Saturday, January 31, 2009

Keith, Sherri, and Averi

If we could hand pick our kids, I would keep all mine and pick me out several more. Keith and Sherri would be tops on that list. We love them and little Averi. They came for a few hours back in November and we took advantage of that time to get some pictures. They are precious to us and we still hope one day to have them closer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Frannie connecting to Meemaw

I did a post last April about Sandy and Mac. Sandy prays for me as if she gave birth to me and I love her a bunch. Last Monday at our ladies' Bible study her phone went off while she was in the closet with several other ladies (don't ask) and her ring tone was a baby laughing. The other ladies loved it and asked Leah and Hannah if they could blue tooth it to their phones. They were laughing about it later because one of them had Sandy's phone and the other had someone else's phone and the phone said "Frannie connecting to Meemaw". Sandy's grandkids call her Frannie. I love that. The girls thought it was so cute how the women had their "grandma names" on their phones.

We were studying Titus 2 that night about how the older women are to teach the younger women. The word for teach there is "to restore to one's senses, to disciple, to hold one to her duty, to call along side, to comfort". Isn't that beautiful? They are to teach the younger women to be sober. That means they are to not take in anything that would keep them from being clear headed. That they are sharply aware of all that is going on. Then they are to be taught to love their husbands and children. This means "love in action for the glory of God" and "tender affection". Whoa. We are to show tender affection for them even if we don't feel it because it glorifies God. I believe with all my heart that if we do it out of obedience to God, He fills our heart full of love for them. We don't have to do it out of our own ability. He gives us the capacity to love when we feel like we can't. I remember when Robby first came to our home. He had been there for several days and I pretty much let the girls do the holding and playing while I did busy "Mom" things. I started praying that God would love that little boy through me because I didn't know if I could make a heart connection on my own. One morning I was standing at the mirror putting on makeup and I heard this little voice down behind me say "Mommy?" I turned around and knelt down and took that little auburn haired boy to my chest and held him. From that day on I held him with my arms and held him with my heart. Not because I was a caring, loving person, but because I asked God to love this little guy using my heart. My arms. My voice. He did. Boy, did He ever.

You don't have to be a Frannie or Meemaw to teach younger women. Look around and see who God has put into your life for you to encourage.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I HATE SATAN . . . and clutter

I got off the phone the other day after visiting with someone for quite a while and hearing about how satan has completely deceived someone they love very much. I was in the van and just hit my fist on the steering wheel and screamed "I HATE YOU SATAN!! I hate what you do to the people I love. I hate how you deceive them into thinking they deserve to be coddled by the things of this world. I hate how they believe your stupid lies and how I know you gloat in the fact that, in their failures, others suffer as well: their children, their parents, their husbands or wives, and anyone else who may have watched them when they were walking with the Lord. I HATE YOU! LEAVE THE ONES I LOVE ALONE!!!!!" Do you think he heard me? You bet he did! And so did most of Ennis, Texas. I did realize later that my cheerleading training in 'how to yell' had completely left my mind, because my throat was sore the next day. That screaming came from nowhere near the diaphragm. Because it was hysterical. I'm surprised my eyeballs weren't bloodshot. That's how mad I was. The fact is, I probably need to get that mad more often. Maybe my praying would become more fervent and we would see more victories. I remember talking with a mom once about her daughter and how she had wandered so far from the Lord. She told me that when she got frustrated with her daughter's sin and disobedience, she would go and take a bath and pray for peace. I told her that if a man came in and grabbed her daughter and tried to take her off with him, she would be right in the middle of him and physically do everything she could to make sure she was safe. She would be MAD. Then I told her that this very thing was happening and, though not physically, her daughter was being carried away. She better climb outta that tub, wipe the bubbles off and fight for her precious daughter. Tears streaming down her face, she said "I hope it's not too late." I wanted to weep.

In Proverbs 31:27 it says "She looks well to the ways of her household and eats not the bread of idleness." Your children are gonna hate that you are about to know what this verse means. One of the definitions for "looks well" is "to spy". What? Go through her drawers, check her cell phone? You bet. If you know what is going on in her life, you know how to pray, you know how to train. It is our job as parents to train them up. To help them make right decisions. Let them know that you are on their side. That in teaching them to follow God's rules you are preparing them to stand before Him one day. I can already hear someone say, "I would NEVER infringe on my child's privacy!" I visit with adults now that would give anything to have had parents that cared enough to keep them on the right path. To keep them out of harm's way. We are supposed to help them learn how to be lights in a dark world. Besides, if you go through her drawers, you can clean out all the clothing she hasn't worn in 3 years, but is keeping it for sentimental value. Which brings me to the other thing I hate.

Clutter. I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore because I would just be setting myself up to fail. I've never kept one. It is only natural, though, that at this time of year, one would think about what that resolution would be if there was to be one. Mine would be to get rid of clutter. I'm on a mission to declutter. Not because it is the New Year, mind you, I just hate clutter. It has never made me mad enough to hit the steering wheel, but I have growled before when looking for something in one of the stacks of papers that "I might need one day". According to, I not only have house clutter, I also have body clutter. There is nothing about clutter that is good. As a matter of fact, I think it probably fell from the heavens with satan and a third of the angels way back at the beginning of time. I can see them falling now: desk clutter, kitchen cabinet clutter, closet clutter, and drawer clutter. Then there is car clutter, porch clutter, barn clutter and ground clutter (ground clutter?)! All falling from the sky with their little evil laughter ringing through the heavens. Just mocking me.

I was dealing with brain clutter the other day and did something my friend Lauren told me about. She said she has a friend that has what she calls a "brain dump" every once in awhile and writes down all that is in her brain so it is out where she can prioritize and get things done. I did it and it felt really good. Now I have several "Brain Dump" pages in a stack by my bed. I will start tackling the body clutter thing when I find my Total Gym under all the holiday decorations.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


My mom came in last weekend for a visit. I told her I didn't have anything to do, but forgot we had a baby shower for Averi and we needed to go to the hospital in Dallas to see a little girl. Every time she comes I put her to work. It doesn't get to be a "get-away" weekend for her at all. She is the Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Colorado City, Texas and it sure keeps her running. I'm grateful for her job because she really enjoys it most of the time and I think she would get pretty bored if she didn't have it.

She loves having all the kids home for Christmas, and this past Christmas some of the grandkids didn't get to make it - which was a little sad for her. She cooks a huge meal and makes lots of sweets. She sets tables up in her garage for all the grandkids to put their suitcases on and at bedtime, everyone grabs a blanket and pillow and finds a spot on the floor. Every year she does as much work as the year before. There was only one time I looked over and saw her sitting on the couch asleep. So peaceful. She was happy. Mom has always been such a giving person. Whatever any of us needed, she did her best to provide. I will always be grateful to her for teaching us to give. And to cook and sew. And to make our homes be a haven for others. She made sure we knew those things when we married.

The girls wanted some pictures with Nanny because all the big kids had their pictures made with her when they were little. So after the shower Sunday afternoon we went to the park and used what little light we had left and got these pictures. She didn't want to take her glasses off, but I love the ones with them off. Her eyes are so blue. These are some of our favorites. Thanks, Mom, for all you do. I'm so grateful for you. I love you.

Monday, January 19, 2009


There is a page in my red Bible that, when my Bible is closed, pokes out a little from the rest of the pages. I can actually pull it out because it is no longer attached. It is Proverbs 31. I'm no expert on this passage, but I've studied it so much and seen so many little treasures in there, you wouldn't believe. At least they are treasures to me. In this particular section, a mom is telling her son what kind of wife he needs to look for. In this, we can see what kind of wife/mom we need to try to be and what kind of wife/mom to pray our daughters will be and our sons will marry.

This morning I was kind of thinking back on the last week and felt a whole range of emotion, from anger to complete compassion, when the various mothers I either saw or heard about came to mind. Then when I went to the Word, I pulled out my "page" and, once again, read over these words I love so much. In verse 15 it says that she rises while it is yet night and gives food to her household and a portion to her maidens. In just taking this for what is says, you know that this mom takes care of the physical needs of her family and if she has any servants, she feeds them as well. If you look up the word for meat, one of the meanings is "strong meat" which is referring to something spiritual instead of physical. So she not only takes care of physical needs, but she is the place they get what they need to grow spiritually. They learn how to hear the Lord and be obedient to His will in their lives. If you back up a verse and see that she is like a merchant ship and seeks her food from afar. The word for food there is "lechem" or "bread" or "shewbread". So what she is doing is feeding bread and meat. Hang with me here as I go one step further. The word "shewbread" means "bread of Presence" or "bread of Face" and was used in the temple to basically represent the face of Jesus. Did you notice the capitalization? She's giving her kids Jesus. Between the meat and the bread, their little tummies are full, but so are their hearts.

One lady was telling me last week about her husband's grandmother who is near death. As she was telling me different things about her, she started weeping and said that this dear woman was the first woman to ever pull her to her chest and stroke her hair. When she was in her mid-forties. She said she had always felt like there was an empty part of her that needed to be filled by a mother stoking her hair. Last week I heard about a mother who didn't hug or touch her daughter. Another mother who would turn a deaf ear to what was going in her young daughter's room with some man she brought home from the bar. Step-mothers and foster mothers who have not treated their children as the gifts they are. The reason I know these stories are true is because I'm seeing the effects it is having on their grown children now.

In verse 28 it says that her children rise up and call her blessed. If a mom is going to be called blesssed later on, she's going to have to feed her children right now. Pray for them whether they live with you or not. If they do live with you, teach them things that are God. Be the face of Jesus to them. Stroke their hair.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Your Breath Smells

When we had little Robby living with us (See Sept. 2007 post), sometimes when he crawled up in our lap his little hand would fan in front of his nose and he would say, "Your bref stinks!" Not one family member escaped the honesty of that little guy. He's been on my mind lately and, when I remembered that, I smiled, but my mind went to one of my favorite scriptures in Song of Solomon.

In chapter 2 this young soon-to-be bride is speaking of her future groom and describes him as an apple tree among the trees of the forest. My favorite part is where she says, "I sit under his shadow with great delight and his fruit is sweet to my taste." For those of us who are married, we are to sit under the protection, provision, and sweetness of our husband with GREAT DELIGHT. Most of us don't do that. I can also hear some of you now telling me there is nothing sweet about sitting under his shadow. Our Father set it up where we would be taken care of if we stay put. Taken care of by Him. So many times we see things this world has to offer that are right past the Shadow of that protection. We think we will be better off if we take the reins in the marriage because "he isn't doing it right", or "he doesn't understand me". Or we leave because "we deserve to be treated better". So we step out of that protection with a bullseye on our back and satan comes in for the kill. I do, however, know some women who left a marriage without ever stepping out from under the Shadow. They hung in there until there was a peace to let it end. You may not understand that, but in walking along with them, I felt that same peace. Then again, I know a LOT of women who stay in a marriage, never sitting under the Shadow. Their whole marriage is doing their own thing, making their own rules. If we all understood that it is the Lord Who is our protection, provision, and sweetness, sitting under that tree would be delightful.

See, in reality, it is ONLY the Lord Who is our apple tree. If we sit under Him with great delight, every other aspect of our lives will fall into His will. He protects us, provides for us, gives us shelter from the enemy and sweet things to eat. Maybe we all get to pick what kind of apple tree . . . Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Caramel. Hehe! Actually that leads to another favorite verse that goes right along with the apple tree thing. In chapter 7 the Groom is telling his bride how beautiful she is. In verse 8, He says in the King James that "your nose smells like apples". That is why I thought it might be a Caramel Apple tree because I always have to eat caramel apples with a wet rag because the end of my nose gets sticky. In the English Standard it says "the scent of your breath like apples". I've read this so many times, but even in typing this out I'm overcome with emotion at the beauty of this. Do you hear what He is saying? I can hear Him say, "Come my precious one, and sit under My Shadow with great delight. You can trust Me to protect and provide for you. You can trust Me to love you when you may think no one could or ever will. I will fill you up with My sweetness so that when you are around your family, your friends, your co-workers you will breathe . . . ME."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Humor me, please

The holidays seemed so different this year just because we didn't have Thanksgiving at the house and we didn't celebrate Christmas together with our kids until New Years. Even then we only had about 9 hours to eat two meals, open gifts, take pictures, burn the Christmas tree and wrestle. It was a sweet 9 hours. We enjoyed being together so much. Sat in the livingroom with four guitars. Hannah entertained with her newest songwriting venture "Spicy Burrito" mainly to get a laugh out of her older siblings. It worked. We crammed as much love as we could into those few hours.

Before Kayla and Kevin left, we burned Adam's tree. Back when we were in Snyder we would take our tree down on Adam's birthday and instead of blowing out candles on a cake we lit the Christmas tree. I don't care how old a person gets, they will never see that much fire on a cake to celebrate a birthday. Once in Stillwater the wind was up and we chased that burning tree across the side lot of our house! It was neat to be able to do it again here in Chatfield. Since we didn't have time to get ours down, they brought theirs! It was sweet to see the girls all in their matching pjs.

On Friday Jade dressed Eli in his halloween costume so we could see what he looked like. He was the cutest little hot dog you ever did see. I feel like we miss so much being so far away. That is okay. We know how to make up for lost time. Just give us a few hours.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

We got it special for you . . .

When we walked into the house at Mom's for Christmas, my little nephew Hayden came straight up to Michael and told him that he drew Michael's name for the gift giving time. Then he said "You will love it. We got it special for you!" I do believe that before we sat down to open gifts Hayden had asked everyone there if they could keep a secret, and if the answer was yes, then he whispered into their ear the gift he got for Michael adding that he got it "special for him". He was so excited. When we all sat for the "opening", Hayden sat in the chair closest to where Michael was sitting. He wasn't going to miss this. I didn't want to miss it either. Hayden's face, that is. I wanted to see the joy of giving on this little guy's face. I wasn't disappointed.

Denise became our sister when mom married her dad. She was fourteen. Mom kept us up on all her sporting events. She was a great athlete. Her dad had been raising her since she was a young girl. She watched as her sister went through chemo treatments and finally lost her life to leukemia. Shawn's mom also died of cancer, after months of care from Shawn. He told us once that his mom hated missing church even though she was too weak to even walk. He would take her to church, carry her in and sit her down so she could worship. Denise married Shawn after going to college and they moved to Lubbock. Not long after they married, his little sister was killed in a car accident. These two have walked through a lot.

In the last several years, they found a church in Lubbock they just love. They are raising their precious boys to love the Lord and serve Him. It has been beautiful to watch them grow. They are doing an amazing job with their boys, but also with other kids they have the priviledge to coach or love on at church. Anyone who knows them can see their heart of service for the Lord. You can keep up with them on her blog Every time I read it I thank the Lord for what He has done in their lives. I sure do love you guys. Hayden, Michael loves his Cowboy Cross. Thank you for showing us the joy in giving.