Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year

This is my prayer for 2011.

What a faithful God we have! As another year draws to a close, I remember all He's done for me this year. I look forward to this new year for a fresh start, but eternally grateful that each day I get a new start with the Lord (His mercies are new each morning, great is His faithfulness [Lamentations 3:22-24]!)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

All Hail Buc-ees!

Off of I-45, there is a place called Buc-ees. It's hard to describe unless you've been there, but I guess you could call it a truck-stop/gas station/texas store/restuarant extrodinaire. They advertise this place all the way from Dallas (180+ miles away). They are known for their clean restrooms--seriously!

Buc-ees has its share of Beaver/Buc-ees merchandise of course, including "all I want for Christmas is my two buck teeth" t-shirts, etc., etc., etc., etc. It's really fun to walk around. They have tacky gifts but also very nice, beautiful Texas-made gifts like crosses and plaques and books and candles, etc. There is a large selection of preserves and every kind of candy you can think of (and probably more).
It's DEFINITELY a Southern/Texan type destination/pit stop. No high society here! It's a great place to stop, though, and I just had to share! So if you find yourself on I-45 near Madisonville, plan to stop by Buc-ees! :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christ-mas

If you aren't familiar with the Christmas story (the real one), please read it here. I don't know who reads this blog and I further don't know what your relationship is with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I do know that He longs to be your Savior and your Redeemer if you will come to Him, confess your sins and place your full faith and trust in Him for your salvation.

If you aren't a believer, please take a moment today and ponder the true meaning of this day. We celebrate Christ-mas (literally, birth of Christ) because Almighty God sent His Son Jesus to earth as a helpless baby. This baby was born to a virgin named Mary with her fiance Joseph. His birth was not regal as it should have been (He is the King of Kings). Rather, he was born in a stable and placed in a manger for His bed. He lived a very humble, simple life, learning the trade of His earthly father Joseph (carpentry) and then around the age of 30 began His ministry on earth, helping and healing people and pointing them towards God the Father. A few years later, He paid the ultimate price for our sins by dying on the cross. You see, everyone sins (Romans 3:23) and our sins demand payment of death (Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ died in our place and if we trust in Him and Him only to save us, we will have the gift of God, which is eternal life in Heaven forever with Him.

So today, the day we set aside to celebrate His birth, is the beginning of the wonderful truth of Emmanuel, God with us. As much as I love the sights and sounds and traditions and stories of Christmas, we mustn't forget the Reason we celebrate is Him, our Infant Savior King. It truly is a miracle that the Creator of the universe, Almighty God, would humble Himself and come to earth to save us. I'm so eternally grateful He did, and while we should celebrate this everyday, especially today, let's remember the true meaning of this very special day.

Merry CHRIST-mas, everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Madison's Christmas Miracle

I got the wonderful news earlier today that Madison is going home! Her family will be re-united, this Christmas Eve-Eve! I want to thank each and every one of you that prayed or thought of Madison and her family, especially since you haven't ever met them in real life. God has quite a story of faithfulness in Madison & this sweet family's life, and we know that He has something amazing in store for this precious little girl. My heart is full of praise to the Lord for once again reaching down His healing hand and sparing Madison's life and giving her healing! He is still in the miracle business!

"Praise God, everybody! Applaud God, all people! His love has taken over our lives; God's faithful ways are eternal. Hallelujah!"--Psalm 117, The Message

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Madison's Christmas wish-update

There is a significant chance that Madison might go home tomorrow! There are some issues that need to be resolved before that happens, so please pray these will be resolved so the family can spend Christmas together at home. Thank you!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Madison's Christmas wish

Well, sweet Madison is doing pretty well. She still has a way to go with regards to eating and then some lung issues that have cropped up. However, it is apparently not out of the realm of possibility for her to gome home in a couple days.

Would you pray with me that Madison and her Mom will be home for Christmas to spend with her Dad and 2 brothers? What a great gift that would be. Our God is able. Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Furry Friends

Because Madison is doing well, I feel like I have the freedom to post about something frivolous. I dog-sat for a co-worker the past 4 days. My charges were 7 year old Rat Terrier Annie (aka "cranky old lady"), Chili 2.5 year old HUGE Brittany Spaniel (aka "bull-in-a-china-shop") and Maggie, a 4-month old Toy Sheltie (aka "the baby").

It was quite an adventure. Prior to this, I had only pet-sat for a lady that had 1 dog and 1 cat. Since I'm not a cat person, I enjoyed the 3 dogs this time much more, even though it was considerably more work. You have to feed them in a certain order, let them out in a certain order, etc. In many ways, they are like kids. Trying to get away with things like stealing and "playing" with Christmas decorations, being defiant and standing on forbidden furniture, not listening/obeying, etc. But who can resist the sweetness of a furry one who puts his head in your lap while you're on the computer? And any fellow dog-lovers/owners out there can tell you that this is one of the most expressive parts of our furry friends:

I'm so glad that God created dogs. They make me happy, because they are happy to see you (evidence: rapidly waving tail) no matter if it's been 5 seconds, 5 minutes or 5 hours since they last saw you. They don't care if you are overweight or don't have makeup on or whatever-their love is almost unconditional (I have a theory that they love us because they are smart enough to know where their food comes from!) One of the things they're best at is keeping you company--they want to be where you are. And when you have a dog, you have live-in constant entertainment. Annie, Maggie & Chili were quite comical during my stay with them. Each of them has his/her own personality and quirks (just like people!)

I'm thankful for this "doggie fix" (as well as a little bit of spending money) that I received. Someday, Lord-willing, I'll have one or two of these delightful critters of mine own. But until then, I enjoy being able to spend time with them from time to time. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Praise the Lord re: Madison

I'm very happy to share that Madison's 5th open heart surgery in her 6 years of life last night went well. They removed a blood clot that completely filled her chest. The doctors were amazed at how huge it was, and then they told Tom & Jennifer (Madison's parents) how worried they had been beforehand. It's safe to say Madison was in a grave condition prior to the surgery. But praise the Lord the surgery went well. Please continue to pray that there will be no complications this time and that she will have a smooth recovery. Also be in prayer for the family and extended family. Thank you so much for praying! Praise the LORD :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Madison's 5th Open Heart Surgery

Praise the Lord for enlightening Madison's doctors yesterday. They discovered that she has a massive blood clot in her chest. So they will have to go back in and do a 5th open heart surgery today to remove it. While she is weak and this is not ideal, at least they know what they is dealing with. Having 2 open heart surgeries within 2 weeks would be difficult for anyone, but Madison is not just "anyone". She is extremely fragile even when she's well. We are trusting the Lord to protect her and sustain her so that she can begin to recover. Please continue to pray for this family. Thank you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Please pray fervently for Madison

I don't know how many of you out there in cyberland read my blog. I further do not know if you pray or not. Even if you have never prayed to God, your prayers now would be very much appreciated. God hears every prayer!

Madison took another turn for the worse and the doctors have no idea what is going on. Her parents are more worried now than they have ever been and that is saying a lot. Please pray that the Lord will have mercy and spare Madison's life...and give the doctors wisdom and her parents strength and peace.

Our God is able! Thank you for praying.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Urgent Prayer Request for Madison

Madison was doing great yesterday and even got moved to a regular Peds floor. Overnight, she quickly and severely detiorated. Her breathing is rapid and her lung condition is very poor. The fever is back and the doctors know she has an infection. They just don't know if its viral (which would just have to run its course) or bacterial. She's on the strongest antibiotic there is just in case. The doctors are concerned the infection is in her heart, and obviously that would be incredibly serious. They won't know that for a few days. If it is in the heart, she will have to be in the hospital a MINIMUM of 6 more weeks (meaning over Christmas of course). Please pray for her parents Tom & Jennifer and Madison's doctors as well as her brothers Dallas and Jackson. This family has very strong faith but they are human and are very concerned. Thanks for praying! God is able!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


While I don't know anyone that was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, I know countless men & women were. On this day of remembrance, let us all remember to pray for the safety of our troops as well as peace and encouragement for their families. Thank you, service men & women, for serving us selflessly!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Update on Madison-good news!

I'm happy to share that Madison has had a couple good days in a row. They have made the switch from Lovenox (short-acting blood thinner) to Coumadin (long-acting blood thinner) which has been troublesome for her in previous hospital stays. I don't know if they are talking about when she'll be able to go home, but it's just encouraging that she's doing better. Thanks for continuing to pray.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Update on Madison

Madison has had a rough couple of days. An echocardiogram revealed that her heart is enlarged and she was totally without energy (unexpected at that point after surgery, especially since she had had more energy earlier in the week). She was actually passing out at one point, too. They did a blood transfusion yesterday and she was a new woman--back to eating her ice cream bars (her fave) and talking. I'm not sure what the plan is for the enlarged heart, but we're praising the Lord that the blood helped. Hopefully she'll have another good day today. Her Mama especially is really weary so please pray for her (Jennifer) as well as wisdom for the doctors and strength for Daddy (Tom) as he goes between the hospital and home to take care of Madison's two brothers. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Follow-up on Madison

Praise the Lord--Madison is out of surgery and it went well. The doctors were able to cut through the scar tissue of her previous 3 open-heart surgeries and get through to the sternum and put in the cow jugular. She is in recovery. Please continue to pray that the recovery will go smoothly--Madison has in the past had lots of complications post-op. Thanks!

Please pray for Madison

Hello everyone. Madison is a little girl I've asked prayer for before. Today (11/30) she is having her 4th open-heart surgery in her 6 years of life. Today will be another valve replacement as her body rejected the valve that was put in 3 years ago.

There are lots of exstinuating conditions with Madison, not the least of which is she is on blood thinners so the risk of excess bleeding is very serious.

Please pray for the doctors and especially for Madison's family as they go through this emotional day. Thank you.

Outcome of Football game Saturday...

...was (for those of you who don't know) Ohio State 37 and MI 7--woo-hoo! :) It was ugly at first but then we started to play better.

Thankfully we have a few more college football games in the other conferences...I love football season! :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I "stole" this pic from one of my friends on facebook, because I like it so much. For those of you who don't follow college football, today one of the longest rivalries occurs. Ohio State vs. Michigan. We Ohio State fans are very fierce about our dislike of MI--one of OSU's past coaches wouldn't even call the state MI--he would just say "the state up North"!
Be assured that I will be watching every minute of the game and lots of games after that. Love me some college football! GO BUCKS!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Woship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."--Psalm 100, NIV

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Update on a Prayer Request

I wanted to give you an update on this.

I'm so pleased to report that weeks later, Ed is awake and alert and seems to be cognitively able to function fine. His gross motor skills are severely affected, but all of that can be "re-learned" with therapy. I went to see him a couple weeks ago and he looked like himself. He has been moved to a specialty hospital where they can help him best.

Ed is a physicist and so his mind is literally his job. It would have been so tragic if he was cognitively impaired. We are so excited to see all of what God has been doing in the way of healing and encouraging Ed and Rosana.

Make no mistake, Ed has a very long and hard road ahead of him, but the future looks bright. Thank you for praying!

Happy Veterans' Day!

I know it's not officially until tomorrow, but I think it's great to think about this much more than 1 day a year.
Thank you, Yellow Hats, The W's, The S's and all other Veterans and their families for your selfless service!
I've just finished reading a series of books set during the Revolutionary War. Back then, ordinary citizens' lives were turned upside down because a war was on. As late as WWII, they were rations and shortages (I'm told) for the average citizens. Yet in today's day and age, it's so easy to forget we're at war, because I don't have to do without things just because we are. I'm afraid that leads me (not that it's an excuse, but it is a reason) to take my freedom for granted. I am really going to try to stop doing that and begin to be intentional about thanking the Lord for our Armed Forces and our Veterans. Thank you for what you do!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Miraculous Story

If you need a reminder of how mighty our God is, if you want to be encouraged today, then read this post. Be sure to watch the short video and have your sound up to hear the song.

If then, your interest in this precious little boy's story is picqued like mine was a year and a half ago, please click here to read Stellan's story from the beginning. It is truly amazing how far this little boy has come--from medically dead to vibrantly, perfectly, happily alive and healthy today.

I have been reading MckMama's blog for about a year and a half. I came upon it in a roundabout way. I stared reading Kelly's Blog because Kelly's was listed on a friend's blog as one my friend read. I have been captivated with Stellan and his and his family's story ever since. It's no secret to the few of you that read this that I love children. Stellan is now one of 5 kids 5 or under and I so enjoy just the snippets of life and beautiful pics of it that MckMama posts. She is also very quick to share the shortcomings and not-so-picture-perfect parts of their story, and how their faith has seen them through the trials they've endured by God's grace. I am inspired and encouraged each time I read her blog.

Isn't technology amazing? While I have actually had the privilege of meeting MckMama, I read several other blogs of folks I don't know and God has inspired, convicted and encouraged me through those as well. And to think that I may well never meet these folks until we get to Heaven!

Just had to share Stellan's miraculous story with you on today, his "re-birthday", the anniversary of the day God literally brought him back to life. What a great visual for how God rescued us from the pit of death by giving His Son for us, so that we in turn (upon trusting in His salvation alone) might have (ETERNAL!) life.

God is good and is still performing miracles, just in case you wondered.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

10 Years Ago Today... life changed radically. I wrote the whole story here. Since that's a very lengthy post, I'll give you the "nutshell" version.

Ten years ago today, I made the decision to have a hysterectomy due to endometriosis. My choices were to do that or continue to put up with the side effects of the drugs and I had done enough of the latter that I finally chose the former.

Looking back, as my Dad says "hindsight is always 20/20", I wouldn't have made that choice. However, with the information I had available to me at the time, and with what the Lord was doing in my heart (turning my life around from the sinful mess I'd made of it)--I know that I made the right decision, albeit the hardest one I've ever made in my life. Surrending my ability to bear children (my lifelong dream) had become somewhat an "Isaac" I felt I needed to sacrifice out of obedience. Sounds weird, I know, but it was and is what I believe the Lord was calling me to do.

Each year when November 3 comes and goes, I am filled with mixed emotions. Obviously grief for what will never be, but above and beyond that, a deep, heartfelt thankfulness for God's faithfulness to me then and ever since. While I still do not understand how this all fits into His plan, I am choosing to trust Him.

I will be the first one to admit that as the years tick by, I wonder if I will ever be a mother or a wife. I know God is able (Eph 3:20-21), but from a human perspective it just seems so impossible. Could I be called to live out my days as a single, childless woman? Perhaps. Ultimately it boils down to, I do not have what I've longed for TODAY. That doesn't mean I'll never have what my heart yearns for. I do not know what tomorrow (or next week, or next month or next year) holds. But praise Him, I know who holds time and eternity in His hands. He was worth trusting November 3, 2000 and still is.

Monday, October 25, 2010

God is Here

Yesterday morning our choir sang another inspiring anthem that really touched me. It's called "God is Here". I wasn't able to figure out who wrote it, but it really encouraged me and I hope it does you as well:

"There is a sweet annointing in this sanctuary
There is a stillness in the atmosphere

"O Come lay down
The burden you have carried
For in this sanctuary
God is here

"He is here
God is here
To break the yoke
And lift the heavy burden

"He is here
God is here
To heal the hopeless heart
And bless the broken

"O Come lay down
The burden you have carried
For in this sanctuary
God is here..."

While I freely admit that my burdens seem woefully insignificant to others' I know, God is faithful to bring encouragement to me when I need it most, and this song yesterday was a great example of that. It was another hard week of migraines and trying just to make it through the day of busyness at The Company, including training my new co-worker. While I can work sick and with headaches, I have a hard time working with a migraine, especially when it involves veritgo. My doctor and I have been working on getting the migraines under control but so far, that's not happened. I am thankful for an understanding boss (who himself gets migraines so he can sympathize) and supportive co-workers.

But most of all, I am so thankful that while there are millions all over the globe with life and death issues, God is faithful to be HERE with me as well for my little issues. I don't understand how He can be every where at the same time, but I know He can! :)

Whatever your burdens are, may it be an encouragement that He is there with you, too!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

No More Night

The choir sang one of my favorite anthems this morning at church. I wasn't able to find online who wrote this, but the words are just so beautiful:

"The timeless theme, Earth and Heaven will pass away
It's not a dream, God will make all things new that day
Gone is the curse from which I stumbled and fell
Evil is banished to eternal Hell

"No more night, no more pain
No more tears, never crying again
And praises to the Great I AM
We will live in the light of the Risen Lamb

See all around, all the nations bow down to see
The only sound is the praises to Christ, our King
Slowly the names from the Book are read
I know the King, so there's no need to dread

"No more night, no more pain
No more tears, never crying again
And praises to the Great I AM
We will live in the light of the Risen Lamb

"See over there, there's a mansion prepared for me
Where I will live with my Savior eternally

"And there will be no more night

"No more night, no more pain
No more tears, never crying again
And praises to the Great I AM
We will live in the light of the Risen Lamb"

I heard from a high school friend today that her Mom is probably a couple of weeks from going home to Heaven, after a long time battling an awful disease. And I just couldn't help but cry, come quickly Lord Jesus! I'm so thankful we have eternal hope of life forever in eternity without pain, disease, or tears. Praises to the Great I AM, indeed!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Verses That Have/Are Encouraging Me

I frequently struggle with discouragement and depression and there's no better cure for that than seeking the Lord's comforting truth in His Word. Here are some verses that have and continue to bring me comfort and encouragement. I hope they do the same for you. I don't have a verse-numbered version of The Message yet (though hoping I get one for Christmas!) so I just have the chapters...

"You've kept track of my every toss and turn, through the sleepless nights. Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book."--Psalm 56

"God's love is meteoric, His loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, His verdicts oceanic. Yet in His largeness nothing gets lost. Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks. How exquistie your love O God! How eager we are to run under your wings...You're a fountain of cascading light, and you open our eyes to light."--Psalm 36

"Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there...disciples so often get into trouble; still God is there every one who runs to Him loses out."--Psalm 34

"If God hadn't been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, 'I'm slipping, I'm falling,' you love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up."--Psalm 94

"From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord...You've always been great toward me--what love! You snatch me from the brink of disaster!...You God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit."--Psalm 86

"You're my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb. Be my safe leader, be my true mountain guide. Free me from hidden traps; I want to hide in you. I've put my life in your hands. You won't drop me, you'll never let me down."--Psalm 31

"I said to myself, 'Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you've been rescued from death; eye, you've been rescued from tears; and you, foot, were kept from stumbling.'"--Psalm 116

"I was right on the cliff edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me. God's my strength, He's also my song, and now He's my salvation...Thank God, He's so good. His love never quits."--Psalm 118

"Praise God, everybody! Applaud God, all people! His love has taken over out lives; God's faithful ways are eternal. Hallelujah!"--Psalm 117

Monday, October 11, 2010

Prayer Request

I would like to ask anyone reading this to pray for my friend Rosana's husband Ed.

Ed had complex heart surgery a week or so ago and that part actually went pretty well. However, they discovered last week that during the surgery, somehow the oxygen supply to his brain was decreased. He is now under medical sedation but no one knows what to expect when he wakes up. The sections of the brain that are affected in Ed's case are responsible for multiple things from short term memory to motor skills.

Specifically today (Monday 11th), Rosana is responsible for finding a long-term care/rehab facility for Ed. She is praying that the 3rd place she is interviewing today will be willing to accept Ed--that they will have a bed available for him and that they will feel like they can help his neurological recovery. This facility she's visiting today is world-renowned for brain rehab and has won multiple awards for their quality of care.

Ed's condition is certainly critical, but not without hope. Because we serve a Great Physician. We are praying for complete healing for Ed and for strength and peace for Rosana. She just wants him to wake up and be "there".

Thank you for praying. Our God is able!

Friday, October 1, 2010

So Like God

So you know my recent anxiety about changes at The Company. Yesterday as my boss was leaving at the end of the day, he gave me some very good news. They have hired my new co-worker. K actually already works for The Company in another department and I have known her the past 6.5 years I've worked there. While I don't know her well, I know that she is nice and seems like she will be very good to work with. She will move from her department to the seat 6 feet away from me on October 18.

How like God not only to answer my prayers for a good co-worker, but to go above and beyond and to make it someone I already know and like! While it will still be stressful to train K while I try to keep up with my own work during our busy reporting cycle, I know K will work hard to help as much as she can. Not only that, but my boss and my supervisor have both told me they want me not to stress out. I'm so thankful to work with supportive leaders.

I am once again amazed that I am amazed at how marvelously kind and gracious my Heavenly Father is. Why should this surprise me? He is always good, always kind, always gracious, above and beyond anything I could imagine. How foolish I am to worry instead of trusting Him. One of my favorite Psalms is 118 and a portion in The Message says "Thank God. He's so good. His love never quits." And for me, that about sums up my thoughts on this.

Thanks for your prayers. So like God to do immeasurably more than I could ask or think! (see Ephesians 3:20-21 on sidebar)

Have a great weekend, everyone. And may you relish God's goodness and kindness in your life this day.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Monday I was told by the physical therapist that I could start "weaning myself off" the boot I've had on my ankle/leg for the past 4 weeks. I wore it for a couple hours Tuesday, then had it off, then back on every few hours and did okay. Wednesday I saw the doctor and he agreed that the ligaments have tightened up (the goal) so I don't have to wear the boot any more. Today is going to be my first full day bootless and it's very freeing.

I'm told that my ankle could continue to bother me for several months, and the swelling can last up to a year. I'll be in physical therapy for at least another couple weeks and have home exercises to do for the forseeable future.

BUT, I am so thankful to be bootless beginning today! Thank you Lord. Happy Friday, everyone. GO BUCKS!!! :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Good-byes with Regrets

Friday the lady I've worked with for 5 years retired. As I mentioned previously, this was a very difficult event in my life. Saying good-bye was extremely hard. Not only was K the perfect person to work with, but I've also come to count her as a friend. When we said good-bye, there were many tears on both our parts and many regrets on mine.

Why? Well, in the 5 years that I worked literally feet away from K, I never shared the gospel with her. She is not a believer and while I didn't filter my "praise the Lord" or "I'll be praying for you"s from her, I never shared with her the Love of my life. Yes, I invited her to church a couple times. She declined. Now all I can do is pray that someone in the new town she's moving to in CA will come alongside she and her husband and share the gospel with them. They are nice, "good" people. They even attended various churches when they were raising their children. Yet the Bible tells us all of us, (even "good people") have sinned (Romans 3:23), and that this sin will ultimately separate us from God forever (Romans 6:23).

I have asked and I believe in my heart I have received forgiveness for my sin of not sharing Jesus with my co-worker/friend. Yet my mind continually accuses me and leads me to wallow in guilt. I'm so thankful I have the truth of God's Word to remind me that my Heavenly Father has forgiven me (I John 1:9).

I am trying to turn my worry & anxiety over what my future at The Company holds into prayers for the Lord's peace and faith in Him. I am keenly aware that I am powerless to do this on my own. Several migraines in the past few weeks have been a good physical reminder of the spiritual truth that I am dependent upon the Lord for everything. I must drown the doubts and fretting with His truth and cling to what I know:

1) He is in control...of me, of The Company, of the future.
2) He has my best in mind, despite the fact that I don't deserve it for a minute.
3) He has been faithful to provide this job for me and has given me a good, supportive boss & supervisor.
4) Worrying is not going to help anything except perhaps give me more migraines and headaches. Worrying betrays the lack of faith and trust in my heart.
5) No matter what happens, even if the worst case scenario happens, He will continue to be faithful.

Because no matter how much I feel like my world is being turned upside down, He is the same God. And I'm so very humbled and grateful that He is a God of endless grace and mercy to cover my many regrets.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Remembrance

Lord, may we never forget those that continue to mourn their friends and loved ones this day. May we never forget to be thankful for those selfless men and women who rescued others and in the process sacrificed themselves. May we never forgot those courageous ones that yesterday and today help keep this great country free. Most imporantly, MAY WE NEVER FORGET that you, Lord, are in control. Have mercy on us!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The L-O-N-G Wait is OVER!

After an excruciating 8 month wait, one of my favorite things resumes tonight!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!!! My Ohio State Buckeyes play Marshall tonight. Sadly I won't be able to watch the game because the place where I'm pet-sitting tonight doesn't have the Big Ten Network. However, hopefully I'll be able to hear my Buckeyes on the radio/computer.

I am really looking forward to the season beginning. I never used to watch much football on TV until my SIL J came into the family in 2002. She is an expert on college football!!! Each year since then, I've become more and more interested. It's actually kind of a necessity so I can participate semi-intelligently in family conversations!

One of my favorite weekend activities is cross-stitching or knitting while watching the football games. I'm not so much into Pro (NFL) football, though, because I have a hard time respecting most of the players. But in college, the guys are (for the most part) still untainted by fame & fortune and it really is all about the game.

Why would a girl who lives in TX be rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes, you might wonder? For those that don't know, I was born & raised in Ohio. My Dad taught at Ohio State (the branch in Lima) for 35 years. My brother M went there for medical school. His wife J went there for her Ph.D. My brother M now works there, as did my SIL before she "retired" (for now, while my niece A is young) earlier this week. So needless to say, I "bleed" scarlet & gray, our beloved Ohio State's colors!

So it is with much excitement and anticipation that I welcome the 2010-2011 college football season this evening. GO BUCKS!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fashion Statement

So what do 3 ankle sprains in a month earlier in the summer followed by 6 weeks of not doing anything about it get you?

Stylish footwear and physical therapy!

Yes, it's true. I finally went to the doctor earlier this week because my ankle was just not healing all the way. Guess I have tendonitis in addition to the sprain so I need to rest it, hence the lovely boot. Also start physical therapy next week.

I've never had any kind of boot or cast so this is new territory for me. It's taking a lot of getting used to and 4 days into it, my foot/ankle is more sore than when I started--but the doctor's office assured me that's normal.

I'm thankful that it's not my right foot or else driving would be very difficult! :)

Try to contain your jealousy of my latest fashion statement!!!

Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Trusting Him in ALL Things

I have come to realize in the past week that there was a major area of my life in which I was not trusting the Lord fully.

A major change is coming in my department of The Company, one that will impact me greatly. The lady that I have worked with for the past 5 years is retiring in mid-September. I knew she was retiring, but it wasn't supposed to be until the end of the year. Well, their house sold in 2 weeks instead of the 4-6 months that the realtor told them to expect, so the plans changed.

Upon learning this news last week, I was overcome with anxiety and worry about how this is going to impact me. What if my boss doesn't get the approval to replace her and I have to do 2 people's jobs? Physically, I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle that. I have come to count the lady that's leaving as a friend and our cubes literally face each other and we sit 6 feet apart. I'm certainly going to miss her from a friendship perspective as well as a work one. If my boss does get approval to replace her, then what if the person he hires is not easy to work with?

It occurred to me that all this worrying and stressing out was a result of me not trusting the Lord with this situation. He is in control and already knows how the situation will play out. He has my best in mind and even better, has promised to be with me always. I'm going to work on surrendering this situation (day by day and hour by hour, if necessary) to His capable hands. All I need to do is remember His faithfulness over prior changes in jobs over my lifetime. He is the same God and will continue to be faithful, even when I demonstrate my lack of faith.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."--Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Jesus is enough for you and me again today, Sisters. He is our Portion. Let's leave tomorrow to Him. Give us this day our daily bread, Lord."--Beth Moore 8/12/10

Amen and help me, Lord! :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Quote of the Week

The Purple Cellar: Quote of the Week

I don't struggle so much with gray hair as's heredity. My grandmother (I'm told) had some white hair when she graduated from HS. My Mom was nearly 100% white by the time she was 45 (I'm just a few years away from that!)

I, however, have made the decision that my grandmother and mother did not--namely, to use my friends at Loreal to alter my hair color. I've been "medium golden brown" now for 9 years. :) People say it looks natural and it is very close. The red that comes out is also heredity.

But I do like how Piper directs us to focus on the good--God's faithfulness--instead of the negative. I needed that today. Hope this quote encourages someone else out there.

Have a great weekend. :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

SUYL: My Testimony

I'm late in getting this posted, but I wanted to join in with Kelly's "Show Us Your Life--Testimonies".

I used to think I didn't have a very interesting testimony...and the beginning is fairly mundaine...but hang on, because I promise the end will be worth the reading!

I was raised in a Christian home and in church from the age of 2 weeks old. When I was 7 years old, I asked my Mom lots of questions one day and she led me to Christ. In middle school and high school I had to make the conscious decision to stand up for Christ and how it would make a difference in me versus my classmates in public school. The Lord blessed me with a great support group of Christian friends, my church youth group and being a part of the local chapter of Teens For Christ. I went to a Christian college and went through the process of deciding whether I believed what I believed because it was what I was told to believe, or whether I agreed with it. Again the Lord was faithful to provide some great friends to help me during this time.

It wasn't until the fall of 1995 when I finished my student teaching that I began making decisions that gradually and very subtly lead me away from the Lord. There was not necessarily anything overt about my drifting away from close fellowship with Christ, but I see now how one decision after another led to hardening my heart to His still, small voice.

By the time the fall of 2000 came, I was a mess. The only relationships in my life were unhealthy and I was allowing those people to lead me further away from God. I spent my first 3 days in a mental hospital (for being suicidal) in August of 2000. While I was getting help from a therapist and doctor, things continued to decline and on the evening of October 1, 2000, I had a handful of pills in my hand. In the end, I'm not sure if it was stunt for attention or if I had intended on taking them, but it doesn't matter. I had sunk to the point that I believed the lie that I was worthless and due to the choices I had made, God could not possibly forgive me or love me.

I'm so thankful that the Lord in His mercy rescued me from myself. When I woke up on October 2, 2000 in the mental hospital, I felt like the scales had come off my eyes. I made some difficult decisions medically and relationally. Just 9 months later I moved site-unseen from MI to TX to go to Dallas Seminary. The Lord transformed my life by giving me a new start. I knew no one in Dallas when I moved here in July 2001, but quickly the Lord surrounded me with a good group of friends, a solid church and a good job.

While I was never able to complete my seminary degree (due to health and mainly $$), I hope I never forget what I learned during those years--much of which was outside the classroom. I'll never forget the moment when, in 2002, I was part of a group of ladies that was privileged enough to have lunch with Dr. Howard Hendricks ("Prof" to all of us). We went around the table and each gave a short testimony about how the Lord got us to DTS. After I shared mine, he looked at me and said "wow, what a testimony". Indeed--a testimony for which I want God to get all the glory.

While I have many regrets about my years of wandering away from my Shepherd, I bask in the mercy and grace He has showered on me. I hope I never forget all He rescued me from--not only eternally in my salvation, but from myself that night in October nearly 10 years ago and many, many times since. To Him be all the glory!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Well, it's Friday. And Payday Friday to boot. That calls for some celebration! :)

I'm so thankful the Lord got me through another hectic week at The Company. We are wrapping up our busy month of doing our quarter-end reports. It's always a crazy time and I end up working far more hours than my body can handle. So it's literally a God thing that I've made it through another report cycle, and I give all the praise to Him.

He truly is the strength of my life. Thank you, Lord for Your mercies new each morning and for the strength you provide for whatever the day will hold.

Have a good weekend, everyone! :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Madison is home!

Yesterday was so crazy I didn't get the chance to tell you that Madison went home from the hospital! Praise the Lord! Thanks to anyone that prayed for her. Madison's parents and grandparents have such amazing faith and they are an inspiration to everyone that is blessed to know them. Madison already has an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness to her in her 6 short years and we are certain the Lord has mighty things in store for her!

Happy weekend, everyone! :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Madison Update

I have good news on Madison. She had a good weekend and yesterday they started her back on Coumadin. It's a very nerve-wracking time for her family because that's when she bleed the most last year. However, she's been on it now for 24 hours with no bleeds, so praise the Lord! :) Please continue to pray--the blood levels have to be exactly right (usually takes a few days) in order for her to go home. Thanks.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Update on Madison

Last night overnight, Madison had another major bleed and had to go back into surgery to get it stopped. She had to have a blood transfusion as well because her hemoglobin got too low.

As the scabs fall off of the wounds from the surgery, bleeds are a major risk since she has to be on the blood thinner.

Please continue to pray for this sweet girl and her family. They have been through so much and yet are clining to the Lord to sustain them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Madison update

Hi everyone.

I have good news to report on Madison, praise the Lord! They were able to stop Madison's bleeding Tuesday night. She has been back on the blood thinners (which prevent her mechanical heart valve from clotting and thus stopping her heart totally) for 24 hours...and no bleeds! So it's a waiting game now until they can put her back on the Coumadin, the long-lasting blood thinner. They will probably not do that for another few days. Then Madison's levels have to be within normal limits (and of course no bleeds) in order for her to go home.

Your continued prayers are appreciated!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Update on Madison

Please (continue to) pray for little Madison. She was doing great and everyone was very optimistic until tonight when she started bleeding. They are gravely concerned because she is not back on the Coumadin yet. Please feel free to forward this prayer request to anyone you think might join us in praying for this sweet girl, her doctors and her family. Thanks.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Please Pray for Madison & Family

There is a little girl named Madison today that will be undergoing what her surgeon calls the hardest surgery he's ever done. She needs some repair work done to her palette in order to have any chance at speaking.

Madison is 6 years old and has many special needs, one of which is an artificial heart valve which requires her to be on blood thinners. This makes her risk of excess bleeding during and after surgery very high. Last year she had what most folks experience as a simple surgery, a tonsillectomy, and had several major bleeds that almost killed her. It was an extremely traumatic time for her and her family.

Please pray that the surgery today will go well, that the Lord will give peace to Madison's parents Tom and Jennifer, and that there will be no severe bleeding episodes after surgery.

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Counting My Blessings

Today is my birthday. I was born on the 7th day of the 7th month in the 7th decade of the 20th century. So in honor of that, I thought I would list the 7 most significant blessings in my life. To be honest, each year when my birthday comes around, I am tempted to feel sorry for myself about how my dreams of being a wife and a mother are (as yet) unfulfilled. But I know God has a plan, and He has lavished so many blessings on my life. Innumerable blessings, actually. But for now, I'll list the biggest 7. Thank you Father, for your immeasurable love for me, and for your faithfulness throughout these past 37 years!!!

1. Salvation. What a merciful, gracious Savior we have! And a Heavenly Father that loves me unconditionally, no matter what I look like or what I do. I was saved at a young age and God's faithfulness to me over all these years is very humbling and encouraging.

2. Family. Of course no family is perfect and we all have our scars, but I'm thankful that God gave me 2 godly parents that are still married to each other after 41 years, that I have 2 brothers, 2 sisters-in-law and 1 niece who is the love of my life. I also have aunts, uncles and cousins to enjoy.

3. Friends. God has been so gracious to give me true, loyal, sweet friends. Throughout all the stages of my life, no matter where I lived or what I was doing (even when I was straying away from the Lord), God has provided me with a support system of friends around me. Most of my friends live in other states and one in another country, but as a plaque I have says "the distance to a friend's home is never far."

4. Church. I was first in church at the age of 2 weeks old. Since my extended family was on opposite sides of the country than where I grew up, our church family was our family. In all the areas that I have lived, God has provided a great church family and opportunities to serve. My current church has been a huge blessing in my life and I am very excited about what the Lord is doing in the life of our church.

5. Job. No job is perfect of course, but I have been blessed to work for a great boss and with a good group of people. I know several people that have been out of work for an extended period of time and so I try not to take my job for granted.

6. Health. While I do have some health issues, none of them are life-threatening or cause me to be in severe pain, and I'm very thankful for that. I've also got very good health insurance and that's so helpful.

7. Apartment. God has always provided me a place to live, even when I had to move sight-unseen to a place in Dallas from MI nearly 9 years ago. My current place is relatively quiet, no issues with neighbors at the moment, and only 1.1 miles away from work!

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it"--Psalm 118:24 NIV

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July

I'm so thankful that the Lord made me an American. While our country is far from perfect (Lord, help us!) it is still the best one on earth. As we celebrate Independence Day, let us not forget all those courageous men and women that have served in the past and who are serving now to keep our nation free! "God Bless America, my home sweet home!"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Prayer Requests

Hi. I'm linking to Kelly's blog today. Here are some prayer requests on my heart right now. I would love if you would pray for me about them. Thanks!

1) My Dad has been having severe throat pain and headaches for months and months. He's been to 10 different doctors and no one has any great ideas. Please pray for pain relief and answers soon.

2) My friends B and A are in need of a job (music minister) and a place to live. They have had an interview with a church in MO and it seems like a good fit. As the process continues, I'm praying for wisdom for both sides.

3) My friend A is on a missions trip to Honduras right now. Please pray for team members to work together to help the people there, as well as for the team to each be drawn closer to the Lord during their trip.

4) Friends L and S have been without jobs for more than a year. Please pray for God's provision and peace during the waiting.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leavin' on a jet plane!

but unfortunately, I do know when I'll be back again!

In exactly 1.02124340277805 days (or 25 hours), I'll be in OH with my bro/sis-n-law/niece. My niece is 2.5 years old and it's been a long 6 months since I've seen them. I am sooooo excited that we'll be there tomorrow! :) :)

While our visit will be short as it always is (I come back Monday), I am super thankful for the time I have and cherish every minute. I set my alarm clock to get up as early as my niece does so I don't miss a moment of her day. :)

On a bit of a negative note, I am way frustrated with what the airlines have done to our packing/travel routine. I find myself unwilling to pay $60+ for checking a bag for a long weekend, so I pack everything in my carry-on. For this girl that is NOT a light packer, this is not easy at all. I hate feeling so confined to the clothes/shoes that I bring, not knowing if I'll want or need something else (and since I'm much bigger than all my family members, I can't really borrow clothes from them). ARGH.

The hassle of travel is more than completely worth it. When I'm in the presence of the child I love more than life itself, all the inconveniences and stresses of flying just fade away. I think I'd walk on nails to see that sweet baby girl. :)

P.S. I may post about my trip when I get back next week. I say "may" because I want to respect the fact that my bro/sis-n-law are extremely private people and I don't want to violate their privacy. There will be no pictures for sure. You'll just have to trust me that my niece is the most beautiful 2.5 yr old you've ever seen, and that I will have had the time of my life spending 3.5 days with her and her parents and grandparents. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010


Home is...

1) Cat-free :)
2) Dog-free :(
3) Comfortable
4) Relaxing
5) Cluttered b/c I need to unpack
6) Where I spent last night :)

I knew it was too good to be true that I was in my own bed early, reading, last night. I got a phone call from the pets' owner and she had missed her flight. I had already taken the meds I take at bedtime which make me sleepy. I had to go over to her apartment and walk the dog. Then because I was so sleepy, I had to call a friend to stay on the phone with me so I wouldn't fall asleep until I got home.

The owner finally arrived home this morning and I'm assuming the animals were fine overnight because I haven't heard anything.

I can't tell you what an enormous sense of relief I have that none of the three animals (cat, dog, horse) were sick/needed vet care during the time they were in my care.

I am looking forward to NOT being on call tonight and maybe getting a full night's sleep for the first night in 17!!!

And, in just 4 days, 96 hours or 5760 minutes (not that I'm counting), I'll be with my precious niece (and her parents and mine). HOORAY! :) :)

Have a great week.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lessons from Cats and Dogs

As I mentioned, I am pet-sitting. I am 9 days into my 16-day stint and glad that it will be over on Sunday.

Praise the Lord that things have gone well. Only the cat has gotten sick and as gross as it was, it was only once. They are both eating and doing well and I am praying that continues through Sunday when I will be relieved of my duties. :)

Following are a few things I've learned from the 2 different species I'm co-habitating with:

  • Life is all about me. I couldn't care less if I make you happy--you're the one that's supposed to make me happy, remember? Now where's my treat?
  • This is my world, and I just let you live in it. Why is it so difficult for you to remember that?
  • I will NOT come when you call me and am offended you would think for a moment that I would.
  • I am not necessarily happy to see you when you get home--especially if you interrupt my nap.

  • Life is all about you and I'll show you with my every breath that you are the center of my universe. My life's goal is to please you.
  • This is your world and I'm happy to be a part of it.
  • I will come when you call me because I love you and there's always a chance you'll have a treat for me, or a belly rub, both of which I enjoy immensely. But just being next to you is all I need to be happy.
  • I am ALWAYS glad to see you when you get home--whether it's been 5 minutes or 5 hours! A minute without you is too long.
Now why does it surprise you that I like dogs and not cats? :)

No offense to you cat-lovers, I respect you. I don't understand you, but I respect you nonetheless!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank you, Veterans!

I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America
And to the republic
For which it stands
One nation, UNDER GOD,
With liberty and justice for all.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! On this day I would like to thank all of those selfless men & women and their families who faithfully serve (or have served) in our military so that I might enjoy the many freedoms I have. So often we take your sacrifice for granted and I'm sorry for that. We will never be able to thank you enough for making our country free and working to keep it that way.

While there are many, many things wrong with America (Lord, have mercy on us!)--this is still the best country on earth and I'm so thankful the Lord created me an American.

Veterans, on this day and every day, may the Lord richly bless you for your service. And may His almighty Hand keep you safe always. Thank you again!

God bless America, land that I love!
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cat Dread

Well, it's with sincere apologies to any cat-lovers out there that I announce I'm officially experiencing a severe case of cat dread. I bet you didn't know that was a medical condition, but I promise you, it is!

Beginning Friday, I will be pet-sitting for 16 days for a cat and a dog. I have sat with these particular ones several times and the cat and I have a mutual dislike for each other.

Firstly, I am not a cat person. I am a dog person. I can't explain why necessarily, I just know that's the way it is. Perhaps because putting things on counters (say your toothbrush for example) does not make it out of the reach of a cat and hair from said cat. NASTY!

Then, there is the pill-giving attempts of 2009 where I was supposed to get the cat to take a pill. WHAT?!?! I was successful 2 of 4 attempts. I gave up after that and for the remaining 8 days of that particular jaunt, the cat was fine without the med. Dogs are so easy to give meds to--just put the pill in PB or in cheese or in a hot dog or any "food-like substance" and the dog will lick it up in no time. Not so much with cats.

Then, there was the door-closing-on-the-cat episode of 2009. Cat tried to escape and got caught in the door and that scared it half to death...

So now, as soon as I walk in the door and the cat sees it's me, it runs the other way. Fine with me (of course do NOT mention this to the owner...she thinks the cat loves me!)

The only things that make this pet-sitting gig bearable are the sweet little (Toy Poodle) dog and the money I make. It's really pretty good money for the effort. Owner has a nice apartment that includes washer/dryer so one of the bennies of my stay will be not having to pay for doing my laundry. :)

The main stress of the assignment (other than just being in the presence of a cat which stresses me to a certain degree) is that both of the animals are pretty old and sick. I would hate for anything to happen while the owner is gone. She is going out of the country and so it will be hard to deal with any health issues due to the difficulty to reach her (Skype, no regular phone). There is also a horse, but thankfully she has a trainer for him and where he's being boarded will take care of him (I know nothing and am slightly afraid of horses). I am on call in the case of a horse emergency in that I will have to Skype the owner where she will be and relay info.

So between now and Friday, I will thoroughly enjoy the remaining 3 nights in my own bed and will try to counteract the cat dread with thoughts of the money I'll make...which will be my first deposit in my saving-to-visit-friends-in-Ukraine fund. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

To God Alone Be the Glory!

Two weeks ago, we had a wonderful Committment Sunday at my church. Today was Announcement Sunday when the Pastor announced what God had done. We were all blown away that God gave us all the $$ we need to build our new campus. It really is a miracle and I'm so thankful!

Literally as soon as the number was announced, we started singing:

To God be the glory, great things He has done!
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son!
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and
Opened the life-gates that love may come in!

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice,
Oh come to the Father, through Jesus His Son

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Timely Word

I am going through Nancy Leigh DeMoss' book Choosing Gratitude and the 30-day devotional that goes with it. Today's reading was in Psalm 103. I have always loved this Psalm. What struck me today was how timely this particular Word was. In order to understand, I need to explain a little of what's been going on in my heart the past few days.

I learned Saturday night that a friend from college passed away. This friend was a part of my life when I was wandering away from the Lord and over the next few years made many wrong decisions and sinful choices. God in His mercy rescued me from the horrible position I was in and when it was all said and done, gave me a fresh start in another state thousands of miles away. Learning of her death brought on a flood of memories, which are filled with guilt and shame. I do not want to be anxious about this because I know that God has forgiven me and my sins are as far as the east is from the west. I have asked 3 key people to pray about the situation, that I would focus on the Lord's grace and not these painful memories.

With that info in mind, imagine how much this spoke to my heart when I read these words just now:

"O my soul, bless God! From head to toe, I'll bless His holy name.
O my soul, bless God. Don't forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins - every one.
He heals your diseases - every one.
He redeems you from Hell - saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy - a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness - beauty eternal.
He renews your youth - you're always young in His presence." (The Message)

How I praise the Lord for these wonderful truths - such a timely Word for me today...and for each of you. Even if you don't have a past to be weighed down with, we all can appreciate our salvation by God's mercy, as well as His infinite goodness.

All praise to Him!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Baby Names

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

I love baby names! I have always known the name of my first daughter due to my story about motherhood, which you can read in part here.

So, with my story in mind, naming babies is far-fetched, but I believe God is able and so a girl can still dream! :)

My first daughter will be named Hannah Hope. Hannah because I will have waited so long for her, and because the story of Hannah in the Bible has been such an encouragement and inspiration to me. Her middle name will be Hope, because dreaming about my daughter gives me reason to hope that God still plans for me to be a mother.

Each time I dream of having a baby, the baby is a girl. (not sure why, but that's how it is!) HOWEVER, I know being a mother of a boy would be phenomenal, too. I like strong, Biblical names like Josiah Paul (Paul was my maternal grandpa's name and he left such a legacy of love for his family). I also like Jonathan David because of the significance of these characters' stories in the Bible. I would like to honor my Dad in some way and his name is Charles Glenn. I'm not crazy about either for a baby boy, though I knew a baby boy named Charlie and he was a cutie pie! :) I would also want to consider the baby's Daddy's name as well as family names of men on his side of the family. Another idea would be to use my Mom's maiden name, Houston (pronounced "house"-ton) but the baby name would be pronounced like the city...

Additional names for girls that I like would ideally include somehow honoring the significant women in my life, whose names are Donna Mae (Mom), Dorotha Viola (maternal grandma) and Doris Mabel (paternal grandmother). While I don't like any of those names in their exact form right now for a baby girl, I would somehow like to somehow work them into a baby's name.

Other random baby girl names I love:
Caris or Karis (rhymes with terrace)
Abigail (Abbie for short)

Other random baby boy names I like:
Liam (short for William)
Phillip (Phil for short)
Andrew (Drew for short)
Jacob (Jake for short)

I could go on and on, but I know you have better things to do! Thanks for reading! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Service

Here is a link to the service last Sunday when Sandi Patty was our guest. She sings "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" about a minute or so into the service. Then if you let the video load and click and drag (or just watch) until you get to about 28 minutes, she'll sing "How Great Thou Art".

The girl's still got it! Love her!

Even though it was wonderful to have her in my church and even be on the same platform with her, really the morning was all about the Lord. It was our commitment Sunday to bring our 3-year pledges for the building campaign. It was amazing to see the sanctuary full of people come up and drop their envelope in the bin. I can hardly wait until a week from this Sunday when they announce just exactly how much money our people gave. God will get all the glory, because this is all about Him! I'm so thankful to be a part of my church for such a time as this!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy Blogiversary, Mrs. Yellow Hat!

My dear friend from college, Mrs. Yellow Hat, is celebrating her one-year blogiversary today. Please go to her fun blog and enjoy reading about her interesting life! Love you, Mrs YH! :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


"Hallelujah! It's a good thing to sing praise to our God; praise is beautiful, praise is fitting..."
"Our Lord is great, with limiltess strength, we'll never comprehend what He knows and does..."
"Sing to God a thanksgiving hymn, play music on your instruments to God..."
"Those who fear God get God's attention; they can depend on His strength..."--excerpts from Psalm 147, The Message paraphrase

You can probably figure out by the sheer length of time between this post and the last one that things have been a bit crazy in my little part of the world, what with the extra hours of work and the filling in on oboe in the orchestra.

God has been faithful, of course, and a little over a week from now, things will begin to calm down. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is NOT an oncoming train! :)

When I'm not going through a particular Bible study, I often read through the Psalms each month. You read 5 a day corresponding to the date - so since today's the 27th, I would read 27, 57, 87, 117, and 147. Because Psalm 27 is a favorite (so I wanted to save it for last), I decided to go backwards today and start with 147...and look at all the super-duper applicable/timely verses I found! God is so good. Even when I don't have the brain power to do a complex study and I am just following a simple pattern, He provides the truths I need to hear. He's Sovereign like that!

I am very excited to share (with all 3 of you that read this!) that I will be on the same platform as one of my fave vocalists of all time - Sandi Patty! She will be at my church this Sunday for our committment Sunday...the day when we each lay our committment cards on the altar for our building campaign. Sandi is coming as a part of making the day special.

This will date me significantly, but around the time I was 11 or 12, I got a "boom box" for my birthday. My very first cassette tape was one of Sandi Patty's. (she was spelling it "Patti" then, as a piece of trivia...)

Anyhoo, I think I got or at least listened to most all of her albums since then and have read her 2 books, Broken on the Back Row and Life in the Blender. I obviously don't condone some of the choices she made that put into motion her divorce as well as the disintegration of another marriage. I do know, though, that I am in no place to judge her. Just because my sin is not as visible and may not affect as many people (and no doubt will never make the news) - my sin is just as grave as hers. Yes, as a Christian artist she did have higher standards placed on her. But after reading of her repentence and what the Lord taught her out of all those painful years, I can honestly say I respect her and am thrilled to be able to see her (perhaps even meet her!) this Sunday. She remains an amazing vocalist and seems (from what I've read online and in her books) to be very down to earth and sincere in her faith and trust in the Lord she sings to and about.

How thankful I am for the privilege of praising the same God as she does. Yes, I will likely not be a household name ever, nor will I be a recording artist or have one fraction of the talent and beauty she does...but that doesn't matter to our God. He desires praise from each and every one of matter how insignificant or undesirable we may feel. He longs to hear from us.

That amazes me. I hope I never lose the wonder of God's grace in my life...and may I never cease to praise Him!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Life is in Your Hands

"You don't have to worry
And don't you be afraid
Joy comes in the morning
Troubles they won't last always

For there's a friend named Jesus
Who will wipe your tears away
And if your heart is broken
Just lift your hands and say:

Oh, I know that I can make it
I know that I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in Your hands.

With Jesus I can take it
With Him I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in Your hands."

So when your tests and trials
They seem to get you down
And all your friends and loved ones
Are no where to be found

Remember there's a friend named Jesus
Who will wipe your tears away
And if your heart is broken,
just lift your hands and say:

Oh, I know that I can make it
I know that I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in Your hands.

With Jesus I can take it
With Him, I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in Your hands."

Lyrics by Kirk Franklin

I was feeling very tired and overwhelmed tonight (even before I lost half this post and had to start over!) and the Lord brought these lyrics to mind. This is a song that He has used often to encourage me. Years ago, when I was in the choir at church, we sang this from time to time and even recorded it once on a live praise & worship album.

This is the season at The Company where I am working too many hours for my body. I am working at the expense of my health so that I can meet a fairly ridiculous deadline...a due date that determines my success of meeting performance goals...which, in turn, determines what may or may not be in my pay check at the end of the year (if you catch my drift).

At the same time, I am filling in as a sub in the orchestra at church while the regular oboist recovers from surgery. I'm happy to do it and enjoy it immensely, but the mid-week rehearsals and playing 3 times on Sunday are a lot - in addition to the extra hours of work. It's too much from a physical/energy standpoint with the FMS. But the Lord has faithfully gotten me through many a season like this, and I know He'll be faithful again.

I'm so thankful I'm in His Hands!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tids 'n tads, part 1

Sometimes You are as close as breathing
When I speak in faith, simply believing
You are near.

Other times I just can't feel you near me
Yet you have promised You're always here
You are near.

No matter what my feelings are
Whether it seems You're close or far
You are ever near, You are here.
"'You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart'".--Jeremiah 29:13, NASB

"'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.'"--Hebrews 13:5b, NASB

"'Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age'".--Matthew 28:20b, NASB

"As for me, I shall call upon God, and the Lord will save me."--Psalm 55:16, NASB

This doesn't happen as often as it used to, but occasionally the Lord will bring a verse or two to mind and I will scribble it down on a scrap of paper. Later, I will revisit, pursue & expand it until I feel the "poem yearning to be a song" is complete.

Sometimes, though, that slip of paper might get lost/buried under a pile of stuff and forgotten about for weeks, months or years! Such is the case with several snippets I've found recently.

I've been reading these repeatedly, and try as I might, I'm not coming up with anything that I feel completes them, so I'm sharing them "a la carte" if you will. Along with the partial poem will come my thoughts and some relevant Scriptures.

These verses about God's nearness are precious promises to me. My feelings are very fickle and often aren't true. As I read once, faith is not a feeling. I must go back to what I know to be true, and that's what the Lord says in His Word. He promises me He is always with me, and hears me when I call.

So whether I'm feeling super-spiritual because I had a great time of fellowship with Him in His Word or intense moments in prayer OR whether I feel far away from His heart, due to my own sin or failure to trust Him or spend time with Him...the truth of the matter is that He's always near.

Actually, He's nearer than near. He's here.

I'm so glad for that!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

Lyrics by Charles Wesley; Music by Lyra Davidica

Christ the Lord is Ris'n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing ye heav'ns and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fough the fight, the battle's won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again, our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, oh death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once, He all doth save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, oh grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has lead, Alleluia!
Foll'wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet, trimphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

As I've pondered my Savior's amazing sacrifice for me especially in these past few days, memories of these great old hymns came flooding back. These are songs of my childhood, and they put in words my praise far better than I ever could.

May you and yours have a wonderful time celebrating our Risen Lord! To Him be the glory!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Christ Arose

Words & Music by Robert Lowry

Lo, in the grave He lay
Jesus, my Savior
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus, my Lord.

Up from the grave, He arose
With a mighty power o'er His foes
He arose the Victor of the dark domain
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign!
He arose, He arose, Hallelujah, Christ arose!

Vainly, they watch His bed
Jesus, my Savior
Vainly they seal the dead
Jesus, my Lord.

Up from the gave, He arose
With a mighty power o'er His foes
He arose the Victor of the dark domain
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign!
He arose, He arose, Hallelujah, Christ arose!

Death cannot keep its pray,
Jesus, my Savior
He tore the bars away
Jesus, my Lord.

Up from the grave, He arose
With a mighty power o'er His foes
He arose the Victor of the dark domain
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign!
He arose, He arose, Hallelujah, Christ arose!

Friday, April 2, 2010

He Lives!

Words & Music by Alfred H. Ackley

I serve a Risen Savior, He's in the world today
I know that He is living, whatever men may say
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He's always near.

He Lives, He Lives, Christ Jesus lives today;

He walks with me and talks with me, along life's narrow way!

He Lives, He Lives, salvation to impart,

You ask me how I know He Lives?

He lives within my heart!

Rejoice, rejoice, oh Christian!
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ your King
The hope of all who seek Him
The help of all who find
None other is so loving, so good and kind.

He Lives, He Lives, Christ Jesus lives today;

He walks with me and talks with me, along life's narrow way!

He Lives, He Lives, salvation to impart,

You ask me how I know He Lives?

He lives within my heart!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Glory to the Creator King

A blanket of clouds within my sight
From way up here, it's easy to see Your might
Creation sings its praise to You, for
It's so amazing what You can do.

Striking beauty of the flowers,
Colors that display Your awesome power
Mountains high and valleys low
Big blue skies and the seas below
All creation sings the song;
Without a thought, I sing along:

Glory to our Creator King,
Maker of all, Lord of everything
There's absolutely nothing you You can't do
No problem too big that puzzles You.

In the grand display of a marvelous world
Or in the small things You're still bold
Teach me, Lord, to see Your power
In the everyday little things,
And You only may I obediently follow.

For You're just as strong when You're holding me
As when you formed the massive seas.
The questions and turmoil in my heart this day
Are no match for You, and so I'll say:

Glory to my Creator King:
Ruler of all, Lord of everything
There's absolutely nothing that You can't do
Teach me, Father, to completely trust You!

Glory to my Creator, Father and King
You're worthy of any and all praise, so I can sing:
Glory to my Creator King
Ruler of all, Lord of everything!

"The Heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands."--Psalm 19:1, NASB

"'For nothing will be impossible with God.'"--Luke 1:37, NASB

"And looking at them Jesus said to them, 'With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"--Matthew 19:26, NASB

"'Worthy are You, our Lord and our God; to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.'"--Revelation 4:11 NASB

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Favorite Charities

Today I am again joining Kelly's blog carnival (is that what it's called?).

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

This week's it's about our favorite charities. Here are mine:

1) My church - First Baptist Dallas. We are about to enter a building campaign and I'm very excited to see what God has in store for us.

2) Compassion - as of earlier this week, I am a sponsor of a Kenyan girl named Gertrude! I'm very excited and can't wait to embark on the journey of knowing and loving her. (I'll gladly share more when I have more to share about my child of the heart!)

3) Apartment Life - my friends are serving as a CARES TEAM right now and I've become aware of just how necessary and difficult a ministry this is. It is the furthest thing from just reduced rent!

4) My Alma Mater, Cedarville University. When I went there, it was Cedarville College. It's a small Christian school in Central Ohio. Though it's changed/grown a lot since I was there (an undisclosed number of years ago), I still believe very strongly in their mission and vision to educate the coming generations for impact on our world.

5) Dallas Life Foundation - Dallas Life is a homeless shelter (well, more than that, but) - a ministry that was begun by my church. I have volunteered there in the past helping to serve Thanksgiving dinner and have been humbled by how blessed I am to have a job, a place to live, and communication with my family. So many even in my same city don't have these same basic things.

6) Samaritan's Purse - I LOVE doing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for Christmas each's a new tradition that Mom and I have started. I love picking out the goodies and imagining the joy on the child's face when he/she opens the box. :)

7) Susan G. Komen for the Cure - Each year since 2003 that I've been in Dallas (except for 1 year that I was sick), I have walked in the Race for the Cure. It's a very important charity to me because I know so many that have had themselves or have had loved ones with this dreaded disease. My paternal grandmother, my Gram, survived breast cancer in her 70's.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Surving change

Well, I did it. I had more than 6 inches of my hair cut off, re-styled and re-colored yesterday and I lived to tell about it. Don't laugh--I'm not being overdramatic. It was a hard thing for this I-hate-change firstborn type-A girl. Besides, the only thing I remotely liked about myself heretofor was my hair, so if that was messed up, I had decided I'd call in ugly for work today.

Thankfully, I was assigned a senior stylist at Penney's and while the color is redder than we planned, I am fairly pleased with it. Now I just need to continue to learn how to style it myself! :)

Here is the before shot:
Here are some "after" you KNOW how hard it is to get a pic of the back of your hair by yourself? Where is that Mr. Wonderful when I need him?!?!

Yes, I know I need lipstick and a refresh on the makeup in the pics, but it was late and I was tired, so there! :)

Next change will be the glasses [purple of course] that should be in in a couple weeks. Then perhaps I'll branch out into other changes...who knows where a new 'do can lead?? :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

The only thing/One Who never changes...

It's a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God

19 -21I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

22 -24God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.

25 -27God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young
to stick it out through the hard times.

28 -30When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The "worst" is never the worst.

31 -33Why? Because the Master won't ever
walk out and fail to return. If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense. He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way..."

(from Lamentations 3, The Message Translation)

Praise you, Father, that in a world that sometimes seems like it's spinning out of control, in a downward spiral of uncertainty, fear, and change--You are ever, always the same! What a comfort that truth is!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy 70th Birthday, Dad!

On March 1, 1940, a baby born C was born. That baby boy grew up to be my Dad.

This past weekend I went down to Mom/Dad's so we could celebrate my Dad's 70th birthday. All my Dad's side of the family (my aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids) live in the same area as Mom/Dad, so we had a little get together. Unfortunately, my brothers and their families were unable to join us, but they called Dad and shared their birthday wishes for him that way. I presented the gift that we all chipped in and got for him: a voice-activated GPS.

We are not lavish decorators and my Dad didn't want a big party; he thought the balloons were going overboard (we only had 13 total!)--so this is nothing Martha Stewart would be proud of...nevertheless, it was festive enough for us. :)

Here is the birthday "boy" himself with his German Chocolate (hand-made by Mom) cake (his fave and what she makes for him every year) :

Here is a pic of my Dad and his two sisters, in reverse chronological order (he's the oldest):

I will blog in a post later this week how significant it is for me to be able to say that I thank God for my Dad and his 70 years of life. In general, Dad is fairly healthy. He is a good provider, generous, dependable, extremely hard-working, loyal and a devout believer. His life has not been easy and he has had to overcome a lot to accomplish what he has. I'm so proud of him and am very glad I was able to be a part of the celebration of his life. I pray God grants him many more years.