Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11/01

Do you remember where you were? Do you remember how you felt on the morning of 9/11/01? I can tell you exactly where I was. I can tell you how I sat and watched in disbelief and shock as it all unfolded on TV. To say that it was hard to fathom doesn't even come close to how I felt. I could go into all of the details of that morning, but I know that you all have your own stories and those are as memorable to you as mine is to me.
One thing I will mention about that morning is that it was the very first day of a new Beth Moore Bible study that was being held at my house. The.First.Day. Want to guess which one?! Ok, I'll tell you...the study was "Jesus the One and Only"!! How totally amazing was it that at that horrible moment in time for our country God had already ordained that me and about 5 other women would be meeting together that morning and begin our intimate study of Jesus Christ! I just now went and found my workbook for that study and sure enough, at the top of the introductory session I have the date 9/11/01. (I always d
ate the video sections for some reason) I tried to glance over that page to see if there was any profound piece of wisdom that could apply to that morning. Take it for what it's worth, but that first video session was about God putting his people in a state of "fasting", however it wasn't a fast from food, but a fast from hearing God!! I think that on the morning of 9/11/01, God wasn't putting us on a fast from hearing Him, rather He was screaming trying to get the attention of His people to turn back to Him.Which a lot did.For a while. I don't want to get into any philosophical debates on what God or doesnt allow. It doesn't matter. What matters is that in any and all situations, good or bad, HE is there and He will watch over us through it all. So, no I don't think that it was coincidence that our study of the life of Jesus started on 9/11/01. I think it was perfectly ordained :)
Ok, so now to the not-so-depressing part of my post today. I.Love.NYC. period. There is just something about it that absolutely has captured part of my heart! My first trip was in 2004 when I went w/my sister-in-law, Kayrene. I was excited to go but had no idea that it was the beginning of a life-long love of NYC! I'm pretty sure that the moment I set my foot on the pavement in Times Square a shaft of light shone down and time stood still for a second. I felt like I was "home"...weird, I know.

So that's how it happened. One trip.4 days.Forever in my heart. (not in a Christ sort of "in my heart" way) Our family of four was able to go back in 2007 to take Alix for her 13th birthday and I'm pretty sure the same thing happened to her because she is about obsessed w/it as I am!...well, maybe not quite as much, but still... :)

I'm including a few of my fav pics from both trips. I have a bunch and will show them to anyone who wants to see them and hear me tell about each and every little detail with so much giddiness in my voice that you wonder if I had too much coffee to drink!

So my question to myself is this: why am I not like this with my relationship w/God? He is sooo much greater than a city or a feeling. He is God. He is Creator.He is...I AM. Yet I don't know if I talk about Him and how HE changed my life like I do NYC. And have I passed my love and excitement for Christ, and Heaven, and eternity on to my daughters? It's heartbreaking if I haven't because THAT is what matters. And the good thing is that God is preparing a mansion for me in Heaven, since I am a child of His, that will be far more beautiful than a brownstone in Manhattan. I think I'll wait for that mansion! (however, if anyone has a brownstone they'd let me buy..I mean, stay in...I won't turn it down!!)
What is your NYC? What gets you giddy and excited to share to anyone who will listen?

Thursday, July 30, 2009


July 31, 2009

Whew! Where has this summer gone?! My last blog post said that I hadn't forgotten about my blog and I haven't...I just haven't had time to post anything! It's been a fun summer and the thought of school starting in a few weeks is unbelievable! I'll try to highlight a couple of things, that way I will still have some other things to blog about!!


This was our second consecutive summer at Pine Cove, The Bluffs, and we had a great time as usual! It was our fourth time to go but we took a few years off before returning again last summer. The girls met up immediately w/friends from last year and found out who their counselors for the week would be. There is such a bond that forms between the counselors and students that is incredible! And the fact that these young college students love and serve God w/their whole heart and life is amazing. We LOVE our Pine Cove counselors each and every time we go! Overall it was a good week for us all. The theme was "Chasing What Matters"...a remarkable theme and one that hit home w/me...all of us, I think. What do we really chase after? Will it matter in eternity? We were challenged to take the thought home with us and make it part of everything we do and say...Chase What Matters.
Right after Pine Cove, Mike and I went back to Evansville, IN for our 25th high school reunion. That will be a whole other blog in itself ;-)

A tough decision was made by Alix a couple of nights ago. She has decided not to pursue her volleyball career anymore. After talking w/me and Mike, many tears and a lot of prayer, she felt that there were other things more related to what she wants to do after high school, that would be better for her to use her time doing. She loves volleyball, but clubs, councils, etc, would give her more flexibility to do things that will ultimately look good on a college application in fashion design. We're proud of her for the prayer and thought she put into the decision and know it wasn't easy for her, but she will walk confidently forward in that choice and thrive in the things that she loves to do :)

Shelby is already back in color guard practice, tryouts, etc and it's giving her a good workout!! She should find out tomorrow if she made the sabre line or the rifle line, either of which is a good thing. It's hard to believe that this is her senior year of high school. Where have the last 12 years gone?! I am praying that this year is memorable in a positive way and that she will see God's hand at work in her decisions, activities, friends, etc. Wow...I remember being a senior like it was yesterday and it's fun, scary, exciting, scary, freeing and scary all rolled into one! Say a prayer for her when you think about it that God would saturate her life and her heart and her mind.

That's all I'll do for now. It's getting late, I'm tired and I need to keep some info for another post soon!

Hope you are all doing well!! Let me know how things are going in your neck of the woods!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I just have had other things taking the time that I would normally use for my blog! We've gone on some college road trips to look at campuses w/Shelby.  That's been very interesting and eye opening!  Things (costs) have sure changed since we were in college!  

This week I took Alix to a spine specialist to have him check out why she continues to have her back pain.  As expected, it's hard to pinpoint the root cause of most back issues (really?I never would have known that!) but his thoughts are that it could be something called "spondylolysis" can google it for a good explanation. Long story short, 6-8 weeks or more of PT 2x/wk and rest it through the summer.  She wants to be in top shape for high school volleyball that will start in July so keep her in your prayers that she will rest it enough to have a great year in volleyball!

Mike has run in another 10k at the Fort Worth Zoo since the last time I blogged. 

We went to IGNITE last weekend as a family. It was an outdoor "festival" w/Christian music artists and speakers. However, it poured down rain and even had some tough thunderstorms throughout the day so the performances were choppy and some didn't even get to perform!  We were able to see Flyleaf (the girls LOVED them and got to meet the girl singer back stage), Kirk Cameron (Fireproof), David Crowder Band, Francis Chan (Crazy Love)...Chris Tomlin played at the end, but we left due to rain and lightening.  We also got to hear a small talk from Zach Hunter (Loose Change to Loose Chains).  All in all it was a fun day, despite the rain and mandatory evacuations!

There are numerous other activities going on, but if I were to list them all out, you'd get bored rather quickly! Suffice it to say that we keep very busy on a continual basis, as do all of you, I'm sure!!

I have some other things on my mind to "blog" about and will do it again soon.  Once again it's having to do w/things I wrestle with in my mind and just have to get them out and see if anyone can guide me through my insanity!!
Better close for now.  I have a lunch date w/my man in a little while :)

Later dudes!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I have to admit that I'm struggling this year with how to remind our girls of the huge significance that the Easter holiday is in the life of a Christ follower.  Being teenagers surrounded by the bunnies and chocolate (and my contribution to the matter!), I'm not quite sure they grasp the incredible love story that unfolded that Good Friday and Easter morning.  Yes, they know the story, and yes they've seen clips of The Passion, but how do you help it be real in their lives?  I fear they expect the Easter basket full of candy and even an Easter gift but why?  What is the significance in all of that?  Yes, we definitely have included gifts in their baskets each year but traditionally, they are of christian influence.  A devotion book, a new Bible...things along those lines.  But we can only buy them so many Bibles and devotion books seem to get lost in the dark corners of their bedrooms and all that's left is all of the chocolate and candy and eggs.  I'm not opposed to the candy...I actually like the candy (until I can't button my jeans!) but that's what I shop the most for and the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Easter baskets.  I'm embarrassed and tend to feel a little like Peter denying Christ, all for the sake of a bunny and chocolate. 
I had Mike get our Easter "decorations" down from the a
ttic over the weekend. Sadly, all that's in there are plastic eggs, baskets and some bunny decorations.  I think I'll get rid of all the decorations because the one thing in there that matters the most is a wooden cross that Shelby made years ago with her own tool kit :)  She couldn't have been very old..under 10 for sure.  But she wanted to do something for Easter so she got two pieces of wood, 2 nails and a crayon and
made this cross.  She wrote on it "he is not here for he is rissun". 

 She had a desire to do that...she wanted to make something of significance in remembrance of Christ. I can't begin to tell you how much that cross means to me, let alone how much the cross means to me.  Unfortunately I feel that over the years that they've grown I have taken for granted that "the church" will remind them of the significance of Easter, as if I too have outgrown talking about it with them.  So as I type this, it's becoming clear what needs to be done.  Whether they think it's silly or ridiculous, I truly think we need to sit down and discuss the Easter story.  Not a big long dissertation, but what it means to each of them, to me & Mike, and how important this event is in the life of a christian.  I can't go another Easter season assuming that they remember Christ's dying and resurrection on their own.  How will it ever become meaningful in their life if it's not spoken of meaningfully in my own life?
The Bible study that I'm currently going through has me thinking of all sorts of things and I'm trying to go through it all w/o making it a facebook status or a blog entry because I could easily do that! But this is something for me to deal with and sort through and I guess this Easter issue is one thing that needs handled a little differently.  By the way, the study I'm doing is called "One Month to Live" by Kerry & Chris Shook.  How would I live my life differently if I knew there was only month left to live?  How do I know that I don't have but one month to live?  And what do I want to truly make sure that my girls and my husband know and remember about me?  Heavy stuff, but it's causing a lot of discussion w/God and a lot of looking at myself so hopefully you will be able to see that I'm trying to change some things and make how I live my life actually worth the dash that is between my birth and death day...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm trying out a new app. Let's see if it works!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Hey everyone!  I wanted to post a little blog about a very important tour getting ready to start tomorrow, Tuesday.  The pastors of our church, Trevor DeVage & Jeremy Peterson, are leaving on a 5 city tour spanning about a week.  You can read about it here and I ask that you do read it:
They have such a heart for homeless people that it has turned into a full blown ministry for them.  In Trevor's message yesterday morning he shared a story of an event that occurred last week.  He didn't share it to bring attention to himself by any means yet to show how by giving of yourself you show others how to give by following by example.  There is a joy that comes from going beyond yourself and giving to those who have absolutely nothing.  Trevor & Jeremy will be taking Kyle along w/them on this tour.  Kyle is a homeless man whom Trevor & Jeremy have been ministering to and trying to help get off of the streets.  He is the reason and inspiration for this whole tour.  All proceeds of the tour are going to help Kyle start a new life off of the streets.  God has blessed the group and the tour has been completely covered by personal contributions, etc., so you know God is pleased that they are being His hands & feet and spreading God's love and truth.  
There's so much I could write about this and how it's bringing conviction into my life.  Not guilt, but conviction.  Do I have a heart or even a desire to give beyond myself or am I living selfishly in fear and ignorance?  I don't consider myself selfish, but I also don't step out of my comfort zone very often to reach out to those who may not know Christ.  Unless, of course, those that don't know him live w/in Trophy Club and have a home, 2 cars, 2 kids, a dog and are nice to me...otherwise, no, I don't reach out to love the ones that society deems as unlovable.  Ugh...why am I like that?  I truly think it's from fear and also from not even knowing how to reach out and love!  Some of you may have read my last post about my having walls around my life so you can see how this could be hard for me!  Ok, so it's not about me and that's not what this blog post is about...!
I hope that you will first of all, remember to pray for Trevor & Jeremy and their entourage as they travel over the next week, for their safety and for God's Word and message to be fresh and accepted to those who will be attending the shows.  Also pray for the safety and well-being of their families who will be here carrying on with family responsibilities that couldn't be taken on the road at this time.  I also ask that you please go and read about the story behind the tour.  I pray that it touches you as it has touched me and that we will seek God for direction on how to be His hands and feet and how to live beyond ourselves.
Blessings ya'll!!
P.S. If you twitter, you can follow them at or you can see them on facebook at or you can read Trevor's blog at or lastly, you can read Jeremy's blog at:

Monday, March 2, 2009


We had the privilege of watching along with all of America, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, a couple of weeks ago. The show was excellent, although I may be biased because our family and the Augustin family are friends. Amber & I are BFF's (wink, wink, Amber!) Amber took some incredible pics of Shelby a few summers ago and during that time she and I kind of struck up a friendship. Mike attended some men's meetings at our previous church, which enabled him to become friends with Peter. We were aware of Amber's amazing ministry and had seen pics of the precious babies that she had photographed through the years, but had no idea the depth of that ministry. I'll occasionally still hear from her asking for prayer for a family that she has just gone to see at the hospital It continues to move her (and me) to a point of grief and a sense of necessity to bathe the family in matter the outcome. However, after watching the show last night it gave me a whole new appreciation for Amber's ministry & talent. She sacrifices her own personal family time to capture moments for other hurting families. Yet her family is then there for her when she comes home to share her load of heaviness with her. So many lives have been touched and I'm sure will continue to be touched since the airing of their story on EMHE.
One thing Amber said during the show that touched me to the core of my being in regards to taking pictures was this: "What would I want to remember about my baby? his toes, his feet, his shoulders-all of those things that you wish you could have seen more of but were so wrapped up in those precious moments to remember exactly what he looked like." Wow! Features we take for granted when we have "healthy" babies! Not that we really take them for granted but I don't think it's something we hold dear. I'm thankful for Amber, and others like her, who have the gift of taking these precious pictures because it is much more necessary than any of us realize.
After watching the show on Sunday, Monday my head and my heart was heavy and I wanted to hear what God was trying to say to me. The story really struck a chord with me and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I know that there is still a lot He has to show me, but so far, this is what I think I've heard and I wanted to share it with you all.

In my "previous life", before choosing to stay home with our girls after they were born, I was a nurse-an RN and I worked in Pediatric Intensive Care and also in a newborn nursery. Those days all hold special memories for me and I wouldn't trade one of them. However, there were some really, really rough times that I would be working when a child/baby did not make it. I can't begin to tell you how hard that is, not only to watch a child's life come to an end but to have to watch parents world come crumbling apart. There were several times I remember going into work at the ICU and hearing the wailing of parents who had just heard the news about their child. It was heart-breaking. As a nurse in the unit it was our responsibility to get the child "ready" for the parents to come in for one last time. We would remove all tubes and machines and clean them up, dress them in "real clothes" and put a stuffed animal or something with them to make them look at peace. Again, I can't begin to tell you the difficulty in doing that but also in the fact that after that was all done the parents would go home empty-handed. We nurses had to continue working, though. No time to grieve, no time to gather our thoughts and express our emotions, but get a new assignment and keep working. It may sound harsh to some, but when you are surrounded by sick kids, you've got to keep taking care of them. It didn't have often but it happened more than I care to remember, however, I DO remember. One incidence in particular that runs through my memory every once in a while is one in which I worked in the newborn nursery. Most deliveries are routine with minimal complications and then some babies are born requiring a little more care, yet others are born very sick and need immediate, critical care. However, there are a very few families who came to the hospital knowing that their child would be born with very little time to live if any time at all. Those were the hard ones. Those are the ones that people like Amber have the opportunity to go in and capture their precious moments with photographs. But one of my toughest memories is of a little "friend" that my nurse friends and I got to love and care for until it passed away simply because the family rejected it knowing it was going to die. We were mortified that anyone could be that way with their child, even though we all knew it would not live beyond an hour or so! But how could we pass judgement on parents who started grieving even before the birth of their child? We didn't know what all they'd dealt with getting them to this point of hurt. So after the delivery we took little one to a back room and took turns holding it and loving it so it would know that it was loved unconditionally during its brief time on earth. It's life ended quickly...maybe an hour at the most. But the hour that I was there w/my fellow nurses loving on that baby is one hour in my life that I will never forget. So to think that there are parents who have to go through this and choose to have it documented in photographs, humbles my heart to the point of awe and gratitude for them being unselfish in their own love and hurt to make a "big deal" out of a small life. (I chose to call little one "it" for confidentiality, not out of rudeness)

A lot of those memories have sort of led me to a place in which I place walls around my heart and life. I don't make friends easily. It hurts too much when they aren't in your life anymore. Being a nurse, I learned all too well how to stuff my emotions inside and keep on going, not taking time to grieve loss. So as I step back and observe the big picture of my life, I realize that I'm no different than those parents who chose not to get to know their baby and turned their backs on it before its life ever started. I don't open up to people because I know it's going to take a lot of emotion on my part and yes, it may not last long and I may lose their friendship as our paths in life change courses so I'm not going to even open my heart a little. How selfish of me and how stupid! I've missed out on so much over way too many years!

So after all of that I think I've realized that I need to be doing something to help. Something to help heal the hurt of those losses I walked through as a nurse, even though they've been years ago. That's one reason I decided to share this blog w/you. When Mike & I first moved to TX I miscarried our first baby. It was very, very hard and very lonely emotionally. The hospital where I worked and where I lost the baby had a "grief" program for parents who lost babies. While I worked there I was able to help a lot of women who were grieving over their own miscarriages and it helped me move past my grief because I was getting beyond myself. My prayer now is that I can find something like that to do again. I would love to help in an organization like Amber is a part of, even if it's just stuffing envelopes or holding equipment or getting coffee for someone in the middle of the night. I want to do something to make a difference and not for any glory or honor on my part but in honor and memory of the families of the kids that I helped care for in the intensive care; and all of those parents who lost babies and I was able to pray with them at the hospital or when I just sat in a room holding their hand to help make their loss even minutely tolerable.

So I'm asking that you join me in prayer to help me find what it is that God wants me to do and to be obedient to that calling. Pray for Amber and the Augustin family that their work and devotion will be rewarded in heaven-where it counts the most! And most of all pray for all of the families whose lives are forever changed because of a moment in time with their forever child.
Thanks for reading and for not giving up on being my friend even when I'm not friendly :)