Monday, December 18, 2006

7 years

7 years ago Tony and I got married. It was such a fun day. We were surrounded by our family and friends, in love with each other, and had not a clue what being married would entail.

7 years later we have learned a lot. We have learned to laugh about almost everything (He is still not amused that I don't balance my checkbook). We have learned that stress-full moments come and go and then your left with a memory-so extend grace at every opportunity. We have learned that you can disagree ab0ut something and then let it go. We have learned that Tony is the most disciplined person on earth and that the Lord brought me into his life so that every once in awhile- he might eat a cookie. We have learned he loves quiet and I love conversation and we have found such a rich balance between the two and such a greater appreciation for what the other likes. We have brought 2 children into the world who we are crazy about. We have learned to parent together. We have challenged each other to love the Lord more. We have pushed each other. We have sought the Lord together, even begged the Lord together for prayers that we saw answered in a glorious ways...for prayers that were not answered in the way we wanted at all...for prayers that we are still waiting to see what the Lord will do....but in the seeking we have found Him and we are stronger together for it.

We have realized that our marriage is not perfect, because neither are we...But through the power of the cross it is made wonderful. We have realized together we are better than when we are apart.

My aunt took the above picture at ACU"s homecoming this past October. We laughed when we looked at it because we realized our facial expressions, mannerisms, and standing are the same. We have become one of those couples that is starting to look alike...

I love this man...for a million reasons I could share and for another million that I could not...

I am so thankful that in this journey of life, I was given Tony.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A prayer for the season...

I just read the following prayer on the blog of Ms. Judy Thomas. She mentioned that it was read at their Wednesday night service... I loved the perspective that it offers. As we walk through this season with our boys we are trying to remind them (and ourselves), its about more than all the stuff. Jesus was the perfect gift, still is, the perfect gift...Oh that all hearts would receive Him this season.

"Dear God,
As I look through my gift shopping list, I hold up to you each person listed on it. Slowly, one by one, I ask that the fire of your abundant love burn within each of them. I pray that the gift I find for each person will bring joy into that life.

But, help me to keep a balance this season, Lord. Let me keep my buying in perspective, not to spend more than I need to or can afford. Let me not give in to the pressures of this world and not equate love with money spent. Let me always remember the many, many people who have so much less in material things. Help me to buy wisely, so that my choices will not burden those in other countries who are so deeply affected by this country's economy.

And finally, loving God, help me to find time in the frantic moments of each day to become centered on you. Walking through a store, riding on the bus, hurrying down a street: let each of these times be moments when I can remember your incredible love for me and rejoice in it. Amen

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wish List

For weeks Payton has been asking for a castle for Christmas...He always follows that up with, "and Benj really wants legos." We have both ready to go, already stashed in the attic.

They have now pulled a fast one and changed their mind...Payton came in today with Benjamin in tow and said, "We know what we want for Christmas." I responded with. "I know. I am so excited to see if you get a castle and legos." Payton then said, "those are great, but what we really want is a mini van." Needless to say, it won't happen...

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I beleive in prayer...I read everything I can about it. I enjoy studying it. I love talking to others about it. I love praying with my husband, with my boys, with anyone....It is the highest honor I have received on this earth...To have The King of the Universe listen to my thoughts is at times invigorating, at other times embaressing, at all times humbling. For I recognize that His ways are not my ways, His thoughts are higher than mine ... He is after all the Lord of Lords.

This week I have been working with Benjamin on articulating his thoughts..."Don't just scream son, use words to tell us what you need." "Benjamin, you can't just throw yourself on the floor and expect us to know what you want, you must talk to us." Sometimes Benjamin is able to pull himself out of an emotional nosedive and articulate his thoughts....other times he is removed to his bedroom until he gains some self-control. In the midst of all of this my love never ebbs for Benjamin. I am crazier about him each and everyday. Sometimes the parent-child relationship mirrors the God-child relationship and even in this example I see our Heavenly Father...but at some point it breaks down quite a bit.

I am thankful that the Lord allows me to articulate my thoughts to Him. I am thankful, in the deepest sense for Him calling me to a relationship with Him...that in His goodness He calls me to partner with Him through prayer...But this week, I am thankful, to the very core of me...that he does not ask me to articulate my thoughts or pull out of an emotional nosedive before I come to Him.

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." Romans 8:26-28

My thoughts have been consumed this week with a young mother of 4 who is currently struggling for her life against leukemia. There are some battles that you hear are going on and you ache for the family, you pray for them, and go on through your day, then there are other battles that you hear of and for some reason, that cannot be explained, you find yourself thrust right into the middle of it your heart split wide open...begging the Lord with every thought, crying out on behalf of those He has bonded you to, only through the working of the Spirit. I read her husbands words, her mothers words, her siblings words as they update the world on her condition and my heart literally groans within me. Sometimes I hear myself pray and I feel like, in human terms I am doing a good job articulating my heart to my Father...other times I look like Benjamin, throwing myself down on floor, wailing, wanting so badly to get the response that I want...fighting a desperate fight for the end result that I want but can't see.

I am yearning to see a complete healing in this mother's life...and I know that some people will say, that is what death is for a Christian, complete healing. On some levels I know that, in other ways I don't want to. So I continue to beg, to plead, to wrestle in prayer. Knowing that regardless the outcome- He is God.

and Heart groans even as I type that...Be magnified Lord through an earthly healing...Extend her life as you did for Hezekiah...We wait for you alone.

***Please read comment #3 and please keep this precious family in your prayers.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Holiday Mix

1. What an absolute blast the holidays are! Payton and Benjamin both are so excited about Christmas, so thrilled to see Christmas lights, so animated about our tree, their stockings, etc...having kids is so much fun!

2. We had the best Thanksgiving ever. We loved being with Tony's family in Tyler and then having an extended time with my family at the Ranch. We were with family, away from our house, for 2 weeks straight. I told someone yesterday, when you can be with family for 2 weeks straight and still cry when you leave...I know it is a gift from the. Lord.

3. The other day we got home late and I was in charge of getting Payton in his pajamas. I put him in a Buzz Light year pajama shirt and some Spiderman bottoms assuming it did not matter because he had already been asleep, I was tired, etc...I prayed with him and left. He called me back into his room later and said, "Am I just supposed to lay here knowing my pajamas don't match?"

4. On Saturday Benjamin was talking nonstop about a hot air balloon. On the way to dinner Tony said, "Benjamin did you see a hot air balloon somewhere?" Benjamin said, "Yes" Tony said, "Who was in it?" Benjamin said very matter of factly. "It was Jesus." To which Payton said, "No Benj, it was God." They began to argue over who it was, God or Jesus. Tony interupted and said, "It's ok boys, for now, I want you to know theres a new family rule. If you see God or Jesus in a hot air balloon I want you to come get your mother or me." I think that's a good rule.

5. A lot of changes are happening at Richland Hills. It is exciting to be there. I would encourage anyone to go online at www.Rhchurch. org to listen to Rick Atchley's lessons on instrumental music. We have been told the first will be online starting Tuesday. The link/podcast/ is under "The Both/And Church".

6. Today I was watching CMT as I was on the elliptical at my gym, Brad Paisley's "When I get where I'm going" came on. By the end of the video I was crying...or sweating really hard out my eyes. Sometimes my emotions totally catch me off guard.

7. Christmas cards stress me. Last year we sent our a collage of about 60 pictures (obviously shrunken down) with the words, "Grabbed a camera, got the boys dressed...Many attempts, No success. " Everyone loved it, I am glad...because they are getting part 2 this year. Not sure when we will hit the age where we sit still and just hug each other.

8. Last week I was confronted by someone about something I had handled incorrectly. They were right...I was wrong. However, I was clueless about the wrong I had done until confronted by it. It left me thinking of how many wrongs I have commmitted and never even had an inkling about. It has left me praying anew Psalm 139:23 -24, "Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life." I am so thankful for grace.

9. I love Christams carols...many of them touch me deeply. Songs about a ransomed world, held captive...saved by a baby...God made man! He came and remains and is yet, over the next horizon...So many reasons to celebrate.

10. We got married on the 18th of this time of year has so many fun memories of showers, special time with friends and family, just being in love with Tony. I was asked earlier this year, "What has been the moment of your life when you felt most proud?" NO question...walking down to the aisle to Tony. I love him so much.