Thursday, September 29, 2011


I photographed a wedding a few weekends ago for one of my first teenagers in youth ministry. I remember the day I met her...she was a tiny little thing...going into the six grade and when she smiled she had more dimples than I could even count. I love this young girl that has grown up before my eyes. There was a time in her life when she didn't love us so much...we aren't the kind of youth pastor/wife that gives up on kids...and when we wouldn't give up on her, she wrote us a note and told us to get out of her life...yeah that didn't work. My husband married her!!! We laugh about it today...she has always had a special place in my matter what!!

She looked gorgeous on her wedding Hollywood glamour. My son was her ring bearer and thought he was hot stuff...and well, he was. He looked so stinkin' cute that day in his tux and Chuck Taylors. He loves his "Header" and wanted to be beside her all day.

I was taken pictures of the guys...Charlie, her now husband, is a Marine and was in his dress uniform. I loved the look of it, although I think he was horribly uncomfortable. I took pictures of him and his boys...goofing off...being know the normal. His grandfather walked up while we were taking pictures and Charlie immediately went to hug him. His grandfather was a very important figure in his life growing up...He was a Marine as well. Charlie asked me to take their picture and as his grandfather slung his arm around, Charlie went to do the same. His grandfather immediately stopped and said something to him along the lines of..."you are in uniform". Charlie dropped his arm and stood at attention for his pictures with him.

Some may say that is's a picture. I'm not in the military and don't have family presently serving, so I don't know what all the "codes" are...what they go by. But it spoke volumes to me what his grandfather said. It was about respect. Respect for the uniform...for his service...for our country. It was about a a ranking. If only we lived our lives as Christians with such commitment!

During the ceremony my husband said these words as he married Heather and Charlie:

"Charlie, you have a rich family history in learning the importance of serving your country from your Grandfather and you now follow in his footsteps and proudly serve as a Marine today. As a Marine you know those Core values HONOR - Marines are held to the highest standards, ethically and morally. Respect for others is essential. Marines are expected to act responsibly in a manner befitting the title they’ve earned. COURAGE - Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the ability to face fear and overcome it. It is the mental, moral and physical strength ingrained in every Marine. It steadies them in times of stress, carries them through every challenge and aids them in facing new and unknown confrontations. COMMITMENT - Commitment is the spirit of determination and dedication found in every Marine. It is what compels Marines to serve our country and the Corps. Every aspect of life in the Corps shows commitment, from the high standard of excellence to vigilance in training.
These very same principles are scripturally commanded and must be displayed in your marriage daily."

My prayer is that I would live my Christian life with Honor...Courage...Commitment.  That I would have so much respect for the uniform Name that I wear...the name above all names...that I would show Him honor with the way that I carry myself.  That I would show courage as I battle through this life that I live.  That I would show commitment to Him above everything else...and that I would stand at attention at all times...for HIM!

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
(1 Peter 3:15 ESV)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cats and Dogs...

We got a kitten this summer. His name is Chester...sometimes we call him Chester Cheeto. He was a crazy kitten when we got him...wild!!! He scratched and bit...and let's just say I wouldn't go near him without my gardening gloves on at all times. He is now a super sweet cat...he stays outside and hunts snakes...and crickets...and field mice.

About 3 weeks or so ago we were given a dog. Here's the deal...we aren't good dog people. We have had several dogs since living in our beloved Sadie died...Mocha our beautiful lab was stolen...Hogan our boxer just ran away...a lot. We don't do well with big dogs that stay we got one for inside. Some of our great friends didn't have the time to spend with him like they wanted to...they both worked and it was tough on little Levi. So we inherited this precious little Ewok. He is so sweet...such a good dog, and puts up with more wrestling than Hulk Hogan had to.    Jesse thinks Levi is a toy most days...but they are pretty cute together.

I quickly introduced Levi and Chester to each other...and soon after thought that they were gonna always be at odds with each other. Chester got all puffed up...Levi was barking at him...the outlook was bleak. After a few days, I noticed them warming up to each other...playing together...chasing each other...wrestling. I soon dubbed them Milo and Otis...they have become very good buds and I think it is super if I could just get my kids to get along...all things would be right in my world!!  Who says cats and dogs can't get along...they haven't seen my two!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Young homie...

I am doing another post about TV…I promise people, I do far more than watch TV! Last night was a late night…we had a big youth event at church…had to get our Insanity workout in and then I crashed on the floor while Ric watched a little TV. He woke me up and said “you have got to watch this guy sing…his story is unreal”.

He then rewinds…thank you Lord for DVR’s…the X-Factor. Now, I love singing shows…I mean I
 l-o-v-e them!!! I missed Simon Cowell last season on American Idol, so to have him back…and it be on a singing show is just perfect. I watch as the story of a young man…Chris Rene…how he just got out of rehab and has been clean for 70 days. He tells his story of his childhood and how he had a great life growing up…and then taking his first drink at the age of 12 and the drugs that followed. I could hear the regret in his voice…but also the hope. Immediately you are sucked right in as he begins to sing about his life…the choices he has made…his recovery. The judges were blown away…people were on their feet…and Chris Rene was in tears.

I watched it as the judges put him through on the show…as they challenged him to stay clean…and he walked off the stage a different person. He was overwhelmed. I look at Ric and said…”that could have so been you…not the singing and rapping part(anyone that knows Ric is aware of this), but the addiction…the rehab”. He quietly shook his head and just simply said “but for the Grace of God”.

You see, my husband is a youth pastor. He is the Godliest man I know…by far. He has stood the test of time. I have watched as pastor after pastor has fallen around us…and he has stood firm…because of the Grace of God. Ric grew up in a good home….but made some poor choices growing up. He got involved in alcohol at a young age (7th grade)…got arrested several times… cost his family a lot of heart ache, tears, and money. He was kicked off of two college football teams…wasted opportunities…was on the path that Chris Rene was on.   He drank…a lot. He was never heavy into drugs, but did dabble in it. That could have been my husband. He could have continued down that path of destruction…continuing living in rebellion…but for the grace of God!

You see, God interrupted my husband’s life…Ric wasn’t looking for God…seeking Him out. No, God came and invaded Ric’s life and he is changed forever. Ric is changed...he is a different man because of the grace of God. He extended His hand of mercy…took away the addiction...the shame…the sin…and he healed him…forever. Ric stands today, a man…radically changed. He has been transformed…I wrote about that a little bit yesterday…and now uses his life to minister to others…because of the grace of God. That kind of story gets me every time…every time!

I thought about all of this this morning as I was drinking my coffee…so many hurting people out there. So many people enslaved to sin…to addiction. What am I doing about it…what are we doing about? Yesterday Facebook changed…50% of the updates I saw were people fussing about that…it was on the news people! When are we gonna get in an uproar over the sin that is running rampant in the world…the babies that are killed everyday…the people that have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I’m not saying it’s bad to be upset over Facebook changing, but in the big scheme of things there are far more important things that should ruffle my feathers.

I will walk today mindful of His grace…mindful of hurting people…mindful of those in need…and I can only hope that I do something about it. But for the Grace of God…I would be lost and undone. Grateful that I am not!

“For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”
1 Corinthians 15:9,10

Here is the video of Chris's's poor quality but you can still hear his story! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

You wear doubt like a coat...

Last night my favorite show premiered for it's new season....The Biggest Loser.  I love this what it does for people's lives. 

I came into this new season...not quite sure what to think.  New trainers...Jillian was gone, and I wasn't sure how it would be.  I like them...ok...I love Dolvett Quince!  He is hard your face...but man, I think he is a motivator.  I watched him train his team...yelling at them...all up in their grill...and I look at Ric and said "I like him".   Anna is good...yeah, she's beautiful and size -4...but whatev!  She has a good heart...I cried when she ran to help her team in the challenge...I have a soft spot for her 'cause she is working with the "old people"....I may really like her!  Bob is Bob...there are no words for him.  I have loved him since the first season...he will always be my favorite (although he does need a haircut)!!

I cried several times through the show...yeah I'm a big baby.  I love seeing the contestants seeing them go through transformation...inside and out.  I cried when the NFL player layed on the floor in a blubbering mess...weeping because he was ashamed of who he had become.  I cried when Johnny wanted to quit...the 60something year old who was done...on the first day...but he didn't.  He thought of his grand kids and got back on that treadmill. My favorite moment from last night was when Patrick got on the scale...continued to hem and haw about how he beats himself up...that he wasn't going to lose a lot...that he doubted himself all the time...that he wasn't confident. He lost 20 pounds people... in a week. Dolvett looks at him and says "You wear doubt like a's time to take that coat off".  LOVE it!!!

Yes, I admit that seeing these peoples lives changed because of their weight loss tears me up and gets to me....but even more than that...seeing some one's life transformed by Christ.   Now that is what gets me! Just like those contestants that went on the show to change their life weight wise...Jesus Christ changes our lives in every way.  I have seen people changed by the power of Christ...even more dramatically than some one's weight loss. I serve a big God who can change anyone. So many of those contestants say they could never many sinners say that they can't change...that they are too far gone. Only God can make us new...only God can change our lives. Just like those trainers see something great in those players....even greater than that is a Holy God that wants to love us and change be unrecognizable!  When we see the players at the end of the season...we will hardly recognize them, they have been so transformed.  When Jesus invades our lives...we should be unrecognizable to those who knew us...we should be that different!

SO yes, I love the show...but I love seeing lives changed by Christ. Yes, I will still tear up watching the show.....but I will always be brought to tears when a life is changed forever. Yes...I love to see people lose weight and get healthy...but I love to see people's eternal destination changed more than anything! Yes, I love the Biggest Loser and seriously want Bob or Dolvett to be my trainer...but I love God and am thankful he is constantly working on me!!

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Writing notes...

Today I had my first parent/teacher conference of the year. I met with Shelby Jean's awesome teacher, Mrs. Musick. We went over her strengths...some of the areas she needs to work on...her work ethic...and then I found out about writing notes.

I asked Amy if Shelby was a good listener...and she responded with a laugh and said, "oh, Shelby Jean is a great good that we have to write notes." She then told me that Shelby is a great multi-tasker and can be sitting at her center all the way across the room and be listening to what the teachers are saying(there is a teacher's assistant in Kindergarten here). Amy said that her and Zabrina now have to write notes if they want to discuss the progress or ability of another child in the class because little miss Shelby is ALWAYS listening!!

I laughed when she told me about the Queen(that's what we call her, ya know) and wicked listening skills...and lets not even talk about how much she remembers.  I have known about her skills for a long time. She hears everything...she listens intently...she takes it in. You won't know she is listening...nope you won't...not until she tells your friends all about he conversation you had the night before!! Ha!! But, not only does she listen...she acts on what she hears. If someone is sad...she comforts them. If someone needs help with a problem...she goes to them. If someone is heartbroken...well, she will cry right along with you(she does with me all the time). I love that about my sweet Shelby!!

She is clumsy...yep, really bad...and she may or may not have an overabundance of snot(we seriously need to take her to an ENT about it) and she may spill half of her lunch on her clothes...EVERY DAY...but oh her heart...her heart is so big. So ready to ready to listen...because I do believe she hears with her heart. It goes straight in her ears...and straight down to heart. I love Shelby Jean and pray that I could be half the listener she is...I pray that I would have my ears so open that I would hear when someone needs me...that I would speak things in front of her that she needs to hear...that I wouldn't have to write a note(my toes got stepped on a big time when I thought of that)...oh that I would hear with my heart...and that I would not just be a hearer, but a doer of His word!

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Then he was ten...

I woke up this morning early to fix my son his favorite foods for breakfast...hung balloons and streamers in the kitchen...all because he is turning 10 today. He walked down the steps all sleepy eyed and saw it all and smiled...and simply said "thanks mom...thanks for putting all this together for me(his exact words...they tickled me)".

Oh my, where did the time go?? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was scurrying around my house tyring to pack a bag because my water had broken 5 weeks early? Wasn't it yesterday that I waited three long days in the hospital before he finally decided to make his grand appearance? Wasn't it yesterday that I brought him home and was scared out of my mind because I had no clue what I was doing? I think I blinked and when I opened my eyes...then he was ten!

It seems like yesterday that he went to school for the first time...

Lost a tooth...

Played in his first game...

Dressed up like a super hero...

...but it wasn't yesterday. No, it wasn't.

It's been a grand ten years with this young man...the one who first made me a mom...the little boy that stole my heart...the little boy who could then..and now...look at me with those big brown eyes and make my heart soar. I love this son of mine...yes, I do....I feel like you were 1 just yesterday...but I turned around...and then he is ten.

I am grateful to be his him live life everyday. Hear the things that he he laughs...his smile. He is a gentle soul...and cares about people deeply. He still loves me and isn't embarrassed by me...he lit up when I walked into his school today...maybe because I had Taco Bell, but he hugged me none the less. He didn't want me to leave...wanted me to stay the rest of the day and watch him in PE...go to math with him...just hang out. He still likes me and wants me around and I am a-ok with that. Grateful that I am still "cool" in his eyes(except when I dance:) that he loves me...and most importantly, that he loves Jesus.

He is something special, my Charlie boy...and I know that God is gonna use him in BIG ways. I can't wait to see what God does thorough his life...I just pray that Charlie gets it...I mean really gets it...that it is not about anything but Jesus...He is it!

Happy Birthday Chuckie B...we love you...real big...and can't believe we turned around...and then you were ten!!! Double digits are big time for real and we couldn't be more proud of you!!!
Leap for joy my son...10 is grand indeed!!