So, I'm going to be real honest here. It's hard to go to Prayer Meeting on Wednesday nights. I have to make a conscious effort to get there. After I'm there about 5 minutes, I feel totally glad that I chose to go and I always walk away feeling refreshed, encouraged, and strengthened, knowing I was in God's presence.
There are 2 reasons why going is hard. #1) When I make it home, it's hard to get back out. #2) This is the biggie: there is a time in the service when you gather with others around you and pray together. This makes me so nervous and insecure. Nervous because I don't want to sound like an idiot when praying in front of others and insecure because what will they think about my prayer requests? I've always felt that praying with others is a very intimate thing. It's very up-close and personal and I'm just not that way with total strangers.
Usually joining with total strangers isn't an issue because we all just pray as a family, but tonight it was just mom and dad and me, so we joined and had prayer with two sweet ladies behind us. My Dad said something while praying tonight that really stuck with me. He thanked God for the opportunity to pray with other brothers and sisters in Christ. The Lord reminded me that I didn't need to be nervous or insecure about prayer. He also reminded me that these people aren't total strangers. They are my family. After all, we've all been adopted by Jesus.
This intimate prayer time with strangers was the thing I enjoyed most tonight. One of the ladies was real enough to say that she was praying for a Godly man after being divorced for several years. Thank you, Lord, for showing me that it's ok to tell others that's what you're praying for!
This topic of praying has left me to think about all the opportunities I've missed to pray with those I love and care for. I can remember moments when friends/family have shared something with me and I knew I should pray with them right them. I wanted to pray with them, but I was too worried what they'd think. Too worried I wouldn't pray the right way. How ridiculous is that! This is something I’m going to be working on.
Garrett said all he wanted for his birthday was a bonfire, so Mom and Dad gathered up a brush pile. The plan was for Sunday at 4:00. After raining all weekend, it didn't look like it was going to happen, but we joined together and prayed that God would hold the rain on Sunday afternoon. He did and it was perfect weather for a bonfire!
Garrett and Ethan had fun adding limbs to the brush pile.
Jacob and Kelby enjoying a hot dog.
These kids love their grandma!
Abby and Ella - a pair of screamers!
Grana, Bob, Hanna, Kenley, Grandma, Papa, and Mom
Here's Dad keeping the fire going.
Me and Tonya
Matt and Chase - Chase would catch the end of a stick on fire and then carry it around like a gun. He was an accident waiting to happen.
Michelle and Tina
See what I mean? This picture just shows the way Chase was playing around. He ended up burning a hole in his shirt.
Some of the little girls wanted to see the horses. Stormy loves visitors, so he was eager to please! He's so good. He stood like a perfect gentleman while they climbed on.
Chase turned 13 on April 20th and Garrett turned 9 today! Boys, I hope you read this and know how much you are loved!
Chase, I have so much fun with you. You tease and joke with me, constantly keeping me on my toes. Thank you for making me laugh and always finding time for us to spend together. I love you!
Garrett, I don't think I've ever met such a loving kiddo. You always greet me with a hug, making me feel so loved. I love the way you look out for others, doing what they want, putting them first. You are such a hard worker and give everything you do 100%. I love you!
Tonight we celebrated Garrett's birthday at the restaurant of his choice...Lamberts!
Here's the birthday boy! Just adorable!!
Chase is showing off his birthday gift from me and the Woffords.
Ethan couldn't be left out!
Garrett got his usual - chicken legs. He also enjoyed okra and fried potatoes. Ethan and Chase didn't have as much luck. Chase thought his catfish tasted like "firewood" and Ethan couldn't eat his chicken legs because they were too "slimy". In this video, Ethan has to eat just one bite because he hadn't eaten anything. He had been too caught up in catching rolls. He chose to try the catfish. As you'll be able to see, he had a hard time. (Don't forget to pause the music at the side.)
So, it's been a while since I've posted. Want to know what bothers me most about that? When I look at the archive on the right hand side, under April there will only be the measly number 8. Really? Only eight posts out of 30 days? What have I been doing? Not blogging, that's for sure. I promise to post about my trip to St. Louis, the Chonda Pierce concert, and Chase and Garrett's birthdays soon. Maybe I'll be able to get these done before Friday. Then, at least the number of posts in April will be in the double digits. Hmmm, that may be a bit unrealistic...
A few years ago, some girlfriends and I went shopping over Spring Break. We found the cutest pair of flip flops. I have LOVED them ever since. This was several years ago, but they were still available last year. I regretted not picking up an extra pair then. So, I made a trip to Branson to see if they had them again this year. I was in luck! They did!! It made me so happy!
UPDATE:My grandma called me after school this afternoon. She wanted me to go to church with her. I went and heard an amazing message! Not only that, but can you believe my grandma felt like going?!? Praise the Lord!! He's already answering prayer. Instead of the chemo lasting EIGHT hours, it only took SIX! God is SO good!! I can't wait to see what He's going to do next!
My grandma is having her first round of chemo today. It's going to take EIGHT hours. When she had a hysterectomy several weeks ago, the doctors found NO cancer. Praise the Lord! We prayed for healing for her and believe that God touched her!
Even though there was no cancer, the doctors wanted her to have a full body scan to make sure it didn't spread. She got the report last Friday that there was NO cancer anywhere in her body. Praise the Lord! Once again, we know that He touched her!! The doctors want to do 3 chemo treatments just to be sure because the cancer was such an agressive kind.
Please join me in praying that she doesn't get sick and that she doesn't loose her hair. I'm believing that God is going to finish this amazing work that He started and carry her through with no side effects, once again showing her how He's healed her body. Thanks for praying with me!
On Saturday Tina and I took Abby for a Girls' Day! We wanted to spend some special one-on-one time with her. She is the only girl growing up with a brother and three boy cousins. She can hold her own, but she often has to do "boy" things if she wants to play with them. We thought some time spent doing "girlie" things was just what she needed.
After playing hard in her 8:00 soccer game (and scoring 3 goals!!), her mom dropped her off with Tina and me. Abby got to pick where we ate and she chose Mazolis (Fazoli's) and had "noodles with white sauce". She told us all about how she took Milo out on the trampoline to bounce him. (This is one tough puppy! He's been in the swing, down the slide, and now on the trampoline!)
After lunch we headed to the mall. Abby LOVES stuffed animals much, so we took her to Build-A-Bear. There was the most adorable, white, floral "Blossom Bunny." We thought it looked so much like her. That's the one we just knew she'd choose. Boy, were we wrong! As soon as we entered the store, she made a beeline for a black puppy dog. We tried to work out every deal in the book to help persuade her in picking out something a little cuter, but she wouldn't budge. Her mind was made up and there was NO changing it. We wanted her to have what she wanted, no questions, so we all agreed on the dog.
Here she is telling the lady she wants the dog to be able to stand up on its own.
Giving her puppy a heart. She wasn't so sure about this. (The puppy probably needed extra lives instead!)
What a little cutie!
Naming the dog was quite difficult. She wanted to name it Huskey, but she has a couple of those already. Then, Milo or Otis, but she has those, too. She almost went with Thumbelina, but settled on Mittens. Yes, we know, this is more of a cat name, but she was done and just wanted to take the dog home.
On our way in the mall, we had to make a pit stop at the bathroom. She found some cute jelly shoes along the way. They even light up! How can a girl pass up shoes?
Do you notice a theme in Abby's pictures? We never quite catch her full attention!
The day wouldn't be complete without a little Andy's!
Abby is quite the girl! She is full of life and love and laughter! I'm looking forward to celebrating many more special "girl days"!
From the moment I got up this morning, God has been lovin' on me all day!
Today Abby is 5! What a blessing this little bundle of giggles is!
Kelly came into my room this morning with words of encouragement about not giving up on waiting on the Lord. Her words were timely and so sweet!
One of students is finally going to get the help he so desperately needs! I'm so thankful for a Process Coordinator who believes in the power of prayer.
I got to see Jen today! It's always a blessing to spend time with her, no matter how little!
Leslie helped me take down all my communication arts stuff. I wouldn't have gotten it done without her!
Our incredibly talented and sweet Librarian at school blessed me with this basket of goodies...for no reason! I'm tellin' ya, she knows what this girl likes. Post-its, pens, good smelling soap, reading material, and chocolate!! I just love her. Whenever I get to talk to her I always walk away wishing I had more time with her. She's A-MAZ-ING!
As I started to mow the yard this evening, my neighbor came over on his riding lawnmower and asked if I wanted some help. I thanked him for being so thoughtful, but said I'd be ok. He assured me that he didn't mind at all and wanted to help, so I agreed. I went on to the back to mow the backyard and he mowed the front. Not only did he mow it, he also did the weed eating. I was truly blessed by this random act of kindness!
Just as I finished, the neighbor on the other side (who recently moved in) came over and introduced herself. After some small talk, she clarified that I was single and then proceeded to tell me that she and her boyfriend wanted to help me. They noticed the latch on my gate was broken and wanted to fix it for me. Can you believe that? I couldn't!
After a day of blessing after blessing, I wept at God's goodness and the way He loved me through others today!
**Family: I updated yesterday's post with new Easter pictures. Be sure to check them out!!
What would it have been like back then to have Jesus appear before you when you thought he was dead? I can't imagine the astonishment or sheer joy of it.
I love Easter morning! You can't help but feel alive and at complete peace knowing the God you serve conquered sin and death and is alive today! I can't wait for the day when the eastern sky rolls back and Jesus will once again appear, this time to call us home!
God bless you today as you celebrate and worship the glorious, mighty Jesus Christ!
"God sent His son. They call him Jesus.
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He bled and died to buy my pardon.
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
And then one day, we'll cross the river.
I'll fight life's final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives."
Easter Celebration 2010
Easter was at my house this year!It was crowded, but the food was delicious and the company couldn't have been better. This year we had BBQ beef sandwiches. Everyone helped out by bringing sides to go along. Grana, it wasn't the same without you and Bob. We missed you!!
After lunch we headed over to mom and dad's for an Easter egg hunt. Chase and I were the designated "hiders". There's no doubt about it, I wouldn't be able to find the eggs he hid!
Here are the egg hunters! Don't they look ready?
Here's everyone going through their loot.
We were going to have a bonfire, but it was too windy. We cooked our hotdogs on the grill instead.
I'm so thankful that I celebrate Easter with a family of Believers!
In my last post I confessed to feeling like God had forgotten about me. Today, as I was sitting in the Good Friday service at church, God gently reminded me again that nothing could be farther from the truth. Even in death, dying on a cross, I was on His mind. Because of His sacrifice, nothing can separate me from Him.
"I gave my back to those who strike & my cheeks to those who pull out the beard-I hid not my face from disgrace & spitting" Is 50:6
"His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man." Isaiah 52:14