Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I love Fall! It is my favorite season. One thing I love about Fall, besides the cooler weather and the turning leaves, is pumpkins. I crave pumpkin anything! Even as I am writing this, I'm sipping on pumpkin spiced coffee. Yum; it is delish. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin seeds...anything pumpkin! Another treasure is the pumpkin farm down the street that the kids and I visit ever year. The hay rides, the corn stalk maze (that we always get lost in), sipping warm, apple cider and feeding the greedy cows white wonder bread. Fall puts me in a good mood and prepares my heart for a state of gratitude. And to top if off, October, my birthday month, is the most beautiful time of year in Texas.
Fall also means new beginnings (the school year and cooler weather) but also change and preparation (the leaves turning and falling). For me, this has been a season of hearing, healing and peace. A season of standing on truths and stomping on lies. A season of growth and maturity. God is certainly preparing me for something bigger and greater than myself and I am ready to say "yes" to His calling. I don't know what that is yet but I feel Him preparing me. It's an exciting time!
As I ponder all these things, I think perhaps my true calling is just to walk in truth and pass it on. I mean, to really get free from all the junk that keeps us in bondage. To really stand on and believe what the God of the Universe spoke into our very beings as He created us in our mother's womb. That's why it's so important to know what HIS truth's are...not the world's version....but HIS word! If we don't know what He says about us, then we will believe the lies. Once we are free of these false accusations, then, and only then, can walk in humility, peace, patience, perseverance, love, joy, truth and His purposes.

I love this perspective by Lysa Terkheurst:

"A real sign of spiritual maturity is looking to God not for comfort and convenience but for purpose and perspective. Comfort and convenience lead to complacency. When trouble comes, the complacent person becomes critical of everyone, including God. On the other hand, purpose and perspective lead us to the perseverance that is evident in those living a truly devoted life. The persistent person eagerly looks to handle trials and struggles in a way that honors God and allows personal growth."

I want this perspective!! I want to daily exclaim that whatever trials come (and they WILL come), I choose to walk in Your truths, Lord.

Here's what God tells me, His beloved:
My past does not define me (it was nailed to the cross)
I am worthy (I was fearfully and wonderfully made)
You delight in me (not because of what I do or don't do but because You created me in Your image)
You have called me to Your purposes (because I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me)
You are faithful and just (You will NEVER leave me nor forsake me)
He loves me with wild abandon (You sent Your only son to die for me even when I was born a sinner)
You cover me with Your provision and protection (I was not born with a spirit of fear)
You have put Your goodness inside of me (for every good and perfect gift comes from You)
Your blood washes me white as snow (when I humble myself before You)
You are for me (All things work together for good for those who love You)

I love this season of hearing, healing and peace. I am so grateful that He cares about every small and seemingly insignificant detail of our daily lives that He stops and whispers these truths to me. I love seeing His hand at work in every aspect of my life! He is good, gracious, merciful, faithful and true. He is LOVE!

Thank you, Father, for ALL these things...and for my favorite season, Fall.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer 2010

Wow. It's almost August and summer is almost over! It has gone by really fast. We have had so much fun this season and have had many great adventures. Bonus: I still have my sanity...well, sort of.

In June we took a trip down to Playa del Carmen, Mexico on the Mayan Riviera. Although we had an awesome time jet skiing and kayaking in the ocean, eating good food, relaxing by the pool and building sandcastles on the beach, Rod and I decided our next vacation will be a trip to downtown Ft. Worth. We are going to stay in the tallest hotel we can find, since apparently, the elevators were our boys' favorite thing about our vacation. One day, we even had to have a "no elevator day" rule because deciding whom should push the buttons on a 3 story building can cause quite a ruckus. No need to spend thousands of dollars on 5-star resorts! A tall Holiday Inn with a great pool and an elevator with lots of buttons is all we need to make us happy! Rod and I will take our vacations separately, of course. We will be beach side.

The highlights from our trip, though, are the laughs and the adventures we had along the way. Our flight was delayed an hour so we were stuck in the DFW airport eating Popeye's chicken. Strangely, that was the best fried chicken I ever had. We all woofed it down like it was our last meal. Then, once boarded, our plane sat on the tarmac for another hour due to a leak in the restroom sink. But we were full from the chicken, and I brought lots of games, so all was good. We finally arrived at the resort, the boys were hungry again and we ordered room service which was another highlight for them. Hey, it's the small things in life; right? The food was incredibly good at this resort and would prove to be a big highlight for all of us. The waiters would graciously bring the boys these amazing non-alcoholic drinks that looked too good to drink and we spent a good bit of time making chocolate-covered strawberries at the dessert bar/lounge. Each day, the boys would have a running contest to see who could get to the elevator first and push the button to go down. We were on the second floor so it was quite a thrill. Rod and I would take the stairs and beat them every time, but, darn it, that elevator was fun! One night, after dinner, they were running down the long corridor to our room and Aidan was lagging behind but proudly yelled at the top of his lungs, "I'm in third!" When saying "third" you must rhyme it with "turd" because Aidan's Bostonian accent pronounces "r" words this way.

A must not do of our vacation was going to the Mayan ruins. If you have kids, skip it. It was miserably hot and brutal in the whining and complaining department. We met a nice Canadian restaurant/hotel owner in Talum when we stopped to have a drink. He was from Toronto and lived in Mexico 6 months out of the year and absolutely loved it. He gave Rod and I some interesting prospectives on retiring. We also went to Xel Ha, which is a natural river that we snorkeled and tubed down. The older boys jumped off a 20 foot cliff after betting each other to do it. Andrew had to pay Alex $7.00 when we got home...but that Andrew is always throwing money around.

Rod and the older boys rode jet skiis and kayaked in the ocean while Aidan and I searched for shells. The water is tamer on the Caribbean side and we decided we liked the Pacific side better for boogie boarding. We ate great food! I weighed myself everyday and managed to hit the gym a couple of times, so I only gained 2 pounds. Whoo-hoo! Our resort had three natural rivers flowing around it so we kayaked down the cenotes into the ocean. That was fun except for the mosquitoes, which never bother me at home but strangely ate me alive in Mexico. We also got to watch a lot of soccer because the world cup was televised 24/7 on 11 tvs in the sports bar...the buzzing of the horns in grand stereo was not a good memory.

Overall, it was a great vacation.

The month of July has been spent going to movies, swimming, having Ronald come in for a visit, camps,playdates, spending the night at grandparents so Mom and Dad can reconnect and sometimes just being lazy. It has been great!

Oh...and we didn't sell our house, but it's okay. I unpacked (mostly). God is good and He continues to bless us.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mercy and Grace

In April, my husband and I got a brilliant idea: we would put our house up for sale. Even though naysayers would try to discourage us to not tread this delicate real estate climate, we decided to take the plunge. After all, we weren't desperate to sell and our only reason for doing so was to give our boys a pool. Yes, we would buy a house with a pool and give our boys (and me) some refuge from the long, hot summers of Texas. It was the plan.

If only life were that easy.

In a nutshell, it has been a wild, emotional (for me, not Rod) roller coaster ride dealing with buyers and real estate agents. I have, once again, been faced with the harsh reality that we have very little control over our lives. This is why it is so important to be totally in God's will because whether we like it or not, His will will be done. But some of us have to be beaten over the head to get me.

It started out great. We put our house up for sale, had a few showings and in a matter of 3 weeks, had an offer. However, we soon found ourselves in a web of brutal negotiations and even the buyers' real estate agent was cursing out our real estate agent. (I had no idea bullying was part of an agent's repertoire...but I'm naive that way.) We were threatened with "termination of the contract" if we didn't give into the buyers demands. We didn't budge. They moved forward. Now, with only two days left in their "pending" status on securing their financing, they "may" terminate yet again. It seems that these buyers have decided to put 3 families (ours, the sellers of the house we want to buy and the sellers of the house they need to rent) lives on hold until they make up their minds. The worst part is that I (and the occupants of the house we want to buy) have already started packing! While I am tripping over boxes in my house, and feeling completely sorry for myself, I'm reminded of this certainty: I am not in control.

However, these buyers don't know to whom they are dealing with. For I serve a God who is sovereign. As with ALL things, He works it ALL out for good for those who love Him. This is His personal promise to me, and so, if I do have to unpack, I will thank Him. I will praise Him for knowing our future and directing our paths. AND...this is a big one: I will pray for His mercy and grace on the buyers and the bully real estate agent. For perhaps this is the sole reason why He allowed these people to cross our paths; so that they would be prayed for.

"Thank you, God, for these buyers. Only you know their true intentions, their hearts and their situation. Bless them, Lord. Pour your loving mercy and grace over them. Please help keep my thoughts pure and loving towards them. Show them your love in a huge and substantial way. Give them peace and wisdom as to what to do in this situation. Thank you, God, for the real estate agent. Forgive her for her foul words and manipulative ways. Pour your blessings out on her. Love on her in a such a way that her heart softens towards you. I ask that your mercy and grace overflows for all the families involved. That no bitter feelings will take root. That your sovereign will will be done, in your Holy and precious Name. Amen."

For this I am certain: His mercy and grace is sufficient.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

No Worries...Just Trust

I've been mourning over America this week. Since the signing of the new "health care bill", which will possibly bankrupt us as a Nation and undoubtedly lead us further down the road towards socialism, fear and despair have so gripped my heart. Grief, too, for a nation that was founded under God...for the people...and by the people. We are so far from these ideologies that we scarcely look like the same country. Irresponsible Government bail-outs and sky-rocketing job losses further plague our economy. Furthermore, our relationship with our one true Middle Eastern ally and, most importantly, the Apple of God's on the verge of collapse. Our circumstances as a Nation do indeed look bleak.

Since grief is a natural process that is needed to heal aching wounds, I will go there awhile. Ultimately, though, I kneel before my Heavenly Father and ask Him what His truth's are. I talk to Him about my fears, my sadness, my anger, my disappointments. I love His direct and no nonsense response: "Do you trust ME?"

I recently read a friend's blog that pointed out that perhaps Americans have leaned too much on our Nation, on man, on modern medicine, on Government, to be our comforters, security and hope. In other words, we have worshiped the created, not the Creator. WOW! That is powerful stuff! Our greatest sin has been to take our eyes off of the only One who can provide for ALL of our needs! We have become complacent Christians enjoying our freedoms, our full bellies, our lavish lifestyles (compared to 90% of the world) and have forgotten our true callings. He has called us (the body of Christ) to do so much more than what He even did when He walked this earth! That is empowering! He has given us authority (through the Holy Spirit) over sickness, over fear, over grief, disappointment, anger, unforgiveness, etc... We don't have to claim it because it's not ours to claim! How freeing that is to me!

So my answer to his question is: "Yes! I trust you! I have no worries, no fear, no grief. I lay that at your feet, Lord. You, alone, are my refuge, my shelter, my strength. Amen."

"I desire to dwell in the shelter of You, the Most High. I will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of You, Lord, 'You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' " Psm 91: 1-2

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isa 43:1-2

"Praise be to You, Lord, for You showed Your wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city." Psm 31:21

"One thing I ask of You, Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon Your beauty and to seek You in Your temple. For in the day of trouble You will keep me safe in Your dwelling; You will hide me in the shelter of Your tabernacle and set me high upon a rock." Psm 27: 4-5

"Lord of heaven and earth, help me to be still and know you are God; You will be exalted among the nations. You will be exalted in the earth. You, Lord Almighty, are with me; the God of Jacob is my fortress." Psm 46:10-11

"My Father, please help me always to know You are near and not to be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present my requests to You. If I do, Your peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:5-7

Blessed be His Name!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Game That NEVER Ends

Aidan, my 5-year-old, has always been into games. Between the ages of 2 and 3, it was CandyLand. I played CandyLand even in my dreams, because during my waking hours spent with Aidan, it just wasn't enough! (Perhaps this is why I gained 5 pounds during that time...hmmmm?) At 4, he moved on to "Guess Who?" and Dominoes, which were a bit more challenging, but equally as consuming, since this also required my undying devotion. (Moms are such suckers.) Now, it's UNO. I must admit, it's a card game that the whole family is enjoying, but like anything that is overdone, it has started to grate on my nerves. You see, Aidan is very passionate about the games he loves. He must play them over and over and over until he gets the very essence and being of the game itself. It is exhausting. I find myself daydreaming about joyfully shredding each and every card until there is nothing left but a pile of UNO I say that outloud?

Anyway, the best part of the madness is observing he and my mom play these games. Linda is a barracuda when it comes to competitive sports, games or challenges. She plays to WIN! (Never mind that her opponent is her 5-year-old grandson...that's not the point...or so I'm told.) Aidan is equally competitive, and so the battle of the wills actually becomes my comedic relief with this twisted but hilarious duo. Battle cries are sung throughout the house as the two duke it out for the very last card to be laid down. Screams of joy, anger and "you cheated!" (mostly by my mom) are yelled out in angst! All the while, I'm doing the happy dance in the bedroom, singing praises to the Lord that he has given me a reprieve, and thanking Him for grandmothers! (Apparently they are suckers too!)

And then, the inevitable mother goes home. As if on cue, a sweet, smiling face with Cheezit crumbs still stuck to his lips and a stack of cards held tightly in his chubby little hands, comes looking for me with a longing in his eyes. Never mind that I'm in the shower...this is an UNO emergency! The game must go ON...and on...and on...and I am once again...a SUCKER!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

OOPS...I did it again!

If anyone knows me, they know I'm the queen of it's not too shocking that I did it again! I will be the first person to admit...I am completely flawed, and by His grace, do I try daily to lay down my flesh and be in this world but not of it. It's a hard and humbling process! But ultimately, it brings me closer to Him. Isn't that what the true meaning of life is?

So my mistake was: I sent out an email to what I thought was only for my Lifegroup sisters (aka...wawa sistas), and accidentally sent it out to EVERYONE in my email address. When I discovered my mistake, I panicked. What I wrote wouldn't be understood by the secular world and I felt almost immediate scrutiny would follow. So I tried to solve the problem by sending out another email stating my mistake and that it was ONLY for my bible study. Unfortunately, not everyone complied and my sweet sisters hit "return all" in their response to me. The result was not good; hurtful words were expressed by some. I felt terrible! This was in no way shape or form meant to be a debate, but a question and an understanding to my sweet sisters who know my heart and who also know the Lord and His word. What a mess! Thankfully, my bible study leader and God put an end to it. No one else commented after her email. Thank you God! Not surprisingly, (since Stacey and Cathy both prayed that the Lord would block or take back most of these emails) several people didn't even get them! God, always shows up, doesn't He?

Here's what I have learned through this process...God is merciful and gracious! Also, that He turns EVERYTHING into good for those who love Him...which just happens to be my favorite scripture; one that is written on the soul of my heart. I also saw God's hand throughout this whole process. Endless, countless, amazing words and prayers were spoken over me....reminding me that mistakes happen and that those who truly know me and my heart, understand that I search for answers about Him. It's just what I do. I also realized how many people love me! That's ALWAYS a good thing! To my amazing friends who I have so much respect, love and gratitude for, here's a shout out to you: Stacey, Jennifer A., Anna, Cathy, Terri, Robin, Darlene, Dottie, Crissie, Beth, my mom, aunt Sandra, cousin Georgia, Jacqueline, Kristi, Pat, Melissa, Jennifer G., and countless of others to whom I felt I owed an apology to for bringing them into this awkward situation. You inspire me beyond belief! You breathed life and love into my spirit the last couple of days which I can honestly say was the BEST thing that could have happened to me! Thank you doesn't even begin to express my gratitude!

Regarding my email...well, I am not ashamed about it. For those of you who know my heart (and apparently most do), you know that I was in no way, shape or form, trying to imply that I want something tragic to happen to anyone. What I do know is this: God's ways and thoughts are not ours. I don't believe in coincidences; so therefore, I search for answers as to why things happen; not just blow them off as random circumstance. I search the bible and what His word says about His ways. I ask people whom I trust to help me understand Him and His ways. I am not ashamed of that. And most importantly, God isn't ashamed of me, but is so happy that I look for answers about Him. I also know that God sometimes allows trials to bring us closer to Him.

For those who were upset that you received my email, I am truly sorry. I am not sorry for my email, but I am sorry that I accidentally sent it to you. That is a mistake I hope I never make again. But guess what? I will make another blunder because I am an imperfect, flawed person. So if I do, please forgive me in advance. Please try to understand the true intentions of my heart and give me the benefit of the doubt. I promise, I will do the same for you. I love you, sweet ones, and NEVER want to cause you pain! There are no hard feelings on my part.

Lastly, the most important thing about this trial was: we all prayed fervently for the Haitans. Isn't that what God really wanted to happen? His glory was revealed in the end.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Mother's Love

One of the hardest thing about being a parent is having to walk with your children during their hurts. Whether it's nursing them back to physical health, or mending their spirit through a heart ache, it's a painful process. When they hurt, I hurt. Motherhood truly keeps me on my knees and humble before the Lord!

My mother has always been my best champion. No matter what my pain is, whether physical or emotional, I've always run to my mom to nurse me back to health. When I was a little girl, I loved listening to my mother's fervent prayers. I still do. At 41 years of age, the little girl inside me still needs her to cheer me on, pray for me or mourn with me while my heart breaks. It's just what most moms do....or, more specifically, it's what she does. What an amazing blessing that I know I take for granted!

The last three years I have been on a spiritual quest. At 38, I finally found the Lord of my childhood, but it hasn't been an easy road. Walking in the spirit but living in this world can be challenging....and heart breaking at times. At the end of the day, though, I know that it's my mother's early teachings, her fervent prayers and her unconditional love for me that ultimately helped me see God's true face.

What an amazing influence we mothers have on our children's lives! How incredibly important it is that we get it right...because one day they may need to see God's face through our unconditional love for them.

Since it's the day after Christmas, I can't help but think of the ultimate mother...Mary. What incredible heartache she endured being the mother of Jesus. Unfathomable, unspeakable heartache...even though she knew the outcome was for good, her mother's heart had to have been broken many times. Even Jesus, dying on the cross, worried about his mother's emotional pain. He hurt because she hurt. True love is like that, though. It's not always carefree and easy; sometimes there is tremendous pain involved; sometimes there is sacrifice and selflessness, but that's what makes it real.