Thursday, December 30, 2010

My 2011 New Year Resolutions

1. Make more time to read the Bible and journal my thoughts. I've gotten away from journaling my thoughts on what I'm learning, and I want to keep a record of the amazing things God is doing.

2. Make more time to read books in general. And highlight in them and mull them over and write in them and share them with others. I realized that in 2010, I only read like 4 books I think. That is a record low for me. Where did the time go? Must. Be. Intentional.

3. Cook more often for my husband. I'm finally over being rebellious about cooking. I've vowed in my heart to cook him healthy and creative recipes and try to have them ready by the time he gets home from CrossFit. It feels so good to serve him in this way. I'm not fully sure why I resisted this before, but I know that now is the time to take up this duty! And the best part is, I've been enjoying it!

4. Keep our house cleaner. Instead of just accepting the messiness and being lazy, just make myself do those dreaded chores instead of whatever other task I'm filling my time with to avoid it. Just do it! I'll feel better and so will Bry. If not for myself, then for him, right?

5. This one is more for my husband (yep, guilty of honey-doing)... but, we need to finish our front bathroom! It's been under construction for a year now and I am ready for it to be usable again! So is he, promise.

6. This one is for both of us... knock out the little to-do fixes around our house and make our spare room (that's acting as a storage building) into a real spare bedroom (this will most likely require buying a storage building for the backyard)! We have lots of little "fix-its" that need to be taken care of, and instead of looking at them and crossing my eyes so it blurs and not pay attention to it, tackle the dang things and get 'er done! Again, I just know we'll feel better.

7. And another husband one that I might be able to assist with - build a fence. So our poor puppy can run free for as long as he wants without us worrying about him taking a tour of the neighborhood, getting lost, or getting hit by a car. Good, right? He'll love being able to take his time to use the bathroom and savor all the yummy scents around. And maybe he won't have to stay caged up while we're away! We'll find out if that works out or not.

8. Save money. Period.

9. Pay off all debt. We should just dig in our heels and get it over with! It's really not that much.

10. Sing more. Maybe even write a song. That's dreaming big for me.

11. Continue going to CrossFit (on average 4 times a week) (this is one resolution I kept this whole year) but also make time for other interests like Bible studies and womens gatherings and one on one time with a girl friend or maybe even some music lessons... even if that means sacrificing one night of CrossFit a week. (Bryan has approved of the whole missing CF thing for this already, don't worry.) ;)

12. Learn to sew.

13. Memorize scripture. Not just kinda know the gist of it. Memorize it!

14. I feel like there are others, but I can't think of them right now... I'll add to this list later if I remember!

May we all become better people in 2011. May we not waste any time of our short lives. May we press into God for his perfect plan for us and not squander what we are given. May we keep an eternal perspective and not an internal one. May we invest in what is lasting. May we love like we never have before. May we be fully surrendered to God.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I had never proclaimed healing over anyone before...

Until tonight.

Last Sunday a couple from England shared their testimonies about the work they've been doing there. About healing. Their stories were amazing. I left there with a fire burning inside of me to learn more about what God tells us about healing. I left there inspired, challenged, in awe that God gives us this authority to heal people.

I'd heard it many times before, been told, God heals, through the grapevine people are proclaiming healing over people and some are actually being healed. I used to think some of these people were.... Overboard? Fakers? Crazy?....

But after Sunday I knew. Something shifted in my heart. I was ready. A new chapter in my book was beginning.

Tonight I talked to my friend about healing for a pretty long while. We told each other stories, shared insights and encouragement. She and her husband have been submitted to this healing authority God has given us for a while now already. She said to me, "Yeah God is life and Satan is death!" and for some reason that penetrated me differently tonight.

Then I got a phone call from my sister in law. Again we talked about healing.

It's bedtime. Bryan is already cuddled up in bed.
Me: "You look cute."
Bryan: "I laid down and all the sudden got a bad stomach ache. Like searing pain."
(I know God is telling me to pray for him... I wanted so badly to retreat.)
(After a pause...)
Me: "Well can I pray for you?"
Bryan: "Yeah sure."
(I laid next to him in bed and put my hand on his stomach."
Me: "Is the pain here?"
Bryan: "A little higher."
(I move my hand up, take a deep breath and close my eyes.)
Me: "Lord you know what is wrong with my husband's body. Heal him. In Jesus' name. Amen."
(I look at Bryan)
Me: "Does it feel any better?"
Bryan: "Yeah."
Me: "OK you're not just saying that?"
Bryan: "No it feels a little better."
Me: "Like a 4?"
Bryan: "Like a 5."
Me: "OK so half better. Want me to pray again?"
Bryan: "Yeah."
Me: "Lord heal his stomach in Jesus' name!"
(I whisper)
Me: "How does it feel?"
Bryan: "Like a 1."
(I say loudly)
Me: "Really?"
Bryan: "Yeah and it's still getting better."

Now he is fast asleep beside me as I type. Searing pain to zero pain.

I don't share this story to brag or... However it could come off... I share this because God heals! Today! Now! Even the smallest things. He gives to us what we believe. He has given us the power and authority to heal in Jesus name!

Faith even the size of a mustard seed. But I don't want it to remain mustard seed sized.



I am amazed. So many things have taken on such new meaning. To be expectant of miracles, of God moving... That has so much more meaning to me now.

I love you Lord. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A friendship phenomenon... I've been seeing this all over Facebook and Twitter for... forever... people venting about how they've put all of this effort and love and energy and generosity into a person and that person does nothing but use and abuse them in repayment. I don't mean any disrespect or judgement to this venting person because I myself have done it many times, but we should probably realize that when we feel hurt we tend to build ourselves up to look better than we are and knock the other down to look worse than they are. So this brought me to a thought. You see, something that has been laid so heavily on my heart lately is the concept of loving the unlovable person; respecting the disrespectful person; giving to the greedy person. Learning the depth of unconditional love. No matter how your parent or sibling or child has hurt you, they're still always your family right, still always your child? No matter what dumb thing they've done, you just can't help but love them right? And you want nothing to do with the idea of ever not loving them! So my question is, that even with friends why should we love and give and respect only if we require that they love, give, and respect us in return? Why do we get so upset and threaten to drop them from our lives because of the mistakes they've made? Why do we turn to gossip, judgement, and slander against them out of our frustrations, instead of choosing to see them through the eyes of God, as works of art, in the midst of a journey where we learn, grow and improve? Why don't we sacrifice the desires of our hearts to always be treated well (regardless of what mistakes we've made, which are always so similar to the ones being made against us) and allow people to learn from the sins they commit against us. A better weapon for that fight is love anyway. It always wins - it encourages, inspires, and challenges. What would it look like to love all our family, friends and even acquaintances the way we should love? Sacrificially. You see, this makes me think of God. He loves us even when we don't love him. And that is his number one most important commandment to us - that we love him with all our hearts, minds, bodies, and strength. But do we? No. Yet, he loves us so much, he knows the number of hairs on our heads, adoringly. He knows our deepest desires and wants so badly to give them for us. He sings in joy over us. Did you know that he sings in joy over YOU? He cares so much for the sparrows... the nasty, wretched, dumb sparrows... and yet how much more does he love us, the only creation made in his own image? He loves us with a love a million times purer and stronger than we love our own children. Do you know a love stronger than that? A parent for a child? And yet, even when we completely turn our backs on God, he loves us with an intensity we can't even fathom. Many times, most especially with the people closest to us, we tend to feel justified. "But they've done xyz to me and it's just not right!" It really is OK to feel frustrated but what's not OK, is to sin as a result of it. And not loving, is sinning. So, you have a friend that is mistreating you. Turn up the dial on how well you treat them. See what happens. Don't abandon them. Don't distance yourself. Don't let the friendship fizzle out or worse, get in a fight with them over it. Get to the bottom of it. Dig in your heels. Figure out the underlying reason they are acting the way they are. Love them harder. Pray for them incessantly. Guard yourself from the wounds only you can allow them to give you. What I'm trying to say is, find your security in God, not in this human, and you will love better than you ever thought possible.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:A thought crossed my mind...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I know 4 couples that got engaged today! Congrats my friends!





Hahahahahaha!!!!!!
Bryan had to work today too so he left early in the morning. I woke up without an alarm (yes!) at 10:15 (double yes!) and worked to get Bryan's stocking ready and the house cleaned for dad and Melly to come over at 1. I turned the Christmas music up real loud and just worshipped God on this wonderful day that we celebrate Jesus' birth as I cleaned around the house.

Dad brought over Christmas blend Starbucks coffee and lots of tummy treats - breads and donuts. Melly brought peppermint cocoa and hazelnut creamers. We had hot chocolate and marshmallows and candy canes to stir with, and apple cider. We opened each others gifts.

We gave dad his picture and Thunder jacket.




Bryan gave me 2 Disney blu ray movies - Snow White and Beauty and the Beast!, a book by our pastor that I'm pretty psyched to start reading, and a necklace handmade by an African woman, all from scratch even the beads! I love it!




Here's a better look at the necklace...




I got him 2 comfy tshirts, turtles candy, an athletic power and balance bracelet, compression sleeves, and season 8 of 24 on Blu ray! Yay!







We watched Batman The Dark Knight and vegged out together





And enjoyed the yumminess too




It was a simple and relaxing Christmas day.

Now I'm waiting for Bryan to get back from the plant and we'll probably watch one of the Blu rays we gifted each other. Hehe!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010




Just running some Christmas eve errands!




I love the stocking Bryan made me this year




Sooooo many presents at mom and Jim's house




My white elephant gift




Mom and Jim got us an electric fireplace stove! Yes!!! This means our living room, which is always the coldest room in the house, will be warm! And maybe out heating bill won't be as high. Plus I always love and appreciate some pretty ambiance.




You can barely see it but I made a Christmas card string to display all the cards and pictures we got this year. I like it even though it's up there kinda wonky. I just didn't want to be all perfection picky when my gracious husband agreed to help me put it up in the middle of watching a movie. Ha!

We also got tonight. A queen down comforter from Nick and Jenni, a plastic cutting board from Mel & Logan, and we also got from mom and Jim a tool set, drill bits, slippers, a puffy red scarf, a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, a shelf with a secret hideaway compartment, and kitchen knives handed down because mom and Jim got brand new ones. Yay!

We gave Jim a large floor pillow to replace his other one that got thrown away, we gave mom a large soft throw blanket, Mel got a handmade by my friend cross that's purple and zebra print and Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy perfume, Logan got a flannel plaid button down shirt, and Nick & Jenni got a sheet set.

I'm glad everyone liked their presents! I sure love giving them! Happy Christmas eve everyone!

I'm so excited to give Bryan his little stocking stuffers tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

10 people that inspired me in 2010





(These are in no particular order.)

1. Sam Storms
Sam is our pastor at Bridgeway church. He is such an authentic person; the same person no matter what his environment. Sweater vests and all. ;) He is extremely smart and teaches Bryan and I so much. His messages are beyond inspiring! His theology is biblical and he has opened our eyes to the spiritual gifts and opened my heart more to the Holy Spirit. Our lives bear more fruit since we've been under Sam's leadership and we are so so grateful!!!

2. Curt Mayler
I probably misspelled his name but nevertheless he is the epitome of an inspiring person! He spoke at Bridgeway one Sunday while he was in town. I don't remember all of the specifics of his story, but he and his wife and children have lived in Afghanistan (or is it Iraq?) for years in ministry spreading the good news of the Gospel. He and his family, friends and mentors lives are in danger there every day (he has lost friends and offered his life in exchange for friends that were being held in jail for practicing Christianity) but still they stay and they do what God has called them to do. He isn't held back by fear, danger, ridicule, or the more luxurious and comfortable and safe life America offers for him, his wife, or his children. Amazing!

3. Sheri Yates
A beautiful woman of God whom I've had the privilege of spending some time with and learning from. Her passion to lead women to an intimate relationship with God runs so deep within her. I am grateful that she has poured into my life and helped me through a couple situations I've faced. She is a wonderful example of a godly mother and wife.

4. Cissa Newberry
My indispensable mentor and friend. She is my go-to gal for everything and I just love doing life with her. She is so selfless, unconditionally loving, forgiving and humble and I have learned so much from her. She challenges me to be better all the time and to make decisions based on God's truth. I can't say enough good things about her... All I know is I'd be so lost without her.

5. Lysa Terkeurst
A woman I've never met but feel like I know because of her blog and her ministry. Her blogs are so real and practical. On multiple occasions they've made sense out of my thoughts and feelings and have helped me to understand things about myself and others. She challenges me along with many other women to be who we are called to be. There's been so many times that I've read her blog and thought "MAN that's good!" and felt so excited about it that I forwarded it to others. I hope she never stops writing.

6. Destiny Mcloud
My sweet friend that is so much like me yet also very different. When I think back to when I prayed to God to give me "that friend" I know she is the answer to that prayer. Rarely our conversations are about anything other than God or marriage and those are two wonderful things to have on your mind, heart and lips. She is wise beyond her years because of how she chooses to yield to the Holy Spirit. I am consistently impacted by her authenticity and example!

7. Cheryl Singleton Guffey
Someone who started out in my life as an enthusiastic leader and Hope Chest volunteer that turned into a beautiful friend, encourager and bona fide example of a sold out woman of God in my life. Her words and zeal for life mean more to me than she probably knows.

8. Gianna Jessen
A symbol of hope. Someone who stands for what she believes in. A creative and shining light for God. I don't know her in person but I'd love to one day. I fell upon her existence by educating myself on abortion. You see, she has the most beautiful story. Google her. Follow her on Twitter. Search her on YouTube. She's bound to inspire you too. One of the most gorgeous souls on earth.

9. Draden, Caleb & Julia Newberry
I count them as one because the three of them together have impacted my life so greatly I can hardly articulate it. I have never felt such a bond with children. They are teaching me things I know God is fashioning me for in future motherhood. Their depth astounds me. They have wonderful parents to thank for that too. I know I wouldn't be who I am today without having known them and spent the time with them I've had the privilege of spending. No matter how old they get or how much taller than me they get, they will always be my little Newberry kiddos. They have changed me for the better, and continue to.

10. Bryan Hamell
Don't think it cliche that my husband is included in this list because he is one of the greatest challengers in my life to be better. He inspires me all the time solely with the fortitude of his God-given character and what he stands for. There is so much I could say it would be a whole 'nother blog post but my friend, I am not just biased because this man is the love of my life, because he is known for inspiring many others to.

Man, how blessed am I? Thank you Lord!

May I encourage you... Make a list of 10 people who inspired you this year!!! :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas fun

I've had a lot of pre-Christmas fun this year. Christmas is by far my favorite holiday to celebrate.



My friend Michele made me this pretty jewelry box and filled it with those yummy chocolates and a bottle of sweet pea lotion.



Lifegroup Christmas party!






This years stockings I made for my boys



Our broken but still beautiful tree with our family's presents underneath all pretty and wrapped



Judy made me this awesome blanket!



This is the gift I gave to my secret Santa girl at work. It's the same New York and Company candle I won at my Lifegroup Christmas party. Re-gifting is not wrong! I added Dove milk chocolates at least. :)



Angie gave me this.

And my secret Santa gave me a sheet of scrapbooking stickers with a breast cancer theme, a glass 4x6 picture frame, Tricology brown vanilla sugar lotion, some pen squishies, and some post its!

I love love love giving and receiving gifts. Its one of my favorite ways to express love.

We didn't do much this year which is totally OK. Our Big Cedar trip was an amazing enough gift that I don't want or expect anything more.

I'm ready for the break from work and the family time. Hope to play the game we learned with our house church with our families. Want to relax, listen to Christmas music, eat good food and drink hot drinks from mugs, read about Jesus' birth from the Bible, spend time together just loving, and enjoy.

I live for times like these. Such sweet anticipation fills my heart!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Big Cedar

Because the Newberrys are awesome and generous like that, they gifted Bryan and I a wonderful first year anniversary vacation to the gorgeous Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri! AND my amazing daddy also gifted us spending money for this trip. And let me tell you. My honest and simple hope was that it would mend my broken little bride heart of our honeymoon being less than fantastic... and the best way to sum up what happened is that it did just that, and more, than I could have hoped for. This vacation was a balm for my soul! And rest for my spirit. And it keyed into every romantic, whimsical, fantasy and dream-like desire of my heart. This place, especially at Christmastime is nothing less than magical. As soon as we drove onto the winding one-way streets of the Ozarks, I instantly started experiencing God's presence in the scenery. Driving into the resort, and feasting my eyes on the fantastic darkness of the mountains and lake and the sparkling Christmas lights adorning every building, nook and cranny around the Lodge, my spirit just sighed with anticipation of the wonder that would ensue for the coming weekend. I experienced zero stress commonly associated with travel, and what could have resided in me about boarding our puppy at a kennel for the first time, but only pure in-the-moment rest and wonder and awe at the beauty.

We went into the Registration building to check in. The woman handed us a card that said, "From Russ." You can't imagine the excitement and surprise we felt! And right there upon opening we found a gift card and note to enjoy a one hour massage for each of us. Oh GLORY!

We enter our room at the Lodge. My hope was for a fireplace. We didn't only get that. We got a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, a living room with a fireplace, back doors leading to a balcony porch with a table and chairs, a breath-taking view, a large 2-room bathroom with a shower and jacuzzi bathtub, a king size bed that was COMFORTABLE!, and TVs and DVD players in the bedroom and living room. AMAZING!

We dropped off our luggage and went straight to dinner. The Lodge offers a shuttle service. All you have to do is dial zero, tell them where you want to go and they pick you up almost instantly. We decided to go to the Worman house, which at the time we didn't know is the nicest restaurant on the grounds. It was beautiful! Live entertainment, a man singing classic jazzy bluesy songs into an old fashioned microphone, just a beautiful dining experience. Bryan got a fillet, and I got salmon. The best either of us have eaten.

We took an after dinner stroll around the grounds. Horse drawn carriage rides lit with Christmas lights sailed over the paths around the lake. We joined others warming by the two camp fires with benches around to sit on, a man with a guitar sang Christmas songs and other songs he'd written, people roasted marshmallows, drank hot cocoa, we sang Christmas carols together. Beautiful Christmas festiveness. Oh the charm of it all!

The Lodge offered a DVD rental service. So we decided to rent 'Dan in Real Life', turn on the fireplace and cuddle up on the couch. Such a good movie.

Next morning we visited the Devil's Pool Restaurant for breakfast. Yum. We gazed out the window onto the glorious view beheld us. We soaked in every moment of the lazy morning, drinking coffee, feeling the warmth. Then we decided to venture out into the brisk air and play some putt putt (Bryan makes fun of me for calling it that. He says "it's miniature golf!" Same difference right? :). Yet another amenity of the resort. It was so fun! We played through the course twice. I even got a hole in one once. The 9th hole was inside a giant fish! And oh the scenery of this place in the daytime... breathtaking! We took another stroll around the resort since now it was lit up by the winter sun. Waterfalls, a walking bridge over the most incredible lake, photo opportunities galore. Amazing beauty.

We rented another movie for an afternoon rest. 'Grown Ups'. (Some funny parts, lots of inappropriate parts. We gave it a C-.) But a good rest it was indeed.

We got a light lunch at the Truman Coffee and Cafe. Then from the table through the perfectly placed old fashioned window, we watched children gather to decorate Christmas ornaments. Oh you betcha! If you know me at all, you know I joined in on that. I decorated a little porcelain fish. With magic markers of course. :)

They had a show for the children and their parents. Someone dressed in a Christmas raccoon costume and walked around hugging the children and posing for pictures. A woman on stage sang country Christmas songs. She got the little kids on stage with her to play their own instruments along with her... tambourine, wood blocks, whistles... it was so cute! She asked them what they want for Christmas and gave winks to their parents who were taking pictures and smiling huge from the audience.

After this we met at the Carriage House Spa for our massages and they were just delightful. Soothing, calming, and the best massage I've ever had. What a wonderful gift. My body felt like a noodle after that. We went back to the Devils Pool restaurant for dinner. Bryan had a version of chicken fried steak but with a better cut of meat that I can't recall, and I had salmon again! It came with different sides this time. And it was so good!

Then we rented another movie. 'Enchanted'! We made a pallet on the living room floor and cuddled up in front of the fireplace. Bryan slept through parts of the movie, but I thought it was adorable that he'd watch such a girly kid movie with me. Of course I loved it. He admitted it was "a cute one". ;)

Just a little sidenote: we drank so much delicious coffee on our trip. And ate a lot of lavosh (which is a homemade cracker with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds on it). Delicious!!

Next morning we packed up, checked out of the resort, and attended our brunch reservation at the Worman House. It was the most glamorous brunch buffet you'll ever see! And it was delicious. And then as suddenly as our arrival came, our departure time came. So we headed on out. Leisurely though. We were in no hurry to arrive home yet. Didn't have to pick Wes up from the kennel until the next day, so we took our time. We stopped in at the Cosmic Caverns in Berryville, Arkansas and took a cave tour. That was really neat. Then a few hours later at some point, I don't remember the city, we stopped into an outdoor mall to find lunch. We ended up a PF Changs, and then went to Borders for Bryan to get some coffee. Then kept on driving. We stopped in at Whole Foods again in Tulsa (we did the same thing on our way out too) and then we went to Shawnee and met our friends Cory and Destiny for dinner. We didn't want that visit to end so we went back to their house to hang out for a while, and we got home after midnight.

After all was said and done we wouldn't have changed one thing about this vacation. The only thing Bryan says he would have liked is if it were warm enough to be able to canoe on the river and maybe if we'd been prepared to do a little outdoor hiking. But to have that, you don't get all of the Christmastime magic, so we say there's nothing that could have made our trip more perfect. Our hope is to be able to go back someday.

Maybe one of these days I'll be able to upload pictures to here for you to see of our trip. Need access to a computer with Internet that I can spend some time uploading pictures to, which I don't get very often. But if you're lucky! ;)

Thank you Lord for this amazing vacation with my hunk of a husband. We are blessed beyond belief. Beyond belief!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Where I am today...

I am 23 years old.
I've been married to Bryan for 1 year and 2 months (ish).
I work a desk job full-time.
I go to Lifegroup on Wednesdays.
I go to house church twice a month.
I go to CrossFit 4 times a week (usually).
I go to Bridgeway church on Sundays.
I've recently communicated with the worship pastor there to start singing with the worship.
I babysit 3 adorable little Newberry children pretty regularly.
I'm learning more and more how to have a soft hard and thick skin.
I'm extremely excited about my dermatologist appointment this week with high hopes my acne will be fixed by a prescription.
I am so thankful that Bryan has a job he enjoys that steadily provides for us.
I look forward to the day of children, but also don't feel ready for it.
I'm patiently waiting for the day my hair is long again.

That's it for now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful

I am so blessed, it doesn't even do it justice to list what I'm thankful for. But the main things that are tugging on my heart today are:

My growing relationship with God, my understanding of the Holy Spirit, healing, the Gospel, and who I am in Christ.

Mentorship and friendship with other Christian people.

My wonderful, loving, giving, selfless, upright, honest, determined, hard working, strong, valiant, good-looking, funny, golden-hearted husband and our evermore amazing marriage.

Quality time with family.

Our home and everything in it.

Our jobs that we know without a shadow of a doubt that God has perfectly placed us in and portioned out for us. We are right where God wants us, and that's a wonderful feeling!

Thank you Lord. I have so many things to thank you for... and I am a work in progress. Thank you for your all sufficient GRACE!

Gonna go read Ephesians now.... a great reminder of who I am in Christ! And right now, I happen to hunger for that. (Another thing to be thankful for)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope my family enjoys my green bean casserole! ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Makes me want to sing that "Let's get is started" Black Eyed Peas song...

Y'know, being over here has turned out to be a lot better than I feared it would be. (That's what I get for letting fear reign.) But really... God has done something in me. I feel STUPID {and ashamed... Lord, forgive me?} for having ever second guessed Him. Of course this transfer was from Him. Of course He has a plan behind it for me. He promises to finish everything He starts in us. In those first moments I honestly couldn't see how any good could come from this move. But now I see. I'm re-learning and learning a lot better than I did the first time I was here. I'm more dependent on God, whom I give all the credit for sustaining my mind while I do this job. And even though, no, I do not receive my personal worth from this job, it still feels good that my trainer and supervisor think I am doing well. Like I said, I don't take that as a compliment of my own ability... because I know without any doubt that it would not be this way if I hadn't chosen to depend on God to carry me. I'm telling you, I haven't let Him carry me like that in a long time. And that feels so nice. So right!

Now I'm not going to get ahead of myself and pop the cork out of the Martinelli's just yet... I know the difficulty levels are still getting layered on and I still have questions with every file I do. But I know that if I remain in my reliance on God, He will reinforce my mind to be strong only by Him, in my weakness. This job isn't easy. I never want to allow myself to take credit for my "performance" in it. I want to keep my eyes on the cross. And keep my heart from wanting to take any of the compliments for myself. They are God's. His only. I am a mushy-brained, weak-in-the-knees, shell without Him. But WITH Him, I am strong, beautiful, admirable, and joyful, because that is how He sees me! Glorious!

It's quite a great feeling... letting go of the steering wheel. Honestly letting go. Letting God take me wherever He wants to. Maybe after this, I will be more receptive if the Holy Spirit whispers something into my heart - telling me to do something I wouldn't otherwise have been receptive to actually doing. Oh dear, Lord help me. I know my flesh is going to want to take over once again. But I welcome the growth! That's what this journey is all about.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Word

"Our suffering and our comfort aren't just for us, but for others."

Wow.

Today I threw myself a pity party.

Man, God! Why do You INSIST on stretching me? Sometimes I just don't want to welcome the challenge!

I've been moved from department to department every few months at my job which I've had for over 2 years now. To settle in somewhere was my ultimate delight. But, today yet again I was told I'd be getting transferred again, and that no, I didn't have a choice. My first feeling was, "ACK! WHY! I hate this!" My second was, tears pushing at the back of my eyes. My third was, a feeling of panic. My forth was a bit of anger at my situation. I couldn't be mad at God, or myself, or my supervisors, or anyone else... because, why? There's no one with fault. I wondered, "Could God really want this for me? This awful feeling? This THING that I can't see anything good in?" Even though in my head I know I'm more of an asset to this company because I know the work of so many different departments, and I know this is their way of dealing with shifts in work load that happen every year... my heart still wouldn't accept that these changes always have to involve ME. But this is the mortgage industry for goodness sakes, so of course it's going to ebb and flow. I knew I should be grateful that I have a good resume to keep me employed, but I wasn't feeling very grateful. Oh, why does my puny little heart react in such a disdained way when the fluctuation of life, which is always changing, scoops me up? I don't think I'm immune to it, neither do I truly want to be. But today, I was afraid to face this challenge - the task ahead of me of re-learning, learning new things, being a trainee, afraid of making mistakes, and starting yet again at the bottom of the totem pole... this still seems daunting and undesirable. But what am I to do? Will I choose to fold under the pressure that really only I can allow to be put on me, or will I rise to the occasion?

After a couple hours I decided I'd rise to the occasion. It's really not that bad. There's just some broken piece of my soul that can't handle UNEXPECTED change very gracefully. And it's not EVERY change that affects me that way. This is just one of those kinds of changes that never fails to trip me up and feed my fleshly desire to throw a pity party for myself. And that's a gross thing for me to admit about myself. Growing up, you always want to imagine yourself as an adventurous, fearless person that pulls out the Mighty Sharp Sword and cuts every challenge easily through the middle. It sucks to admit that I'm not that person through and through my truest being. I'm a scared little puppy dog eyed girl shakin' in my boots at the thought of anything uncomfortable shifting in my life. Yikes!

But now, I am settled in at my new cubicle. I was able to use the duration of the work day to read over old notes, talk with my supervisor and trainer, get my stuff situated, and get acclimated to my new position at this job and in life. I start my training officially tomorrow. I don't want to be a baby. Really I don't. So when I accept that about myself, I can then be open to the WHY...

Lord, why have You set this monstrous mountain before me to climb?

- To stretch you, challenge you, set you outside your comfort zone, make you learn, keep you from getting complacent (c'mon Mindi, you know you were), and to teach you something about yourself. You're a big baby!

Ergh.

(He's allowed to be that frank with me.)

Yeah OK, I'm a big baby. So now what?

- Look. This is a small step in your future of large steps ahead. If you handle this lot I've given you well now, you will have the experience, skill, wisdom, softness and sensitivity of heart to deal with that future large step better than if you choose to reject this lesson. Let Me be strong in your weakness. I will sustain you.

Well, crud. OK, God.

So that's that. I'm here. I'm ready. I'm willing. And I've closed down the pity party.

The 2010 Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day

The 2010 Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day for the Cure began on a chilly morning with an emotional Opening Ceremony at Collin Creek Mall. We were greeted right out of the gates by the first of 11 private cheering stations at the University of Texas at Dallas. Along the route, the Richardson fire department was out cheering and taking pictures with their pink t-shirts. We passed 4 local elementary schools throughout the day with children out to cheer. Lunch was at beautiful Valley View Park and was followed by a walk along the White Rock Creek Trail before we arrived at camp, our home away from home for the weekend.

We arose early on Saturday morning after a chilly night, ready to hit the Brookhaven College jogging trail. After pit stop 1 we crossed the first of 3 pedestrian bridges, where Citibank was cheering us on. There was a huge outpouring of community support along the way - more than 21 private cheering stations. The New Balance cheerleaders greeted us at pit stop 2 along with the school mascot of DeGolyer Elementary. Lunch was hosted at the Hockaday School grounds, and students were out cheering and helping direct traffic. As we passed the last public cheering station at Valley View Mall, we strolled by a continuous mile of private cheering stations - very invigorating! Next we headed into the town of Addison and into the Komen Corral at pit stop 4. We crossed the Addison suspension bridge and were on to the final stretch. That evening, we gathered back at camp for a Candy Coburn concert.

We began our final day of walking with a warm bus ride to Ursuline Academy. Sunrise brought warmer weather in the 70s and bright skies. We enjoyed a scenic route through the gorgeous Highland Park area and another tremendous day of community support all along the route. We received many treats, stickers, bracelets, beads, water, candy and doughnuts. Lunch was at the beautiful Reverchon Park with a pink fire truck for all of us to sign and take pictures with. We exited lunch on Katy Trail and crossed into the historic West End. We passed the American Airlines Center, the JFK Memorial and Pioneer Plaza into pit stop 4 at Main Street Garden. The final miles took us through Deep Ellum and our incredible journey ended with a celebratory Closing Ceremony at Cotton Bowl Plaza with our friends and family there to greet us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

That saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Absence gets me thinking about how God made us; our hearts, our relationships, marriage, love.

After being away from Bryan for the 3Day, coming home to him was the best feeling in the world. That was the longest amount of time we'd been away from each other since we'd been married. I told him my homecoming felt comparable to the feeling of having him in my arms for the very first time. What IS that feeling?? Intense butterflies... like I'm floating in a state of love-drunkenness that I never want to escape from. I submerged myself into my husband's presence and didn't want to be anywhere else. Truly. What is any richness of life without the one you love?

This incomprehensible love is something that I'm convinced God has blessed me with. Two really have become one. Our marriage isn't perfect and that's what makes life colorful; what gives us the stories to tell of our experiences; what strengthens our love. We learn and grow together; we press into each other's chests when we can't handle anything else about life... we just want each other's presence. Sometimes I don't feel that though. Sometimes all I want to do is huddle up into a corner by myself and cry. Those are the times I know I should depend on God because He is solely whom I have to depend on. He gives us those times to nudge us to depend on Him more; closing the gap between us; deepening our relationship to make it more intimate. And that's what God also does for our marriage. He gives us each other to lean on physically when all I want is a hug from the one person in the world I couldn't bear to not have in my life. He gives me someone I trust with my whole heart to share, to listen, to help me reach a new perspective, to challenge me, and to encourage me. He gives me my husband to love me on earth the way He loves me in Heaven. Thank you God!

Sometimes we let God down and we don't love each other the way He would have us love. We have to be reminded of 1 Peter 4:8. We have to love sacrificially. I have to respect Bryan even when he isn't loving me and he has to love me even when I'm not respecting him. That's hard! God gives us this challenge. It is beautiful! It prepares us for so many things in life. It gives us wisdom for every earthy relationship with a person that God will bring us too. It gives us skill to parent. It deepens the wells of our hearts to understand others and the way God has made the world. So multifaceted. We can never fully understand everything and we shouldn't try to. But rather, take every golden nugget God sets in the path of our next step on the journey. I pray we make our decisions wisely; relying on the guidance of our Lord instead of the trickery of our own hearts, minds, and emotions. I pray we rely on God's Truth to strengthen us in battle and to give us a weapon to fight the enemy with. For our battle isn't with the world.

My husband gives me such a fullness of heart. I am grateful for this God-given gift. I pray I'll never squander it but rather water and feed it to grow into what God perfectly intends. May I die to myself so that more of God can inhabit me. Only then will this beautiful creation live.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2010 Breast Cancer 3Day

Tomorrow I leave work at noon, meet Vickie at my house, and we begin our trek to Dallas/Fort Worth. At 3:45 I'll be rehearsing opening ceremonies as I've been chosen to be the bearer of the 'My Friend' flag. Honored. After that we're meeting up with most of our team at Babe's Chicken to eat, celebrate & socialize. We will then go to our hotel, settle in, and the rest of our Okie girls -Cissa, Taunda, & Amy- will be arriving. Friday morning I will be at opening ceremonies by 5:30am, will bear the flag during the ceremony, and then we will set off to start the first mile of our 60 mile trek. By the end of the day we will have completed about 20 miles. Saturday we will walk another approximate 20 miles. Sunday we will walk until 60 miles has been reached, we'll celebrate on our victory walk, we'll close out with the triumph together of what we've just accomplished, I'll bear the flag during closing ceremonies, and we will come home.

We'll sleep in little pink tents, shower in converted semi trailers, battle blisters and fatigue, talk, laugh & pray, and celebrate the accomplishment of the $2,300 we each fundraised.

None of it would have been possible without the kind contributions of our friends and family and the work of our Team Tiara captains & leaders! So much appreciation for you all!

It's a weekend to be excited about - and I am!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

When you realize everything else will fall into place...

"Joyful are those who listen to Me, watching for Me daily at My gates, waiting for Me outside My home!" Proverbs 8:34

Think about how this applies to us and God.

Two Sundays ago during worship at church, the Holy Spirit whispered something into my heart. Something obvious and plain... something that I've heard before and thought I believed. But we don't truly know it in our hearts unless we're practicing it. And I wasn't. At least not enough. He told me that if I gave Him the time He yearns for me to give Him of my life... that all the other little things would fall into place. I'd still have time with my husband. I'd still have time to rest. I'd still have time for CrossFit, for work, for cleaning the house, for hanging out with friends, for church activities, for reading for fun, for ministry, fundraising, and even for Facebook. I'd still have time to do creative projects, make the bed, have an hour long phone call, and even cook a meal.

Why in the world should that have hit a girl who's been a Christ-follower so long, like a ton of bricks? Well, it did for one because I know how little time I give to God. How little of my heart I really allow Him to inhibit. I'm around people and read people's Facebook statuses and can just perceive how in love they truly are with God. I know I want that. But I wasn't willing to sacrifice "me". How selfish.

Do we forget this thing we call Christianity, this thing of being a Christ-follower, this thing of believing in an ever-holy God as our Father, Healer, Lover, and Friend.... do we forget that means RELATIONSHIP? Oh! How easily we do! For just as much as we wish a friend would give us a call, or make plans to spend time with us, or want our spouses to delve into our hearts and get to know, love, and appreciate our deepest inner workings and ignite passion between us... don't we realize that God wants that all the more from us? Don't we realize our eternal lives depend on that?

We MUST act in accordance with that belief. We can't let it be like a sentence in a book on the dusty shelves of our souls.

Love God. Love Him more than you desire to be loved. Everything else will fall into place.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Even though it hurts

I can train my body 4 days a week, sacrifice tons of time for events and training walks, walk 60 miles in 3 days, sleep on the ground in 30 degree weather, shower in a converted trailer, deal with blisters and a hurting body, even an injury. That's easy! What's hard is asking people for their money. That is by far the hardest part about participating in an event where you are required to fund raise -- and quite a lot at that! It's not that you don't want to fund raise, it's that you have to work for it, ask for it, put yourself out there for it. It's unnerving to ask people to give their dollar to this, to me, when there's so much need out there. There's a million worthy causes, including your own mortgage payment. And believe you me, I know what it's like to wish you had more money just to make the mortgage. Not wanting money for any fanciness or frills, but simply just to meet the bills. I know times are tough out there right now. People are cutting back, scrimping, and saving. Because of this we don't want to be more generous, but rather more safe by padding our wallets up a little bit. Nothing crazy. Just a little insurance to make certain that WE'RE gonna be ok. So when you're one of those people, and you commit to do something like raise $2,300 for breast cancer research, you realize you're gonna have to put yourself in some awkward situations. You might have to look like you're desperate. You might have to risk putting yourself out there to seem like a money-grubber. You risk annoying people, ticking them off, or even guilting them into giving. I don't want to do that to anyone. I definitely don't want to look like a jerk. But I am going to ask. That's the only way. I either get a yes or a no. It's a guarantee that it'll be a no if I never ask. Will you sacrifice one of your Starbucks trips? Maybe a couple? Will you pack a lunch instead of going out? Will you forgo that thing you want to buy maybe just until your next paycheck? Will you step out on a limb and give even if it hurts a little bit? Are you the type of person that will give even to the point of it hurting a lot? Big sacrifices, small sacrifices, no sacrifice at all... I am asking you to give. It's not easy to ask. But I must.

the3day.org/goto/fightwithmindi

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Some shocking sex statistics

These are stats compiled by a professor at the University of Virginia in Sociology:

* The average person has their first sexual experience at age 16
* Sexually active teenage girls are more likely to suffer from sexual abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, depression, and suicide
* Pregnancies are common among that group, and roughly 1/3 of the children are aborted, and of those that are born, 1/3 of them are born out of wedlock
* Pornography is a 60 billion dollar annual industry globally and 12 billion of that is spent by Americans
* That is more money than what's spent on pro baseball, basketball, or football combined
* More money is spent on porn by Americans, than the revenues of ABC, NBC, and CBS combined
* In the last 10 years, Americans have spent more money each year on porn than what's been spent on foreign aid, which means if everyone in America would quit watching porn, we'd more than double our foreign aid fund
* More than 200 porn films are made in the U.S. every week - more than one an hour
* Porn sites are 12% of all Internet sites
* Porn is 25% of all search engine requests
* Over 40% of Internet users view porn
* 20% of men admit to accessing porn at work
* 13% of women admit to accessing porn at work
* Every second $3,000 is spent on porn in America
* 28,000 Internet users are viewing porn every second in America
* 372 Internet users every second in America are typing in words looking for more porn
* 90% of children ages 8-16 have viewed porn online
* The average child sees porn for the first time at age 11 online usually inadvertently
* The #1 consumer of porn are boys ages 12-17
* A USA Today article talks about how the average 13 or 14 year old boy expects to have a naked picture of his girlfriend on his phone - these are middle schoolers
* 10% of American adults admit to being addicted to Internet porn, of these 20% are women
* While only 10% of men admit to addiction, over 70% ages 18-34 visit a porn site every month
* 55% of sex offenders and 75% of child molesters are porn addicts
* One survey says 90% of prostitutes were molested as little girls
* Another statistic said the majority of women involved in the porn industry were molested as little girls
* A prostitute said, "Incest is boot camp for prostitution."
* An article in the Washington Post Sept. 16, 2005 Headline: Half of All Teens Have Had Oral Sex, says:
* Slightly more than half of American teens ages 15-19 have engaged in oral sex reporting similar levels of experience according to the most comprehensive national survey of sexual behaviors ever released by the Federal government
* The proportion increases with age to about 70% of 18 and 19 year olds
* Slightly more girls than boys have intercourse before age 20
* The proportion of high school girls that have one night stands as well as nonromantic sexual relationships equals boys
* Many young people from upper middle class white families simply do not consider oral sex to be as significant as their parents' generation does
* Between 1978 and 2008 cohabitaters in the U.S. are 1 million to 5 million couples
* Over 90% of Americans marry
* 40% of marriages end in divorce
* 60% of divorces include children
* 1/3 of all births are to single women
* 1/4 of unmarried women ages 25-39 are presently cohabitating
* Half of all women cohabitate at some point
* 1/2 of marriages are preceeded by cohabitation
* The most likely person to cohabitate is between ages 20-24
* Those that cohabitate then marry are more likely to divorce and are 3 times more likely to be depressed
* Cohabitating women are twice as likely than married women to be beaten or sexually assaulted and are 9 times more likely to be murdered by their partner
* Virgins who marry are much less likely to divorce
* 37% less likely for men
* 24% less likely for women
* Virgins who marry are more likely to stay married happily and enjoy more sex
* Today husbands and wives are equally likely to commit adultery and file for divorce
* 67% of first marriages end before the 40th anniversary
* Half of all divorces happen within the first 7 years
* If the husband and wife are in the work force full-time, the wife is more likely to commit adultery than the husband
* Divorce is 2.4 times higher among couples where neither spouses attend religious services than couples where both attend religious services every week
* Those who frequently attend religious services are only about half as likely to separate
* Those who don't attend religious services are 2.5 times more likely to have been divorce than respondents who attend religious services regularly
* Couple who do not share the same religious denomination or have no religious affiliation are significantly more likely to divorce
* Couples with different religious backgrounds are more than 120% more likely to divorce
* Couples who share the same denomination are 42% more likely to be very happy than couples who do not
* Couples who are theologically conservative report greater marital happiness
* Both married men and women ages 18-55 who attend religious services regularly have happier marriages though the influence of church-going appears to be markedly stronger for married men
* The average married couple is intimate 2-3 times a week
* The average married man takes care of himself secretly 3-4 times a week

Monday, August 30, 2010

The feeling of love

Yesterday in church, the Holy Spirit spoke to me.

I am guilty of acting on the wrong definition of love. I constantly need love, and in response to that nagging need I feel inside me, I became a needy wife. Before that, a needy girlfriend (in whatever way that can manifest). I've been a needy daughter, a needy friend, a needy sister.... always feeling like I wished people would "love me better". After I read The Five Love Languages, I felt needy of that type of affection from Bryan every day every moment all the time. (And I'm not knocking that book, it just had a negative effect on me and my thought process about what love should FEEL like.) For a while there, if he wasn't loving me in the way I wanted, bitter feelings against him would rise up in me (Thanks Satan). Thoughts like: "He knows my love languages... doesn't he care?" and "Is he too lazy or distracted to pay attention?" and "If he loved me enough, his affection would be natural outpourings. So I guess he doesn't love me the way I want to be loved? Maybe he doesn't love me enough?" I made the mistakes of nagging, withdrawing, being sarcastic, being disrespectful, and even just feeling like I wanted to give up and ignore the feeling inside me for the sake of harmony in my relationships. But I knew that meant I was letting something inside me die, that was supposed to live. I just didn't have it figured it out yet.

2 months after we were married, we had to go back to our pre-marital counselor. I wanted to know why my husband wasn't being affectionate in the ways I expected him to be. He wanted to know why I was feeling like this and in turn, hurting him. We wanted to know how to fix this seemingly large looming problem already in our relationship.

The answer: My definition of love was wrong. Not the Sunday School answer, but the one really internalized in my heart.

Since that one meeting, we had been a lot better. I would try to meet with God in quiet time, pray and read my Bible because my mind knew that is what I should do. But sometimes still, I would get to feeling like I just wanted more love. I didn't know how else to describe it. Like grasping at the wind. More love. What does that even mean?

So when I was sitting in church yesterday, the Holy Spirit said to me when I was thinking about needing love, "You need Me." And I thought, "Yeah I know, but -" and He said, "No. You're not listening. You need Me." And I paused. And He sent his Word into my heart - "God is love." I stopped. God IS love. GOD IS LOVE. Something I've heard all my life. Something I KNEW to be true, but had I ever FELT it? God, You are my love!!!!

This means that when I'm sitting around feeling like I need love, what I'm really needing is God. I'm constantly desiring more love... more of God. I need love. Because I need God. God is love. Have you ever truly internalized that?

Staying in our house - how that came to be

God IS faithful.

Right when we emotionally let go of our house and felt desperate for someone to come along and want to rent it... started to consider putting it up for sale... my husband got a phone call.

A few months ago we went to a going away party for one of my good friend's husbands as he was about to ship out to military boot camp. We ended up sitting at table with her parents and chatting with them most of the time. By the end of the evening, her father had really taken a liking to my husband. So, he told him to send him his resume, but to not hold his breath because even though he wants to put his resume on the top of his stack, he has no idea when an opening will come, or if one will.

That phone call was my friend's father offering Bryan the job that we didn't ever expect to come through. Oh, we hoped. And we PRAYED! But we didn't expect it.

Bryan is in his 3rd week at the job and he loves it. He's bringing home more income, steady paychecks and the benefits are great. The schedule is great too because Bryan can still do his passion which is teach CrossFit. Once he gets through his job training he will work 10 days on and 4 days off. Now, during those 10 days he is on-call 24 hours a day but be called out shouldn't be a regular occurrence.

So we can keep our house. He'll be getting his first full paycheck tomorrow and then we'll be able to map out a budget. God is so faithful. He is so good. His timing is perfect.

Here's another part to the story. Before this new job, Bryan was working for himself doing construction and remodeling jobs. We always hoped and sometimes prayed for the next job to meet the next bill and God always provided work. However because of trial and error and some mistakes that were made, there were always set backs, stresses, and more month then money. This was the time God was saying to us - "Rely on me only. I am your Provider. Mindi, your husband is not your provider. Bryan, your work is not your provider. I am." So we kept trusting. I'm not saying we never felt like throwing childish fits over how life was going sometimes, but in the end, we knew God wanted us to trust Him - and we fought for that victory in our hearts against Satan's attacks to bring us down.

It helped too that my dad assisted us financially pretty often. I know God instilled a generous heart in him and we have been so grateful for that as us youngins that have been learning how to make money and marriage and priorities and jobs and all of it work.

Yesterday we got a call from a friend that took over one of Bryan's construction jobs, informing him that tools of Bryan's got stolen out of the house they were working on in the middle of the night. My first reaction was anger. Anger at Satan for another attack on our finances and emotions and wills. Anger at the thieves especially since that wasn't the first time tools have gotten stolen from us. Then worse than both of those, anger at our friends who were working at the site because I figured they must have left tools out in sight of passersby. But worse then all those combined, I then felt anger at my husband thinking, "Why is he letting people use his tools?" and "Why didn't he bring those home?" and "Why doesn't he take care of his stuff?" and the negative thoughts kept coming. But Bryan calmed me down ... and so did the Holy Spirit's whisperings in my soul. They assured me, "It's just things." "It's just money." "A police report is being filed, we'll try to find the receipt with the serial numbers of the tools and the thieves won't be able to pawn them." "We'll try to get them back." But nothing comforted me more then when Bryan said to me, "Baby, I'm just grateful that I don't have to rely on those tools every day anymore." It made me pause and thank God. He provided this new job just in time. He protected us from the fallout of another huge loss and inconvenience to the source of our income.

Now we are steady. We hope that we'll be able to pay all of our bills with our money and not need my dad's assistance anymore (I know he'll be happy about that too). :) God sure has been refining us. It's wonderful to get to the light at the end of the tunnel that you're trusting God has lit for you. He only lights one of our steps at a time as we carry our lamp on our journeys. I pray this is a testimony to you of God's faithfulness. And that we don't forget it when God allows another trial into our lives to test and refine us again.

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:19

I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

God is good, God is good, God is good.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The good news is...

1. We don't have to move out of our house anymore. Yay! Bryan got a new job that he's been with for 2 weeks now and it's gone really great so far. This means a steady paycheck so we will be able to budget better. We still have to play some catch up, but I think we'll be ok! Very excited about that.

2. The season when I get serious about fund raising and training for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer 3-Day is here! Cissa helped me prepare 130 letters Wednesday to be mailed to friends and family. I got my first donation today from my grandma for $10 answering a "please help!" status I wrote on Facebook. :) I am so excited to get this into full swing. We're going to talk to a couple restaurants about fundraisers, we might car hop at Sonic, Bryan and I are thinking about preparing a set list to perform some music somewhere, and we have a couple other ideas up our sleeves. I need $2,300 to be able to walk - so here goes nothin'!

Also, I did my first training walk last night. I took Wesley with me on a 6 mile trek around Edmond and it felt GREAT! My joints held up and I feel really good about it. Hooray!

Check out my personal 3-Day page!

3. The weekend is almost here!

Love y'all

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mushy-pie

I have had the hardest time concentrating at work since Lauren's been out of town. Which has been 2 days so far. She gets back Wednesday. I'll be glad when she is. You'd think that having a good friend around in your work environment would distract you, but weirdly I've found myself to be less motivated to work since she's been on vacation. Ergh. Guess she took my brain on vacation with her! Ha!
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Yesterday I posted a note to Facebook, tweeted a little thing, and sent a specific email to some friends and family about wanting us all to proclaim something awesome that God has done for us lately. I'm pretty sure over 500 people (that includes people that don't believe in God, so therefore I wouldn't expect that many responses) saw my call to action, but only a handful replied. I wasn't joking around but I think people might have read that, and thought I wasn't really talking to them. But I was! I wanted us to shine a light to people that we come in contact with via Internet and show how amazing God is. Just flood the Internet with amazing story after story. Show that He cares. Show He listens to our prayers. Show His hand is in our lives. It was a disappointing turn out to my call. And that makes me wonder why.

And after a day of thinking about it, I still don't really know. But my main suspicion is that maybe, just maybe, we don't have the relationships with God we wished we did. We don't invest the time and energy it takes to have a level of intimacy with God that would be needed to even recognize His hand in our daily lives. Maybe we're too blinded by our self-centered-ness to see His Glory in the small things. Maybe we're too bogged down with negativity and worldy-ness. Maybe we've given in. Maybe we've given up. Maybe we're dull and dried out.

Well friends, I know that I personally have felt that way for far too long. And I can't let it go on any longer. I feel a fire burning within me that I want to keep feeding. And that fire burns with embers of deep longing for more of God. More intimacy. More relationship. More of His love. More of Him and less of me.

I am praying for us. I am praying that we repent of what ever is in our lives that have been putting a wedge between us and God. I am praying that we would step up and rebuke Satan of his attacks on our hearts and well beings and potential to be the best of God's craftsmanship that we can possibly be. I pray that we will burn with desire for more of God.
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Last night I finished reading a book that a friend of a friend wrote called American Midnight. It was a great read that I had to force myself to put down. It made tears roll down my cheeks and it brewed more passion within me. It really caused me to think. Mostly about politics and people. And that's just too much to try to write about. But you should read the book. You can get it on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble and it's probably at other places too. I give it two thumbs up.
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Tomorrow morning I am going to a dear friend's wedding shower. She's not just a friend, she's a sister. A mother figure. She's someone who helped raise me and greatly, greatly influenced my life. She and her family taught me a lot of the core values that are instilled in me today. I'm extremely honored that she's asked me to come to her bridal room the day of her wedding to make sure I can see her and talk to her before the whirlwind of the day scoops her up. I am so fortunate to have had her all my life even though for a season I distanced myself from her, she always remained there, waiting for me. I wouldn't be who I am today without her. I feel so blessed to have a friendship with her again and I would hate to go on in life without her ever again. I can't wait to witness her marriage to the man she loves. It's going to be such a glorious day!

I feel like such a mushy-pie right now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Been a while...

Hi Readers (all 2 of you)... it's been a while since I've written. It's not that I haven't had anything going on in life to write about... it's not that I've been too busy to write (unless you consider the fact that I haven't had internet at home in while)... it's really been mostly that I haven't known how to formulate my thoughts onto a public forum. There's been certain topics I would have loved to write entries about but they're either inappropriate to write about here or they're too complex for me to begin chipping away at. This has been my brain lately. Kind of messy and erratic but not in a bad way. I count it all as a bit of character building that I haven't wanted to write about certain things... maybe maturing a bit.

You probably do want an update to read though. I'm sick of looking at my bland outdated page too. So here you go.

My acne? -- oh, it's still there. But it's coming and going in waves with my hormones depending on where we are in the month. I'm at peace with that. Couple weeks I have fairly clear skin, one week is awfully broken out, and the next week is spent healing. That's ok. And why? Because I'm doing all I can to take care of myself. My sweet friend Carolyn and sweet sister Kelly gifted me with a facial and face washes and face lotion - all not cheap - in order to take care of me. And I am so utterly grateful for it. I have noticed a big difference in what it's doing for my skin. The best part though? My husband doesn't even notice my break outs until I point them out (oh, silly me). Because he looks at my eyes and sees my heart when he looks at me. That's the best feeling any girl could ever ask for. Sincerity of my beauty in the eyes of my Biggest Beholder no matter what.

Trip to CA? -- Amazing! We visited Redlands, LA, Hollywood Blvd., Venice Beach, Newport Beach, Carlsbad, Long Beach, Six Flags... We slept at the generous Heppenstalls' house, Fik's house, Tidwell's house, and Massive Matt's house. We shopped, ate, shopped and ate some more. I ate way too much vegan food that gloriously messed with my belly. We had good conversation and even better laughs. I got to see inside High Voltage - the tattoo studio on the show LA Ink. (Thanks for humoring me guys.) We got to hang out with friends and family! We hiked up Forest Falls. We got to eat In-n-Out Burger twice and tofu mushroom burgers from Taco Loco. I got to babysit my baby nephew Koston for a while and he couldn't have been sweeter. We went to the Redlands CDR CrossFit twice and worked out. Bryan and Carolyn attended their CrossFit Cert and loved it. Alex and I got good hang out and convo time while they were out gettin' edu-ma-cated. I got to hug a lot of my favorite people. I got to sit in California traffic and watch my husband switch from Grandpa Okie driver to Aggressive California driver. We got to relax but we also ran around a lot to try to get everything in that we wanted to do in one short week. The travel was pretty easy, and the plane rides were short. Our puppy Wesley was well taken care of by friends and family - namely James who house-sat and dog-sat for us most of the time and even cleaned our kitchen while we were gone (good friend). I'm sure I'm forgetting some amazingness, but you get this gist - it was everything we were hoping for and more.

I'm out for now. Maybe more later. <3

Friday, July 9, 2010

Aaaaand the deal just got sweeter!

Alright potential renters of our cute little Edmond home...

Not only are you getting the chance to live in this sweet little house, but you're getting the chance to use our furnishings to (for no extra $)!

Here's what you get...

A large comfy couch that goes with any decor!


A pretty computer desk! (We also have a 2nd smaller computer desk)


A spacious dresser!


A comfy chair that rocks and swivels!


A sweet entertainment center/storage/bookshelves unit!


These two comfy chairs!


This dining set! (Includes two insert-able leaves)


This queen size headboard unit with built-in storage and lighting (frame, box spring, and mattress NOT INCLUDED)!


And a TV!

Now, isn't that SWEET? We realize that college students especially would probably have a hard time furnishing a home, so we thought we'd help out. Spread the word my friends and help us get our house rented!

Check out this listing on Craigslist!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BIG NEWS!

Alright everyone... here's the BIG NEWS!!!

After much prayer, pondering and seeking counsel, Bryan and I have decided to rent our house out. When/if it rents, we will move in with my dad until we get all our debt paid off and a solid amount in savings. This is awesome but it will be hard!

If you'd like to, please pray for us.

House details: 3 bedroom, 2 full bath, 1400 square feet. Within walking distance of the University of Central Oklahoma, and the heart of downtown Edmond. If you are interested, let me know and I will give you more details!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4th, 2010

How we spent our day: Bryan, daddy and I visited Bridgeway Church this morning at 10:30am (their only service). It was a great church, we really enjoyed it. We're going back next Sunday and it just may become our new home church.

After that, daddy treated Bryan and I to brunch at Mimi's Cafe. mmmm!

Then Bry and I went home and relaxed together, cleaned the house a bit, and waited for dad, Mel, and Judy to arrive at 5:30!

Bry and Mel cooked us t-bone steaks and Judy brought over homemade potato salad. We also had brown sugar and maple cured beans, grilled corn, watermelon, and cantaloupe. mmm-mmm!

After we cleaned up dinner, we played Apples to Apples! It was everyone but Mel's first time to play (she's played with her friends every day for the past 5 days!). Dad won the first round, I won the second, and it was such a blast! I could play that game aaaaaaaall night!

Then we got on our way to the fireworks show at UCO. It's really fun that Bryan and I live only a short walking distance away. We packed a tarp to sit on and brought umbrellas just in case it started to rain again. Well! The show was great, but between the humidity and lack of a breeze, it was the least enjoyable show to watch that any of us had experienced! We got showered in ashes the entire time so we opened our umbrellas just to shield ourselves! People kept getting ash in their eyes! And the smoke was so thick in the sky, that especially during the finale, you couldn't even see the fireworks! But, nevertheless, it was still fun!

Today we celebrated our thankfulness for FREEDOM; in our great nation and in CHRIST!




Zitties Day 13



Not gonna lie ya'll, been having trouble lately. Just zitty after zitty popping up on my chin. Once one is almost healed another one or two show up. It's not fun. Maybe I really should start praying for healing. Some may think that's a ridiculous thing to pray for healing over, but God cares. I believe that.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Zitties Day 12 (skipped day 11)



The best part about all of this is I'm learning how to feel pretty despite break outs. Who cares if you've got a red zit on your face? Who cares if you have 20? People who love you see your eyes, your heart, your soul - and think you're beautiful anyway.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My friend Krystal wrote this

And with her permission, I am posting it, because I think it's beautiful.

when you come
and say its soon
i care not
if there be trumpeters
clouds to sway you down
angels dancing all around
spare me that cosmic folklore
just say
i wont be anxious anymore.
and when we go
(i can be ready tomorrow)
i have no use
for a mansion with many views
a house with infinite rooms
opal gates and crystal streets
save those treasures for the poor
as for me?
i just dont wanna be anxious no more.
i would sit at your feet
be it rocking chair or throne
i would bow my head
for halos or thorns
heaven or scorn
i'm along for the ride
not for the claim of some jeweled countryside
but for that promise of peace
you bought with your blood and all your pride
and that big gash in your side
dont buy me fancy things
your finest gift
your most vivid colors
are splashed across history
and dripping in the baptistery
and crawling along every horizon at dawn
there's no need to bribe or pawn
i'm sold and bought and won
just take these worries off my heart
my mind is soaked in troubles
my lord
sometimes
i'm simply terrified
of nothing
and what nothing means
and what anything is for
just say
i wont be anxious anymore
just swear
we wont have to care
up there

Zitties Day 10



You can see my zitties pretty good in this shot! Real me everyone! :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Zitties day 8 (skipped day 7)



These pictures don't capture what's really going on. Currently I have two ginormous zitties brewing beneath the surface of the skin on my chinny-chin-chin. But I'm staying positive that toxins and what-nots are coming out of my skin and soon it should all balance out and heal up.

But cha'know, my birthday is in a week and I'd love a facial! ;)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Zitties Day 6



Break out City!

But it's all good. What I'm doing is working.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Zitties Day 5




Left cheek. Womp womp. ;)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Zitties Day 4 (skipped day 3)




It's gotten better the past 2 days! Wednesday Cissa and I went to Walmart together and we decided to check out face washes. My sis Melody has told me before that I need to figure out if medicines with salicylic acid or benzoil peroxide work better on my skin. So Cissa and I started reading all the labels.

These are the face washes that I've tried in the past few months:



These are the moisturizers I've tried:




And I used this toner on and off but I don't think I was using it right because I was getting really dried out (and I have oily skin):



So Cissa and I took all of that into account, and decided on this for me:



I'm switching between using it once a day and twice a day in order to get the maximum benefits and not over dry. I'm also not using any moisturizer right now because it's so hot and humid and my skin is oily. It's been working so far!!!

I'll keep you updated. I know you're on the edge of your seat. ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Zitties Day 2

Well....



A few hours after I took this picture, a big one popped up all gross-like. It'll probably get worse before it gets better and that's ok. I felt better today going make-up-less actually than yesterday despite the embarrassing awful pimple. But cha'know.

In other news: Today I read Colossians and chapter 18 in the Psalms. So good! I felt my heart realigning and it was like coming home. I think I've been PMSing the past 2 days. Emotions going sort of crazy. Overly sensitive and over-analyzing things etc. But you know what - God's bigger than my emotions, and He makes a way for me. Whether it's PMS, zitties, or going too long without making time for Him it doesn't matter... He takes me back into his arms every single time I seek Him.