Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

I am at church as I write this watching the snow fall like crazy here in Midland.  No, I'm not in church, I'm working at church.  We are having three Christmas Eve services and we are currently in the middle of the second one.  I get to attend the last one then head home.  You'd think that working on Christmas Eve would be a downer, but honestly, I'm happy to be here.  I know that for many people this may be the only time during the year that they darken the doorway of a church.  They may be with family or just think that they need to attend.  Either way, I'm glad they are here.  If my working today will enable someone to hear the real story of Christmas and perhaps have their life changed, I'm glad to do it. 

I hope that you all have a blessed Christmas and are able to take time to thank the Lord for sending His Son to this earth.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us.  Luke 1:68-69a

Friday, December 16, 2011

December So Far

There is less than 10 days until Christmas!  Can you believe it?  This year has gone by so quickly.  I was talking with someone about how slow the first year was after Jared went to heaven.  Not so the case now, time is just flying.  December has been busy, ok, when isn't my life busy?  I should just say that December has continued at the normal pace of the rest of my year.

I mentioned in a previous post that I was working on a stocking for my sis-in-law.  My grandma started this tradition back when I was little and each one of us has a homemade stocking of some sort, whether it be a needlepoint or quilted stocking made by her.  Grandma, I know you'll see this post and I hope you are glad that we are continuing this tradition.  

We got snow in Midland!  It is beautiful when it snows and we even got a day off because of it.  I couldn't justify staying home so I still went into work.

This next December highlight comes with a warning......if you do not like dead animals, this next picture is not for you.  

I got my first deer!!  I went hunting with Mr. E. and had fun.  We had some doe management tags so that's why I shot a doe.  One of these days I will hopefully get a buck, because I fully plan on hunting again! 

There are some December highlights for you, hope your December is going well and that you are able to slow down and enjoy the holidays.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


.......Mr. E.  Yep, that's right, I am dating a wonderful man.  I haven't know how to introduce him, or for that matter, when I should.  This blog began with a journey that I never thought I would be taking and you all have been there to read my ups and downs.  I came to the conclusion that I would be remiss not to let you in on one of the biggest "ups" that God has brought into my life.  I am one blessed girl and could not be happier! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Most wonderful time of the year?

To most people, the holidays are a time of fun and excitement.  Everyone tries to get together as a family and spend time together.  It is also one of the most difficult times of the year for some people.   Last year I was grateful for the trip to Europe that allowed for the Thanksgiving holiday to pass somewhat unnoticed.  Christmas was better last year than the first year, but it still was difficult.  It was hard to not be with my family, although my Texas family is a great substitute.  It is difficult when you miss someone at the holidays, I know.  My mom states it well, she calls it "calendar grief".  In dealing with grief, the every day reality is that someone is gone, but on special days/times of the year, that grief will manifest itself.  Because of the unpredictably of grief, it has been hard for me to have any excitement at all for the holidays.  I have had more of an attitude of, "let's get them over with".  I am so happy that this year, I'm actually looking forward to them. In our family, we pull out the Christmas music on November 1st.  We think that you need lots of time to listen to all the wonderful music!  I actually pulled it out on that day and was so excited to do that!  I bought Christmas tree decorations yesterday (half off at Hobby Lobby).  We'll see how decorating a tree goes, I haven't decorated one since before I was engaged, but I'm looking forward to it.  I'm curious to see how these holidays go, but I'm thinking that God has healed my heart enough that I can enjoy them! 

Other random things going on in my life.......

God has once again shown me His faithfulness and how He takes care of me.  I think I am finally finished with settling Jared's estate.  One last bill that was outstanding was finally taken care of a couple of weeks ago and now everything is done.  When I received that information, I began to cry.   I'm just going to tell y'all why and give God glory for this.  Jared did not much life insurance to speak of and most went to the funeral expenses.  There wasn't much money left to pay the outstanding medical bills, which totaled over $75,000.  Here's the amazing part, all of those bills have been written off by each medical facility.........yeah, has it sunk in yet?!  If you ever doubt that God isn't watching out for you, please remember this story.  He cares for the birds and He will also care for you.  My verse on my desk calendar today is "O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness."  Isaiah 25:1  Isn't that fitting! 

I've been dehydrating apples this year.  My garden pretty much failed this year, so I wasn't able to do any canning, so this is as close as I've been able to get to storing stuff for the winter.  Tried sweet potatoes, but I think they need to be sliced thinner, they were kinda chewy. 

Working on a needlepoint stocking for my sis-in-law.  I had no idea how time consuming needlepoint is.  I have enjoyed doing it though, I'm almost done but I need to get it done soon!!  Good thing my weekends have been free for the last month, this would have been simpler if I hadn't procrastinated. :)

That's pretty much what's been happening with me.  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and focus on the blessings that God has brought into your life.  I know that's what I'll be doing, along with making rolls, pies, and chocolate covered pretzels!! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

God Speaking to Me

I had an interesting weekend.  I was given the opportunity to serve at another conference that we had here at Stonegate.  The conference was for parents who have a child struggling with homesexuality.  I really enjoy helping out with this ministry, I feel like I'm the one being encouraged either through the speakers or the people themselves, not the other way around.  I was able to talk with one lady who lost her husband to a sudden heart attack ten years ago and is now dealing with her only child struggling with this issue.  She was such a nice lady who I could tell truly believed in God's sovereignty. She understood that He has a plan that she doesn't understand but knows that she can rely on Him completely.  She was a blessing to me.  On Sunday, we had the pleasure of hearing a testimony by a couple and their son during the services at church.  It was amazing.  I was crying halfway through it when the mom mentioned that one of the hymns that helped her through one of the tough times was "It is Well with My Soul".  That was a song that went through my head after Jared passed away.  Then the son mentioned that at one point in his journey the verse Jeremiah 29:11 was shown to him.  That verse was one of Jared's favorite and one that I continue to be reminded of in my own life.  It was like God was speaking to me directly.  The tears I cried weren't sad tears, they were tears of joy, knowing that He will always be faithful to me and also to all of His children.  I am so blessed.

The Yuan's testimony can be seen at the following link:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Have I mentioned recently that I love my life?  If not, I do, and now you know.  This past weekend, I had the opportunity to accompany 32 sixth graders on a weekend retreat.  It was a beautiful place, filled with lots of activities for the kids.  They did team building exercise such as an underground maze that work through together and a ropes course that they had to think through on how to get everyone across.  I did the ropes course, got through it the first time and promptly fell off when it was completed.  It wasn't a very graceful fall either and I have a big bruise to show for it.  What can I say,  at least I completed it.  We did other activities such as swimming (water was way too cold for me), rock climbing and rappelling. I was unable to do either the rock climbing or the rappelling as there was a storm coming in and we wanted all the kids to have an opportunity to do the activity before the leaders did.  We finished in the nick of time too, the lightning started about the time the last couple of kids were finishing up.  Perfect timing.  What I was really disappointed about was the zipline.  We were supposed to do it at about 10pm, but the rain prevented that.  Oh well, it sounds like we will do it again so I may get another chance!

Here are some pictures of the actual camp:

Some of the water activities

Suspension bridge that we had to cross to get to our cabins.

More water fun.

I've been going through a Bible study called "Live a Praying Life" by Jennifer Kennedy Dean.  Not sure if I completely agree with everything in the book, although I may just not understand where she is coming from. For the most part, it has been good.  The study has made me stop and think about why we pray.  I've just always have done it, but the question I've always had is why pray when God is going to do His plan anyway.  One of the things that I've learned is that God wants to use us in order to give Him glory.  He doesn't need us, but He chooses us and incorporates us in His plan, and that includes praying.  I think praying also helps us to understand Him more and helps us to realize that we don't see the bigger picture.  It helps align our thinking with His thinking and changes our hearts to accept His will for our lives.  I may be off base, but that is what I am working through at the moment.

I hope you all are well and although the year is quickly coming to an end you are able to relax and enjoy the fall season!

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Dilemma

One of the many dilemmas that I have had in my "widow experience" is what to do with my engagement ring.  I've debated many different options over the course of these past few months.  There was no reason for a quick decision, for that matter I really didn't have to make a decision about it at all.  It could have stayed the way it was for many years to come, but for me, I wanted to do something with it.  Last month, I knew that I was finally ready to do something, so I did.  I had it sent to a jewelry store that I know every well and told them that I wanted it made into a necklace.  With little direction from me, they did.  I received it today and it was perfect, just what I wanted.  I have a new piece of jewelry now, it is a change from what it once was, but something I will keep as a reminder.  When I wear it, I want to be reminded God's faithfulness in my life and how He has brought and will bring me through all the changes in my life.  One more dilemma in my life is now solved.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My plan - His direction

The way this week has played out was not the way I had planned it in my head.  My boss is out of town, I thought that this would be the perfect week to get caught up on things that I've had to push off.  That didn't happen, God has had other plans.  It reminded me of the verse "The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9. 

This past Saturday I was able to attend a Beth Moore conference in Lubbock, TX.  I decided one hour before my friends were leaving to go with them.  I just felt that God wanted me to go, personally I had wanted to stay in Midland.  You should have seen me running around getting ready, plus having to pick up a ticket across town!  It was worth it.  God has been working in my life about something and Beth talked about that very same thing in the afternoon session.  I grudgingly listened. :)   She usually has her worship team sing the song "In Christ Alone" and once again I cried (I always do now). The last verse gets me every time because it means so much more to me after Jared went home to be with the Lord. 

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand 

'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand  

It is such an encouraging final verse.  From the day one is born until their final breath, God has a purpose for His children and nothing can change that.  It is through His power alone that His purpose is made complete.  I remember my dad telling me on the phone, the night that Jared died,  how God's purpose for Jared was complete and that is why He called him home.  Anyway, that is what I am reminded of when I hear this song.  That was a rabbit trail........

On Monday and Tuesday I had the opportunity to accompany a former Harlem Globetrotter and a former NFL player to some elementary schools here in Midland.  They are both Christians and although they weren't able to talk about God to the kids, they gave very good talks about breaking the cycle and that they can succeed in life.  It was a blessing to go with them but it was difficult also.  You could just see on some of the kids faces the lack of love and stability in their home lives.  It was hard to see.  There was one school that we went to where the kids mobbed the guys after they were done speaking.  They just wanted to be loved on even more by these men.  It made me appreciate the life that God has given me and the childhood that I had, being raised by wonderful parents.  I couldn't have asked for better parents who raised me well and taught me about Christ's love for me.  I wish you could talk about God in schools, these kids need to know about the hope that only Christ can give them.

We've had rain in Midland!!!!  It began last night and has been fairly continuous today.  We are in such a drought that any moisture that God gives us is a blessing!  I'm enjoying the cloudy, dreary day.  The temperature has dropped also significantly, it is currently 59 degrees, it was about 90 yesterday. 

That is my week in a nutshell.  Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


It seems like I post about once a month, so here is my August post!

More traveling went on again this month.  I was able to enjoy some more Texas beauty and I hope you enjoy these pictures:

Can you see the double rainbow?  The vivid one was a full rainbow that stretched over the road.  It looked as if you were driving through a tunnel.  It was beautiful!

West Texas sky.

Palo Duro Canyon, near Amarillo, Texas

More Palo Duro Canyon

Even more Palo Duro Canyon

This canyon was amazing.  You are driving along what looks like flat land for miles, when all the sudden you are driving down into this canyon.  It was beautiful, the pictures do not do it justice.  Who knew that Texas was so diverse in their landscape? This canyon is supposed to be the second largest in the United States, behind the Grand Canyon.  I can't wait to go back when I can spend more time there.

 My mom's new quilt book came out this month!  I got my copy in the mail and it is a wonderful book.  My mom is so talented, I love her!  If you want to check it out you can see it on her website,  The reason why I am even mentioning it is because of the dedication that she wrote in the book.  The dedication brought me to tears, even with knowing beforehand what it was going to say.  I am still amazed how many lives Jared touched and although my family only met him a few times, how much they loved him.

My mom is right, we rejoice that we will see Jared again, in heaven, our final home.  I can't wait for heaven when I get to see my Savior!!

Although I can't wait, I am enjoying my life now, here on earth.  My job is going well, we are extremely busy, but that's ok.  Midland is booming economically and with that brings lots of new jobs.  People are moving here from all over the country for those jobs. For us at church, that means more kids on Sundays!  For the past two Sundays we have had over 1,000 kids attend.  It is overwhelming to know that God has entrusted us to minister to this many kids.  It is exciting, yet daunting sometimes. 

Everything else is going well, but I can't believe how fast this year has gone.  God has really been working in my life and although it is hard sometimes, I am extremely blessed.  I wouldn't trade my life for anything!

Until next month......

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


This month went by quickly! It has been a great month. 

It began with the 4th of July.  We had a great time at my Texas Parent's house.  Here is a picture of the fabulous food. 

The next happening was Six Flags.  I had never been there before.  I had ridden on a couple of roller coasters, but nothing like this!  I had a blast.  Batman had to have been my favorite ride, followed by Superman, the ride that I almost refused to go on.  Actually, I did refuse to go on it, but was forced to anyway.  Ok, I may have relented a bit. 

Next. I'm sure that some of you were wondering how I did on the second anniversary of Jared's passing.  I will admit there was a moment where tears came to my eyes.  It was mostly because I let myself go back to that day and remember.  That is something that I don't do often, I try not to live in the past.  Instead, I prefer to focus my "normal" thoughts of Jared on the good times we had, not the hospital and the following days.  All in all it was a good day, spending it with friends and family.  God gave me a peace about it that surpasses all understanding!

I was able to spend this past weekend traveling in the state of Texas.  I went to the panhandle and it is so beautiful.  This was one of my favorite trips this summer.  Here are some pictures from that adventure.

The adventures are not finished for the month. I'm off to a retreat this weekend in another part of Texas.  I'm enjoying the travels but I am ready to be home on a weekend!

Hope y'all are having a good summer!

P.S. We've gotten a couple of cherry tomatoes from the garden, but I think the plus 100+ temperatures we've had all summer is doing a number on most of the plants.  We may not get too much out of it, but it was fun doing it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Camp and other thoughts

I'm such a slacker, a whole month with nothing written from little 'ole me.  It is probably because I've packed a lot into this past month.

Camp was the highlight of June.  Our church took about 180, 5th/6th graders to camp.  It was a good week.  It was so fun to see these kids in worship, singing at the top of their lungs and then watching them listening intently to some great speakers.  We had kids come to know the Lord personally and some other kids just enjoy having a week to focus on their Savior.  Don't get me wrong, we didn't spend every moment learning about God, we had lots of outdoor fun too.  Zipline, hiking, rock wall, swimming, canoeing, fishing are some of the activities that kept them busy.  There were lots of tired campers on the bus ride back home! We returned home on Friday and by Sunday  (after I gotten some sleep) I was ready to go back!  Can't wait until next year.

I realized last week that this year is half over.  Yikes, Christmas will be here before we know it!  I am in awe of how God is blessing my life and continues to take care of me.  Recently someone asked me to share my grief journey and how I was doing now.  I'm not done writing it, but as I began, I couldn't help but remember where I was almost two years ago compared to where I am now.  God is truly a great Savior, Healer, Sustainer, Provider, and Lover.  Everything I need. I've realized in the past years that if you strive for happiness in anything but God, you will continue to do just that, strive, never achieving true happiness and contentment.  The things of this world will fade, only God is eternal.  That is my mini sermon for the day.

Other than hanging out with friends and family and other random things going on my life, it is pretty much status quo.  Looking forward to July and the fun in store for that month.  My social calendar is already filling up!

Monday, May 23, 2011


On Mother's Day, the following song, Blessings by Laura Story, was sung during the offertory at church.  I heard it during the first service and then went into each of the other services so I could hear it again and again.  The last chorus when she sang, "What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy" summed up much of what I think about the last four years of my life.  If the last four years of my life had never happened, I don't think I would have the mindset I have now, knowing that God is the only One who can satisfy.  Enjoy the lyrics and I have provided a link if you want to hear it.

Verse 1:
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

Verse 2:
We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May So Far

This month is already half over, it seems like it just started. I think time is going so much faster this year.

The month began with a significant date in my life. It would have been my second wedding anniversary on May 2. I will be honest, it was a little rough, at least rougher than it was last year. I was baffled by that. The only conclusion that I could arrive at was that I had a clearer mind this year. I was much more aware that this chapter of my life is closed.  This date will always be a part of my life, but as time passes the memory of this date will fade.  I don't know exactly why that reality struck me this year, but it did.  I was so grateful for the people that remembered and the ones who didn't even know but when they found out were so supportive.  I am sometimes in awe of how God brings people into your life to walk you through these kinds of days.  They may not even say anything, but for me just knowing that they are there and are either praying for me or just giving me a hug makes all the difference in the world.  For that, I thank you.

Next happening.  I have a garden at my house!!!!  I've never tried to grow anything in Midland so we will see how it goes.  Saturday afternoon was spent fixing sprinklers, digging up some unwanted vines and making the dirt garden worthy.  It took about 5 hours but hopefully in a few months it will be worth it!  We planted tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, hot peppers, and cucumbers. There are more plants on the other side, but I only took this picture this morning.   I'm so excited about this!!  

I went out of town this past week to Dallas for a church conference.  My co-workers and I were able to attend a Rangers game while we were there.  They had to stop the game in the middle of it because of rain, but after about 45 minutes the game continued.  I love baseball so it was fun to be able to go to one in person again, even if I am a Braves fan.  We had fun and ate lots of good food that we don't have in Midland.  It was nice to leave Midland for a few days, but I always can't wait to get home.

May has had its ups and downs so far but that isn't stopping me from moving forward.  I am grateful for the past and wouldn't change it, but I'm looking towards the future and what God has planned.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

One of many beautiful west Texas sunsets

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Good Friday

We had a Good Friday service at church.  I loved it!  There was Scripture read, hymns sung and then communion.  One of the hymns that we sang was "The Old Rugged Cross".

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
'til my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see,
for 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
to pardon and sanctify me.

To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
its shame and reproach gladly bear;
then He'll call me some day to my home far away, 
where His glory forever I'll share.

There are times when it hits me how much Jesus did for me on the cross.  This was one of those times.  The chorus made me want to cry, but I didn't.

Without the cross, we would be lost in our sin.

Without the cross, we would have no hope.

Without the cross, we would never experience His love for us.

Without the cross, we would be separated from Him forever.

Those are some scary thoughts! I couldn't help but think as I sang that chorus, how grateful I am for the cross.  It means so much to know that I can cling to the cross until He calls me home.  Because of the cross, I will be able to spend eternity at His feet, worshiping my Creator!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I've had lots of possible blog posts recently, but haven't gotten around to actually writing them down.  I need to be more disciplined in that, since this is my journal.

The first subject that has been on my mind is thankfulness.

I am thankful for lots of things, but specifically thankful for the trials that God has put in my life.  I think I have said it in the past, however, I have really taken it to heart lately.  I know I am opening myself up by saying this but I almost prefer going through hardships.   I have no choice but to depend on the Lord during those times.   I'm thankful for them because I have learned so much about myself and how to help others.  I've learned with God in control, I don't have to worry, I need to trust.  I've learned that God can take a bad situation and have good come out of it.  I've learned that sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is just tell them you are praying for them.  Prayer changes hearts!  I've learned that God is always there even when it seems that everything is out of control.  I've learned that all I really need is Him.  Do I remember all of these things, no, but I'm getting better!

Secondly.  I've really been thinking a lot about the reason God chose to save me and place me where I am right now.  I feel overwhelmed when I think about it.  Why did He choose to use little ol' me?!  I have no idea, but He did.  I spend so much time thinking about the future (I'm a planner) that I fail to live in the moment.  I'm in a hurry and I don't look for opportunities to stop and smile at someone or talk with them about their life/struggles.  I will admit, I'm not a people person, I would be a hermit if I could sometimes!  However, God has called us to be the salt and light to the world, I can't do that if I close myself off.  I listened to a couple tell their "story" a couple of weeks ago, telling of the struggles that they had had in their marriage and how God has changed their lives.  They now help teach the marriage classes!  I was talking with her after wards and I was telling her how encouraging it was for me.  She got this look on her face and said, "look at your beautiful story, you should tell yours."  My gut feeling, no way could I do it.  The reason, I feel like I barely held on, not always doing the grief process well.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that isn't right.  I was encouraged by their story because they were real, they told of the struggles.  They didn't focus on not doing it well they focused on how when they were struggling, God met them where they needed Him to.  They knew that God was the only thing that helped them.  I too can attest to that, without Him, I wouldn't have held on, just barely making it.  He is the only thing I could hold onto and get me through those difficult times.  It wasn't me, He gets the glory.  Will I start telling my story, perhaps, but I want it to be for His glory alone.

I am doing well.  No major things going on, just life in general.  I'm never bored and there is always something going on.  I get to go on vacation in the next week or so, so I'm excited for the break.  It is warming up here in Texas and I'm so glad! We just need some rain, badly!  I guess God knows that though.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4-7

That just makes me smile!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

He always provides

I am so glad I have a different mindset than I did a couple of years ago.  The things that I've learned and hopefully can retain have helped so much!  A week or so ago, slab leak number two happened.  Today it is supposed to be fixed.  Yeah, it has been an inconvenience, but thankfully, it has been minor.  The amazing thing is that God already provided the money to get it fixed.  Would I have liked to keep that "extra" money in savings?  Of course, but my mindset now is that it is only money and if that is the worst thing in my life this year, I'm all for it! :)  If you ever doubted that God is faithful and doesn't always provide for His children, I'm living proof that He does.  He always knows exactly what I need and when I need it.  I love that about Him!  It just makes me smile to be His child and know that He is my Provider!

P.S. He also provided people who can take out cabinets!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Seek Him first

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always.  I Chronicles 16:11

I read a mini devotional this morning. It said this, (written as if God were speaking)
Save your best striving for seeking My face.  I am constantly communicating with you.  To find Me and hear My voice, you must seek Me above all else.  Anything that you desire more than Me becomes an idol.  When you are determined to get your own way, you blot Me out of your consciousness.  Instead of single-mindedly pursuing some goal, talk with Me about it.  Let the Light of My Presence shine on this pursuit, so that you can see it from My perspective.  If the goal fits into My plans for you, I will help you reach it.  If it is contrary to My will for you, I will gradually change the desire of your heart.  Seek Me first and foremost; then the rest of your life will fall into place, piece by piece. 

Ouch! I am notorious for trying to handle things on my own.  I will try to figure out how to handle something myself before first praying about it.  I need to be better at seeking Him first in everything!  His ways are always the best anyway.

Monday, February 28, 2011


I finally took a picture of the kitchen.  I think it looks better in person.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stopping In

It has been almost a month since my last post.  You have probably figured out that when I don't post, things are going well and that has been the case for the past month.

A few changes in my life:

We began four church services at the church that I both attend and work.  It makes for a long day on Sundays, but it is worth it!  I enjoy being here and seeing what God is doing in this place.  We've had a few more kids in our Children's ministry than we had been having, so it makes it worthwhile!

I have a nicely painted kitchen.  We (me and my roommate) tore the beautiful apple wallpaper border down a few weeks ago.  It came down well, but we still needed to paint.  After that was removed, everything in the kitchen was some shade of brown.  Boring.  Last week, we painted the walls a nice green, kinda sage, but much lighter.  I'll have to take a picture.   Looking forward to doing some other minor home improvements soon!

I am older than I was in the last post.  My birthday was this week and I had a great one. In fact, I had a fabulous day! So much better than last year when I was a basket case and miserable.  I'm thankful for the friends that God has brought into my life who take me out for my birthday.  Also thankful for my family and more friends that threw me a nice party with great food.  We grilled out in 70 degree temps, didn't do that too much when I lived in WI!   God is so good to me, I am truly one blessed woman! 

For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; He adorns the humble with salvation. Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. ~ Psalm 149:4-5

Monday, January 31, 2011


I am in a good place right now, life is good.  It seems like most of the time I am running around like a crazy person, but lately life has been calm.  I'm not talking about my busyness, believe me, that still exists, I'm talking about the calmness of my soul.  The things I have been struggling with are still there, but God has been working on me.  I began the Beth Moore "Breaking Free" Bible study with some friends.  I had it in my mind that this study was for women who had horrid lives/pasts that they needed to break free from.  I have had a good life so I wasn't certain how much it would pertain to me.  Well, I've already been shown many things and we are only a couple of weeks into it. (This week is partly on pride, oops!) Last week's lesson was on the "benefits" of having Christ in our lives.   A couple of those things were the peace and joy that we can only find it Him, but the one that caught my attention was that only through Him can we have complete satisfaction.  A day or two after that lesson, I was listening to my iTunes and the song playing was One More Day by Diamond Rio. Part of that song is:

Last night I had a crazy dream
A wish was granted just for me
It could be for anything
I didn't ask for money
Or a mansion in Malibu
I simply wished, for one more day with you

One more day
One more time
One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again
I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you

So glad I can listen to some of my favorite songs without bursting into tears!  I digress......

I think one of the reasons that there is a calmness in my soul is I do feel satisfied in Christ.  Lately, I have felt like He has become everything to me.  So often I feel that if I could have that one more thing that I would then be satisfied.  That one more thing could be anything, but as the song says it would leave me wishing for more.  Realizing the satisfaction I can have in Him has made me so much happier.  I have found that all the other things like joy and peace fall right into place because I am satisfied. I am not striving for things that in the long run mean nothing.  I am content in Him, knowing that I want for nothing with Him as my Savior and Lord. 

As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.  ~ Psalm 17:15

For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good. ~ Psalm 107:9

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Matthew 8

I have started a couple of posts this past week, but none of them have been completed to actually publish.  Part of me wonders how long I will keep up this blog, it seems like I keep saying the same things over and over again.  I use this as my journal to remember later on where God had me.  Lately I have seemed stuck in learning about trust.  Actually, that seems to be the entire theme of this blog anyway.  I wonder when I will ever get it, or will I?

I am having to deal with this trusting issue again.  There are a couple of things going on in my life that have stopped me and made me think about if I really do trust God.  I want to fix, I want to make it all better, I want to control/manipulate a situation to fit what I want, because in my human mind, I know what is best for me.  Ha!  Really Beth, you think that you can handle things better than the God who created you in the first place!  It doesn't work that way.

I woke up this morning and grabbed my phone to read my devotional that gets emailed to me.  I also have the Bible download on my phone.  I went to the Bible application and the last passage that I had pulled up was Matthew 8.  I began to read, starting in Matthew 8:23-27:

Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke Him saying, "Lord, save us!  We're going to drown!".  He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?".  Then He got up and rebuked the winds and waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and waves obey Him!."

Another verse that I read this morning from my desk calendar was 1 John 4:18:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

I make mistakes and sin all the time! I don't trust like I should, I have little faith.  The God who loves me has given me a way to not be fearful.  Perfect love casts out fear!  He calms the storms, His hand is all over this world and in my own life.  Why am I so afraid sometimes and forget to trust that He will work it out?  It is because I fail to remember that I serve a God that is beyond my comprehension.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Why is it that one day I can be in a good place, trusting God completely, go to bed, and wake up the next morning worrying about everything?  What changed when I slept?  It makes no sense.  Life is not easy and today is one of those days that I would like to be a hermit, and I may.  I could watch movies all day long!  Sounds like a good solution to me, but yet I know that that won't solve anything.  I know I must press on and trust but that is hard to do sometimes.  Anyway......

One of my co-workers went to Juarez, Mexico last week to do some preaching.  We were all a bit scared for him.  It is one of the most violent cities in the world, if not the worst.  Thankfully, he arrived back to Midland safely.  Yesterday, in our staff prayer time, he shared a little about Juarez and what he did when he was there.  He gave us some statistics.

98% of families have been affected by the violence in Juarez.  Only two percent of families have not had a family member murdered!

There have been 30,000 deaths in the past 5 years.

Over 200,000 people have left the city because of the violence.

He was able to preach in a parking lot and there were still about 1,000 people there.  Can you imagine?  I don't know if I could have been one of those people that attended.  He said he was scared in the beginning but then after a few minutes the God gave him peace.  He was able to talk to a few people and hear their stories.  He told of someone who was eating dinner with their family and someone came in and shot one of the men.  Another story was about some parents who dropped off their kids off at their grandparents house at 3pm, to go to the store and they never came back.  People stay off the streets after 6pm.

We have it so easy here in the United States.  I can't even begin to understand what they are going through there.  There isn't even safety in their own home!  There is no place to escape from the violence.  Talk about having to trust God completely!  That was a point that my co-worker made.  He said that right now these people have no where to turn and they are open to hearing the gospel.   I wish it didn't take these drastic measures to bring people to Christ, but it proves though that God's ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I just finished an interesting book, Plan B by Pete Wilson.  The subtitle of the book is 'What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would?'.  Of course, God does show up, but it isn't always the way that we would like Him to.  One of the parts that I had to stop and think was when the author talked about Jesus dying on the cross.  He mentioned how devastating it must have been for Jesus' followers to have their "dreams" of finally having a Redeemer, shattered.  I remember what it felt like for me when all of my dreams of spending the rest of my life with Jared crumbled.  Could you have imagined what it was like for them to watch as the Savior of the world was crucified before their eyes?  I can't even fathom.  Honestly, I am so glad that I am on the other side.  I didn't have to watch that, I know the story, and I didn't have to live through the three days of Him being dead, wondering what just happened.  God had a plan and it was to have His Son die for us.  Not an easy plan, He had to turn away from His own Son because He could not look upon our sins that Jesus took on Himself.  But it was the perfect plan.  So it is with us.  We may not think what we are going through is good and it can be downright awful, just because it isn't easy.  In reality, it is the best, because it came from God.  God will do whatever He wants to us and in His timing, if it will make us more like Him.  Here was a quote from Mark Batterson that the author used in the book:

I tend to live the way I drive.  I want to get from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time and by the easiest route possible.  But I've come to realize that getting where God wants me to go isn't nearly as important as becoming who God wants me to be in the process.  And God seems to be far less concerned with where I'm going than with who I'm becoming.  

How true that is for me.