Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - Big Changes; 2010 - What Will You Be?

New Church
New Town
New House
New Friends

While these are all good changes, there was sadness as we said "goodbye for now" to friends from Faith Crossing. Moving out of my OKC house was hard for me - my memories are triggered by places or things and my most of my memories of Jacob are attached to that house. God has been good to us in 2009: new ministry for us, no more financial worries, friends for our children and a good community to be part of.

Coming in 2010:
I will get to QUIT my job at the end of January!!! That's the only sure thing I know of for this coming year. For the rest, I can only wonder!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Tis the Season

I love the Christmas season. My home is decorated with love and cheer. Now I can watch Christmas movies and Brian won't make fun of me. I have almost finished my Christmas shopping and the girls are so excited about all of the coming events.

We sold our house in OKC and closed on it last month. My wonderful husband has given me "permission" to quit my job if I want to. It feels wonderful to have that freedom. I think I'll probably do one or two cases a month just because it's easy money. But, it is great to have a choice now. It's probably one of the best Christmas presents ever.

Our church life is good right now. I'm finally starting to feel comfortable and I am getting to know the women in the church. Our family seems to fit in well with the people and they seem to appreciate Brian. The town is decorated for Christmas and we got to participate in a town-wide holiday open house. Life in a small town - new experiences, lots of fun.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's Been Awhile

There are several things I could blog about. Most recently is that we have a contract on our OKC house and will close by 11/13! What a relief that will be. School is going well with the girls. I have taken on the after school program at church and that seems to be going well. There are several adults and youth who are faithful each week to help. We're even almost completely unpacked (only three months in)! I still have moments of anxiety. It really bothers me because this has never been an issue for me. I keep reminding myself that God is the ultimate fear-flicker and it usually passes. As each week passes, it gets better and I have fewer moments of fear.

I have returned to working. It has been good for me. Initially, I took five cases because the house was unsold, but after the 13th, that will no longer be an issue. The negative is the amount of driving I'm having to do. My closest case is a little over an hour away. There is a positive to the distance. I'm getting a little time alone that way. I am one of those people who must have time alone. If I don't, I never seem to be able to have time to think.

My next post will address being thankful. I love fall!

Friday, October 2, 2009

My Fear Flicker

God is my fear flicker! I never had an issue with fear before 2006. I mean, I would have an occasional worry...but never real fear. In 2006, our lives were changed from secure and knowing the future to insecure and unsure. It was a tremendous time of growth for me. We eventually settled into a routine. We had an income. We were enjoying a new level of closeness with our family and things seemed to be moving forward. In March 2008, we learned that Brian's income would end in May. New fears...when will God provide a pastorate for Brian? How will we pay our bills? In August, new fears arose after the death of my nephew. They were all irrational. I placed my trust in God and tried to focus on Him.

Well, I felt that my fears were under control and I was done with them. And then, God goes and answers a few of our prayers. Suddenly, I'm beset by fears again! As is normal, the fears were irrational. Nevertheless, they are there and I have to deal with them. I lost 15 pounds in two weeks. (All of my fears seem to settle in my stomach.) I tried to handle my fears on my own and ended up having panic attacks. I was about to ask my doctor for anxiety medicine when I finally came to my senses and talked with God about it. He became my ultimate "fear flicker"!

I was praying one night and had a sudden vision (rather cartoonish) of myself with all these fears hanging onto me - like oversized bugs. There was this huge hand that started flicking them off of me. I had such a sense of relief. I swear I felt my stomach unclench. I knew that the hand belonged to God and He was bigger than my fears. He also reminded me of 1 John 4:18, "Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear." I have had to remind myself of this over the last week or so, but I am no longer controlled by my fears. When I begin to be fearful, I just remember my verse and think of my "Fear Flicker".

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ahhhhh Fall!

I love Fall. While it is the season that nature prepares to rest for winter, I am always energized by the cooler weather. I feel more creative and I usually find it a relaxing time of year. We are settling into our life here in Mountain View. This week will be the first week that we haven't had to go to Oklahoma City for appts or family events. I am looking forward to a normal week. The girls are loving life here. They often comment about how they are making friends. That is a huge answer to prayer for us.

Brian is beginning to get a handle on what is required of him and is starting to feel comfortable in his role. I am starting to find my role and place in this ministry. It has been more difficult to adjust than I ever would have imagined, but with God's help, my fears are conquered. (And when Satan tries to bring them up again, I just call on the greatest fear-flicker of all - God.) I am not usually a negative or fearful person so these last couple of months have been very frustrating for me. I'm so thankful that God has helped me conquer my fears. They drained me of my energy, my sanity and my creativity. God is so good!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Our First Married Experience With Mice

I like mice. At least the cartoon kind. I definitely do NOT like mice who run in my house, look at me and dare me to stop them. Brian was convinced that there was only one mouse, I knew better, but allowed him to hope. So, after seeing a mouse in the house, we set traps. On Saturday night, around midnight, a mouse ran into the living room and looked at us before running into the entry closet. Brian had a plan. I would hold the rug across the end of the entry, thus blocking off the main house, and he would use a broom to sweep it outside.

We assumed our positions. Brian opened the closet door. The mouse streaked out and ran right back in. Brian moved a few things out of the closet and scared the mouse out. Mice are fast! It ran at Brian's leg and Brian started dancing a jig while trying to smack it with the broom. I'm barely holding on to the rug because I'm laughing so hard at Brian. Eventually, Brian got in a good swing and stunned the mouse. He swept it outside and I put the rug back. Soon, he returned with my broom in two pieces, but the mouse was dead.

Well, Brian was convinced that was the only one, but he humored me and left the traps out. Sunday night we left for the city to spend Labor Day with our family. We had a great Labor Day at my parents' house. It was a beautiful day and a fun time. The next day (Tuesday), when we returned home, there was a terrible stench in the air. Two mice had found traps on Sunday night! Hopefully, that's all of them, but I won't feel comfortable for a while.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's finally over

I've been dreading today because it is the anniversary of Jacob's death. For the last year, I have grieved losing my sweet nephew. Everyday was the first of that date without him. There are no more firsts. We've survived all of the firsts. I have thought of him each of the last 365 days with varying degrees of grief. I have come to the conclusion that I will always miss him and that grief has no rhyme or reason. I wish I was a man sometimes - I wish I had a box I could go to in my mind to escape my thoughts. I have never known a grief like this. It intensified when we moved out of our house in OKC. I am very sentimental and I attach memories to places. Everywhere I looked in that house reminded me of moments with Jacob. It was so hard to leave a place that reminded me of so many sweet memories.

Today has been better than I expected it to be. God gave me two things: 1. He reminded me that while one year ago, we were preparing to celebrate Jacob's "official" entrance to the family, God was celebrating his entrance into heaven; and 2. God has comforted me in the form of a song, "It is Well With My Soul". He keeps reminding me that in all things, because I have God, it is well with my soul and that makes all the difference.

There would have been no way for my family to survive the last year without God's love, mercy and faithfulness. He has comforted each of us in such a variety of ways and through so many people. I am so blessed to be part of a family that has such a strong faith in God.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Tonight is the last night that I will officially live in Oklahoma City, OK. Tomorrow morning, we will load up our "stuff" and head to Southwest Oklahoma and the town of Mountain View. It is amazing how hard it is to move. We have had to go through and decide what we will take with us and what we will need to sell. That has been tougher than I expected.

We said goodbye for now to our church family at Faith Crossing on Sunday. It was sad and sweet at the same time. We were blessed by the sweetest prayer I have ever heard. I was sad because I had made some good friends in our time there and I will miss them.

I am a very sentimental person and I attach memories and feelings to places. This house is the house that has my memories of Jacob. I hate to leave just for that reason. I see him in so many rooms of this house so it has made me very emotional to think of leaving it. (And yes, I cry over the memories of every house I live in when I say goodbye to the house - don't judge me :)

So tomorrow marks a great change in my life. Thank you friends who have prayed for us during this three year journey. I'll keep you informed of our new life.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Well, my mother commented the other day, "You need to type a new blog!" So, as an obedient daughter, I am updating everyone on the happenings of the last week. On Sunday, July 12, the First Baptist Church of Mountain View, OK, called Brian to be their pastor. Since then, we have been involved in painting the parsonage, packing, preparing for a garage sale and having sick children. I wonder why it's taken me a few days to update my blog...hmm.

The church owns a very nice parsonage and we are looking forward to settling in to small town life. (We still need to sell our house, but at least we can go ahead and move without having to be separated.) There seem to be great opportunities for friendship and fellowship and best of all, there are several children around the same ages as our girls. It is kind of scary to be moving away from home and going where the closest WalMart Supercenter is 40 minutes away ;).

We plan to spend this next week finishing the painting we want to do (I have to have color on the walls) and getting ready for the garage sale on July 24 & 25. Brian's first official Sunday is August 2, 2009. We will spend the week before that moving and getting settled. It is a new adventure and we are looking forward to the things God has planned for us.

btw - we would love to have friends come and visit - only one and one-half hours from OKC.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Daddy's Day!

Happy Daddy's Day to the men in my life. I am blessed to have a great dad who continues to help me out and is a fun grandpa. I have a wonderful brother-in-law who is not only a good daddy, but, as Kadie told me, "Uncle Patrick is really nice." And best of all, my Brian is a wonderful daddy who truly enjoys spending time with his girls and teaches them all sorts of interesting things.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Big Pothole Tour

WOW!! Look's like a painting, but it's not. We had the wonderful opportunity recently to take a family trip to the Big Pothole (a.k.a. Grand Canyon). It is truly a breathtaking sight. My parents took the entire family on a one week trip to see Carlsbad Caverns (also incredible) and the Grand Canyon. That equals six adults and eight children. It was a great trip and we made lots of memories and stories!

We now know what emergency room to avoid in Phoenix (thanks Brian!), that a three-year-old boy can pee in a cup traveling at 70 mph without fuss, that two eight-year-olds can be noisier than all of the other kids combined and that next time - with all of the electronics we took - we could travel with our very own wifi network.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hi Y'all

I thought I would post today and let people know that I still live. I have worked very hard the last couple of weeks to finish as many of my cases as I could before going to the Grand Canyon in 12 days. I have conquered! I have only one case that will not be turned in before I leave! Three quick appts tomorrow, one quick appt next week and I will be able to relax. I'm so excited!

Today I am trusting Jesus. I am confident that God is still working out His good and perfect plan for us. I am confident that He is going to answer our prayers in such a way that everyone will marvel at how great He is.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What's Going On In My World

The last few weeks have been eventful. We have been seeking where God wants us to serve for more than a year. In the last month, we have heard from three different churches. Two are looking for education ministers and one is looking for a senior pastor. We met with the search committee from one of the churches looking for an education minister last week. Brian and I feel it went pretty well. This Sunday, we will be at the church that is looking for a senior pastor to give them a chance to hear Brian preach.

We have added a family member, hopefully a permanent addition. My sister and brother-in-law are providing emergency foster care for a teeny, tiny, chocolate baby (I'm calling her "Cocoa Puff"). She was five weeks early and Tracy spent two weeks going to the NICU twice a day to feed her. She came home on Easter Sunday.

Work is a little hectic right now. My parents are taking all of us to the Grand Canyon ("Big Pothole" according to Brian) in a few weeks, so I am trying to finish most of my cases before we go. If I can keep it up for one more week, everything will be on time.

Paige would say that the biggest event will happen in a week when she turns eight. I can't believe my baby is going to be so old.

That's pretty much my life in a nutshell for now.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jehovah Jireh "the Lord will provide"

This week my Bible Study was about Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will provide. It was timely. I need to remember that Jehovah will provide for me. And I need to remember that He is providing in ways that I am unaware. I know that He has provided us with the ability to pay our bills through August. I know that He is making provisions to sell our house. He will provide us with a church to serve in. He provides comfort even when I reject it. Jehovah will provide our needs in the right time. He provided a way for Brian to get a seminary degree. I could continue.

I have to admit that I haven't been as faithful to God lately as He has been to me. I have allowed depression and sadness to flavor my moods, especially recently. I have done this knowing all along that it was wrong. Yet, even knowing that it was wrong, I was unable to do anything differently. I hate feeling helpless. I hate not being able to find a "fix" for my own problems. I hate and am sick of being sad. I know that God wants and expects better of me and my choices. I think that is probably what bothers me the most.

In the Bible Study, there is a statement that stands out to me. It says, "Since He is God, when He sees, He foresees." He knows the end to the beginning. I'm sure that sometimes He probably wishes that I could see things from His perspective. I will remember that when Jehovah-jireh provides, He is providing with absolute knowledge of what is needed.

Next week's study is about Jehovah-rapha, the Lord who heals. I can't wait. I think I need that one just as much as I need Jehovah-jireh right now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Year of Thirteen Ends

Today is my 14 anniversary. There is no more year of thirteen. Brian and I went on our first date Friday the 13th in August 1993. Ever since then, the number 13 has been meaningful to us. Last year, when the year of thirteen was about to begin, we had expectations that we believed would happen in the year of thirteen. We expected God to call us to a church to serve Him. We expected to sell our house and move. We expected our life to be settled by now. And we expected that we would have a chance to take a romantic vacation in celebration of the year of thirteen.

Apparently, our expectations were not God's plan for the year of thirteen. Instead of being a year of jubilee, it was a year of trial and pain. Brian's income ended in May 2008, but God provided an additional opportunity that has provided financially (it runs out in June). We began talking to a church in August and in February they decided that they would not be calling us to serve in their church. So, we had to start from the beginning and mail out resumes again. In August, we celebrated Jacob's adoption. Two weeks later, God took him to heaven.

Looking back, the year of thirteen was not very fun. However, I refuse to allow it to be wasted. Let me tell you a few things that God has done:
1. He has given us promises.
2. He has given us comfort.
3. He has given us peace.
4. He has allowed us to have experiences that will help us minister more fully to others.
5. He is teaching us through our current situation to trust and rely on Him even more than we were.
6. He has provided financially through the end of June.
7. He has kept us healthy.

I could continue for pages. The year of thirteen was hard, but I choose to see it as preparation. I thank God that He loves me enough to prepare me for the future He has planned for me.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some Things I've Learned Over the Last Three Years....

The last three years have been educational, insightful and maturing for me. I have never had an issue trusting God. I have never doubted His presence. I have never doubted He had a plan for me. I have never doubted that He would provide for me. The experiences of the last three years, especially the last six months, have provided me an opportunity to exercise my trust. The hardest thing right now, is to look at the bank statement and not worry over what will happen when there isn't enough to cover our expenses. I know that worry is a sin, because it essentially means that we are not trusting God to take care of us. At the end of the day, I want God to be pleased with me. I want Him to look at me the way He saw Job. We have experienced many of the things that happened to Job. We have experienced bad health, lost our financial security, we have lost a close relative and we were betrayed by those we trusted. Just like Job, "I had heard of the Lord, but now I have seen Him."

God still has a plan for us. We will still serve Him. He will redeem our losses two-fold and bless us beyond any expectation.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's a Jungle Out There...

I have recently started watching the show, "Monk". I am really starting to appreciate the theme song. It's the struggle between what you want to believe and what reality really is. It makes me smile just to think of the words. Personally, I feel that I'm trying to find my way out of a jungle. I can definitely think of better times than the one I am living in right now. I want to believe that the world is full of nice people, but it's not. I want to believe that everything will work out the way I think it should, but it doesn't. I want to believe that I'm doing OK and things are normal, but, as anyone who knows me can testify, that's never been true.

I have been reading about the Israelites and their journey through the wilderness. There are a few things that reassure me from their experience. One, there is a path to follow. Almost three years ago, Brian and I set out on a path. We didn't know where it would take us, but we knew we were supposed to follow. Two, God is a God of detail and order. The attention He paid to the smallest detail regarding the temple and its furnishings reassures me that everything has a place in His plan. Three, He was in constant communication and was available to answer questions. This tells me that God is not too busy to reassure me when I need it. And believe me, lately I've needed a lot of reassuring. Because of His plan for my life, I can live in the jungle as long as He wants me, too. I can not only live, but survive and thrive if I let Him work through me.

While things aren't as good for us right now as I had hoped, we haven't been abandoned by God. We get to see our family at least once a week. We still have a loving church family. I have a Bible study group to be a part of. My children are learning. They get to enjoy PE with other homeschooled children. My family enjoys good health. There are so many ways that God proves His love for me. Do you let Him prove His love for you?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wheeeee! Let Me Off This Thing!

We are continuing our roller coaster ride. It began three years ago this April. We began looking for a church in March 2008. We recently were set back to square one and have started sending out resumes again. Our situation is much different than it was a year ago. I am exhausted and I'm ready to find out where the end of this ride will leave us.

If you think of us, please pray specifically about these things: we will know what God wants us to do right now; our house will sell quickly; and we will prepare ourselves to do the work that God will have for us.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Living Beyond My Means

Can you believe it? It is already February! I thought that I would have had exciting news to share with you, but alas, I do not. I can share some of what God has been telling me. On Friday, as I'm driving home from an appointment (and stressing about our finances), I asked God to help me find my One Year Chronological Bible. I had been looking for it off and on for several months and had run out of places to look. Well, Saturday morning dawns and I am hit by a burst of energy, so I decide to clean out my closet. Scaaaarrry! As I am digging around and pulling things out, I come across a basket and there is my Bible!!

After I finished cleaning the closet, I sat down to read the scripture for January 31. I found myself in Job 40:6 - 42:17. As I'm reading, I came across one of my favorite verses. Job 42:5, where Job is resonding to God's challenge, "I had heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes." I love this verse because I feel it everytime I go through a trial. The reading continues with God blessing Job with twice what he had taken away and with the birth of ten more children. In this group of verses, God promised me that he would give us a ministry that will be twice what we have ever experienced.

Brian and I have recently had a few discussions prompted by a church billboard we passed. It said, "Living beyond your means is the worst feeling in the world". Well, I can tell you that Brian and I both believe that living without Jesus is the worst feeling in the world. As we talked, we started talking about the fact that in Christ, we live beyond our means all the time. Through Christ, we are able to live an abundant life beyond anything we are capable of. God has told us that He will soon bless us with a ministry. It will be more than anything we can imagine and it will be more than we can handle alone. We will be like Job, whom God restored and richly blessed.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Patience...Not My Virtue

Being patient is HARD!

Looking back, I've had a really good week. I got to spend all day on Monday with our friends and played Rockband until we got hungry. I went to lunch on Thursday with a friend that I haven't seen in many years. We talked non-stop for more than two hours until we decided that she probably needed to get back to work. It was wonderful to catch up and see this friend of mine walking with God and at peace with herself. I even spent quality time last night with my cousin's family and got to play with their sweet baby boy. So, why was this such a hard week?

As I think about it, there are many factors involved. There is the stress of the lack of financial security. I am still grieving and missing my nephew. My sister and brother-in-law are waiting for special news. We are waiting for DHS to complete their adoption of S and J. We were supposed to receive a phone call this week that would let us know what our immediate future holds. The combination of all of these things together is becoming almost more than I can stand.

We are still waiting. I am trying to be patient. I keep reminding myself that God has a plan for us. I keep reminding myself that God will not give more than I can bear. A few months ago, God gave me a verse, "Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow." Phil 2:27. Paul was talking about his friend, Epaphroditus, who had been very sick. This has become the verse I cling to. There have been many sorrows for us in the last three years and God gave me that verse as a promise. I am just having trouble waiting for everything to be ready in His time.

Friday, January 16, 2009

In More Recent News...

I haven't had much to say lately. I have gotten pretty depressed over the "Brian needs a church" excitement. However, on Wednesday, we got a reprieve! Brian will be preaching for a search committee this Sunday. The church I grew up in has allowed Brian a place to preach several times and is doing so again in order to help us. So, keep praying, we might be able to see around the bend in the road and find that we have arrived at our destination.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Still no phone call. Thanks for your continued prayers.

Still Waiting

Why is it that when I have plenty to do, I can find distractions, but when I NEED a distraction, I can't find one? At least, not one that I like. The Bible tells me that things will move quickly from today, but I am ready to have confirmation on that. I am so ready to be on staff again.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I am waiting. On Tuesday night, a search committee will be meeting to discuss who God is calling to be their pastor. Brian and I have both received promises from God about this church. It is hard to wait to see if we interpreted His promises correctly. We hope to get a phone call on Wednesday telling us that Brian is their choice. I don't wait well.

I have learned much in the last three years. Patience still comes hard. I am trying my best not to doubt and am successful sometimes. I so wish I could put it to the back of my mind and not think about it until Brian tells me he has gotten a phone call. I guess I will just have to be patient a few more days.