Saturday, December 17, 2011

Life Group

There never has been any doubt in my mind that God knows what's best.  It's just that sometimes, it can be hard to step out of the boat and do it!  Back in late September, God put it on my heart to join a Life Group at church.  I wrestled and wrestled with this, but was obedient and signed up.  I received information about numerous Life Groups and was supposed to pick the top three I'd like to join.  Sounds easy enough right?  Wrong!!  Many of the groups were for married only.  The few singles and/or married & singles (and I mean few) wouldn't work because of meeting times, location, etc...  After looking through the list over and over, I called my mom bawling.  I just knew the hardest part of this would just be stepping out and actually signing up.  I didn't know it was going to be such work to find one where I fit.  Honestly, I was left feeling alone and unwanted.

That's where God comes in.  Isn't that when He always comes in - when we are at the end of ourselves?  The following Sunday I saw my sweet friend Aimee in the atrium at church.  She said she couldn't believe she was bumping into me and that she wanted to run something by me.  She was inviting me to join her and some other single ladies for lunch after church.  I couldn't believe my ears.  I knew I had I just found my Life Group!  I was praising God the whole day!!

It's hard to put yourself out there and get to know new people.  The first few times we met I was very nervous.  But, I didn't need to be.  These gals are the sweetest, most accepting group of Christian women ever!  I always leave our time together so uplifted, encouraged, and knowing that I'm not alone in this season of singlehood.  I'm so thankful for the way they've welcomed me in, and I'm so thankful that God nudged me out the boat I was in! 
Tonight we got together for a little Christmas party.  We had a delicious dinner with easy conversation throughout.  Then we played this game.  (Can't remember the name for the life of me...)  The point of it was to "expose yourself" and to also guess who revealed what.  When I heard the directions, it was not a game I wanted to play.  After all, I was still getting to know most of them and there were a few I'd never met.  But, like I mentioned earlier, there's just something about these women that make you comfortable and accepted.  We had so much fun getting to know each other better and laughed until we cried! 

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to spend time with people who are walking the same road I am.  It feels good to look at these beautiful women and know that there's not something wrong with me and that I'm not the only one wishing, hoping, dreaming, and praying for something more.  I know God sent them to me and I'm especially grateful for that tonight!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Paying it Forward

Saturday Mom and Dad got a new refrigerator.  It's so nice and BIG!!  With Thanksgiving coming up I know Mom will love all the extra room - with cooking for nearly 30 people she'll need it!!

I was especially excited about their new purchase because they generously gave me their old one!
I haven't had a working ice maker in years.  I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying that alone!!  I LOVE it!

I have a hard time getting rid of things that aren't broken.  Thankfully, Tina and Chris took my old refrigerator and are using it the garage for the boys' sport drinks.  It worked out perfectly!!

I'm so thankful for the way my parents so lovingly and willingly take care of me!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Girl Power

Friday I met up with Kayla for dinner and shopping.  I desperately needed it!!  It had been so long since we'd last gotten together.  We had so much to catch up on.  One of us would start a story and then interrupt ourselves with a completely different thing to share.  I love the ease of our 17 year friendship.  (17 years?  Can that be right!?!?)

It's been just a little over a year that I requested prayer for her.  You would not believe all of the many, many ways God has moved mountains for her and her family.  It really is miraculous!  Now, they are only a few short months away from the adoptions being complete.  That's right...adoptionsI can't wait for her to share her story!

Kayla, thanks for making me laugh, asking all the right questions, and saying all the right things.  I love you, and I cannot wait to celebrate that "official" day with you!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Organized and in Style

 So, my friends Jen and Leslie introduced me to an amazing planner.  A planner with tabs, stickers, pockets, beautiful pages, and a personalized front cover.  I wanted one, but didn't know how much I'd use it and didn't really want to pay full price for it.  But then, I found a 50% off coupon and couldn't order one fast enough!
Here it is...
I absolutely positively LOVE it!!
All my important dates are in one place - school notes & meetings, shopping lists, ballgames, birthdays, weekly menus, cleaning schedules, things to do, etc...
I use it all the time!  Full price or not, I'm hooked and will have to have one every year!  ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NERT anyone?

We love to play NERT (a fast paced game, much like solitaire) at the holidays. 
Look at these awesome cards I found in the dollar bin at Micheal's...
LOVE them!!
(Les, I think of you when I look at the black and white ones!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

While the guys were away...

Matt went off to deer hunt.
Dad went off to quail and pheasant hunt.
The rest of us spent the weekend together!
Friday night we went to Branson to pick up a coffee table at Grana's.  While we were there she got out some old family photos.  Who doesn't love looking at pictures?!?!?
Everyone was quite entertained by my fifth grade picture!  Ha!
Saturday we spent most of the day watching Garrett play basketball.  He is only in fifth grade, but I'm telling you - this kid's got moves!!  He was amazing!!

Mom came over Sunday and helped me move some furniture around so I'd be ready to put my Christmas tree up.  And so that I could once again get channel 10.  :)  Usually it takes me 24 to decide if I like a new room arrangement, but not this time.  I love it!!
I'm so thankful for the time I got to spend with my family this weekend!  Time with them recharges my battery and fills me up!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I have Decided to Follow Jesus...

Today was a special day!  It was baptism Sunday.  531 people were baptized!
That's right, 531.
It was so moving so think of the all the lives changed by the love of God.  I stood in awe, watching the external acts of internal works of grace.  There were adults, couples, families, teens, and kids.  As I heard family and friends clap and cheer when their loved ones came up out of the water, my heart swelled and I couldn't help but celebrate with them!!
One of those 531 was my Garrett!
This still brings tears of joy to my eyes!!
 Such a big moment in this precious life!
 So thankful I got to share it with him...that we ALL got to share it with him!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just Be

Can I just start by saying how much I loved the three days I spent at this Designed for Life conference?  Each message felt as though it were just for me.  The worship was incredible - especially Saturday afternoon.  The presence of God was undeniable and life-changing!!

I had so much fun!!  Cupcakes, a free purse, tricycle races, (Watch out!  Tonya and Tina will run you down!!) concerts, dancing, give aways, etc...

Doesn't Tonya look like she's been caught?
 It was an honor to share the experience with some amazing gals!
 Some of the powerful truths I'm hiding in my heart... 
  • I want to be "feet first", committed to being at the feet of Jesus.
  • I want to remember to "Just Be You". 
  • I want to magnify God's word and His promises - not my situations or the what ifs.
  • I want to "Just Be a Song".  A song that invites the presence of God and drowns out the enemy.
  • I want to remember that how God sees my situation is miles away from how I see it.  I may be on the long way around, but I BELIEVE!!
I'm so grateful for the way God used the speakers to encourage, strengthen, and build my faith!!  I'm already signed up for next year and can't wait!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

He Made My Day

Papa came riding with us Saturday.  (Well, it's actually been several Saturday's ago, but who's counting?)  When I was learning to ride and getting ready for Colorado, we rode together every week.  I've missed riding with him!
He provides the greatest commentary along the way - animal tracks, old wagon paths, types of name it, he knows it!
And, of course, it wouldn't be time spent with Papa without stories from his childhood!!
I love that man!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

To blog or not to blog - that is the question...

I can't decide.

On one hand, I like having this place to preserve memories and to remind me of God's blessings and grace.

On the other hand, I don't like feeling like a failure when I miss a day, or two...or 60!  :)

When I started blogging, it was to remind me that I'm living and not sitting around waiting for a family of my own.  I wanted to make sure I was seizing every opportunity and living in the moments that make up this season of life.  At the time, it was literally one foot in front of the other, one choice at a time.  I'm so thankful that is no longer the case!  Living and enjoying life comes naturally - as it should.  It's no longer an effort.

I'm not sure why it is such a chore to sit down and type out a post.  I mean, I did it last year amid my toughest year of teaching yet.  What's different now?  Is it laziness?  Am I being undisciplined?  I definitely enjoy looking back at the past, seeing how the kids have changed and rereading some of the most precious moments.  Moments I'm not sure I would otherwise remember.

That alone is enough to keep trying, right?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

So Behind!

September is over.

I blogged 3 times.  :(

So much I need to post.

Many things I want to remember...
my birthday
time spent with friends/family

I need to get with it!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So Long Summer

Gone are the days of...
BBQ's and Bonfires
Fireworks Displays
Baseball games
Long lunches with people you love
Impromptu trips to Sam's
It's been a great summer!!
Looking forward to a wonderful fall!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

I was organizing pictures today, a never ending job.  I couldn't believe how fast the kids have grown in just a few short years!
How is it that life passes by so quickly?
Lord, help me live more in the present, focusing not on the little things that will pass, but on the blessings you've given me and the things that are eternal.
If I never have kids of my own, it will be alright because of the way these not-so-little guys have filled my life so fully!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I've turned in my request for a personal day and I am ready!
Ready to be challenged.
Ready to worship.
Ready to learn.
Ready to be loved on.
Ready to be in His presence.
Ready to GROW!!

Just Be
Designed for Life 2011

"God is calling us His daughters to JUST just be ourselves and embrace who He created us to be and then to move beyond ourselves and JUST BE LOVE bringing the message of Salvation to the world!"

Designed for Life Women's Conference 2011 from James River Assembly on Vimeo.

Want to join me??

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It Just Might be a Miracle!

What started in early May as this...
 has grown to this!
Even though we've had looooong stretches H-O-T weather, I've kept them alive!!!  I'm so proud!

Thanks, Mom, for helping me choose the right ones to plant!  ;)