdle for the year in reading!

Off to finish laundry and start packing!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Busy but Blessed Times

This is the part of the school year I typically dread. TAKS time. It's rough getting my kids through this period. They are tired (I'm tired) the rest of the year is before us--- they have 3 tests to prepare for, mounting pressure... and spring break over 42 days away! I've learned more about making the "drab" seasons of life more manageable. I've recognized that I need to praise through it all. I've told my kids this, but I know I need to apply it to my own life as well- we're running a marathon here, not a sprint. It's about keeping the pace, steadily progressing, accepting help along the way. Thank you, Lord that you run with us. It is really all we need.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Turning Points

It seems strange, I never though this time would come. I've always been the "early bird." Married young, always waiting for everyone else to catch up, and now I nearly feel behind. A wave of desire for motherhood has come upon me.

In the vain hope of getting as much sleep as possible on this last day before returning to my post as 5th grade teacher- I restled with unending questions, hopes, & desires at 6 this morning. I finally gave up at 7:20 and officially started the day.

I feel satisfied. God has so richly blessed me with an amazing husband (of 6 years!), a great teaching job, fabulous friends, a wonderful home... what more could I ask for? This gnawing feeling that ebbs in my heart every day now to be a mother is both foreign and curious. Could it be that I've reached a turning point?

Ben and I know we're "ready." What does that mean really?