Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Just a few shots of Eli before we had breakfast at Cracker Barrel with Adam and Amber. Isn't he precious!?! He was a trooper all weekend with all that was going on. I know Kyle was ready for them to be home. I love my family. Bet you couldn't tell.

Cole and Lynn

Our family celebrated this past weekend when my nephew Cole took Lynn to be his bride. We absolutely love her. The ceremony was so sweet. Cole is so laid back that nothing seems to rattle him and Lynn, well, she was the sweetest bride ever. Not once was she rude or short with anyone. Just sweet. Pretty amazing. God bless you two as you begin your life on the Foundation that will never crumble.

Oh, to be,

to abide, to dwell, to rest, to hide, to breathe, to snuggle, to cover up . . . in the presence of Jesus. Doesn't the thought of that bring tears to your eyes? Just to know that it is even possible? Psalms 91 says "He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. "

This past week has held emotions of extreme joy and soul-wrenching grief: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Sweet. I would find myself trying to put my eye on my Bible - to make sure it was close. One day I was in my own vehicle following Cathy to Midland, and I opened it and laid it on my lap. When I was waiting for the light to turn green or for them to bring out my drink, or while she ran into the cleaners and the bank, I would pick it up and take it in. Take in Jesus. I wasn't suiting up and diving in searching for treasures. I was wading in with my float, climbing on, and with my face towards the Son, I let the Water lap over the sides to calm me. To refresh me. He loves me like that. I love Him a bunch too. Just wanted you to know.

Friday, February 20, 2009


My nephew Cole is going to take this young lady for his bride tomorrow. The scripture in I Peter 3 says our beauty is not to come from outward adornment but from a meek and quiet spirit. This girl is beautiful from the heart out. We are so glad Cole asked her to join our family. The adoption papers can now be torn up. A time to rejoice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Red Letters

She heard her name . . . "Cindy" . . . in red letters. She heard her name in RED LETTERS! It wasn't a tug at her heart, a nudge at her childlike soul. The One Who spoke the universe into existence gently spoke her name. From His mouth to her ears. She heard it. She was so close she might have even felt His breath on her face. My heart is overwhelmed with joy for her at this moment, but also with a grief from the very pit of me for her husband and children. For our church family, for my girls, for Michael, and for me. We loved Cindy.

About 2 years ago she walked into our church and she's been faithful ever since. Since she accepted the Lord there isn't a person I know could knock the smile off her face. She had some difficult times the last few months, but was on her way back up. She and I met on Monday nights and I told her last time that I wished everyone I visited with had the same motivation to get things lined up right with the Lord that she did. We saw progress fast! She was getting after it.

Her grandbaby and her children were her reason to live. They did so much as a family. They had a big family cookout on Monday night. Cindy had a huge heart, taking in any straggling kids that didn't have a place to live. Her sister-in-law told our girls at the hospital the other night that Cindy adored them. We knew she did. She and Hannah were texting a couple of hours before her wreck on Tuesday night.

I'm in west Texas for a wedding so it has been tough. If I couldn't be home, though, this is the place to be. I was going to go home yesterday, but Michael didn't want me on the road. Throughout the day I would get messages from the girls with the little sad face sign at the end of the messages. My heart hurt for them. They have been so strong for Lacey and caring for the other kids. It's amazing. Please pray for Michael. He will be coming out here for the wedding, and drive back to be able to love on our grieving church family on Sunday. There will also be a funeral in the mix, we just don't know when. Pray that the Lord will show Him how to do it all.

Father, I love You. Thank You for the free spirit You let us come to love in a very short time. I believe the joy in heaven just multiplied ten-fold early yesterday morning. What color was her hair when she got there? Orange? Green? I was just wondering. Can You believe her smile? Ear to ear! Thank you for the hugs I got Monday. I'm gonna miss those. I'm gonna miss her wave across the church on Sunday mornings. I'm gonna miss her banana pudding. She made the best banana pudding. I know I'm rambling, Lord, but that's how my brain is right now. I know there is a season for everything. This weekend we are rejoicing and mourning at the same time. Like a roller coaster ride. Thank You for being in the seat right beside me. Tell her hi for me. Let her feel Your breath. Oh, sweet Jesus, let her feel Your breath.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Watch

You cannot walk into my closet. You can lean into my closet. I have photography stuff, sewing machine, old school books, shoes and, oh yeah, clothes - all thrown in there because there is no other place. And because we were having young adults over last night so everything was hidden in my closet - and under the bed - so it would look like my house was clean. I'm not the poster child for being a "keeper at home" like Titus 2 tells us we are to be. The sad thing about that is that I don't have a job outside the home that keeps from being here to make sure things run smoothly. I know some girls that have a full time job and family and can still put their hands on anything that is needed at home because she is a "keeper at home". When I looked up the definition of what being a keeper at home means, one of the words that caught my attention was to be a "watch" over her home. She is to make sure things run smoothly as far as knowing there is clean underwear in the drawers and where the screwdriver is, but also to know what is going on spiritually. We've talked about that before. She looks well to the ways of her household. I'm telling you, the Lord tells us in several ways the importance of knowing and fighting off the enemy from our homes. If you don't dust and mop once a week, I kind of think the Lord won't ask you to be accountable for that when you stand before Him. If you don't watch and pray against the sin in your home, you will answer for it.

I love Nehemiah. He was a Jew that had been taken into captivity and had been assigned to be cupbearer for the king. Nehemiah got word that the wall was down around his beloved city Jerusalem. He was able to take a leave of absence from his cupbearing resposibilities and take materials back to begin the rebuilding of the wall. When he got there he was walking over the rubble of the wall and two men (Sanballat and Tobiah) came up to him and basically told him the job was too big - there was no way he would be able to get the wall rebuilt. That is how the enemy gets many of us when we are trying to do something to fortify or protect our temple, whether physically or spiritually. He discourages us and we give up and quit. Nehemiah didn't quit. He positioned a person with a horn to be able to alert him of enemy threat. He circled the city with people who carried weapons, then he had others that worked on the wall and carried weapons, and some that just worked on the wall. They were all ready to fight off the enemy while the work was going on.

When we lived in Stillwater I planted a garden and had eight tomato plants. They were planted on their little mound and then I put a circle of dirt around each plant. The girls were helping me one day and I showed them a few little weeds coming up around the tomatoes. I told them the story of Nehemiah and how he was rebuilding the wall around the city. I showed them the circle of dirt around each tomato. Told them that each tomato represented one of us in our family. There was the daddy tomato, mommy tomato, down to the Rachel tomato. We had to watch it closely, and whenever we saw a weed coming up we had to pull it up so it wouldn't swallow up our daddy, mommy, etc. I explained that is like sin in our lives and if there are a bunch of weeds (sin) the tomatoes would be choked out and we wouldn't have fresh hot sauce. The weeds were the enemy. It was so cute to watch them yank out the weeds while yelling for them to "leave us alone!" There were a couple of times I remember specifically being out there with a hoe, chopping like a mad woman. Just me and God. Even when the weeds were cleared I kept chopping and crying that the enemy would leave my kids alone. That, my sweet one, is keeping a watch over your home. I wish I was always that diligent, but I'm not.

Forgive me, Sweet Jesus, when I get tired or too busy to keep a watch over my home. Burden my heart to listen for the Holy Spirit to be the alarm when there is enemy attack on the ones I love. Then to hoe until there are blisters on my hands and I see You clearly and beautifully in their lives. Oh, my heart loves You!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Daddy

I think it is pretty amazing how parents are teaching their babies sign language before they can speak. When our kids were babies, we had to guess at what the "point and grunt" meant. At Christmas, Eli showed us often how he could sign "food, more, milk, Mommy, and Daddy". One time after he woke up he walked into the kitchen and signed every word he knew, and did it pretty quickly. He was REALLY HUNGRY! I fully expected him to cross himself as if asking for it in Jesus' name, just so he knew his needs would be met! I was talking with Kyle a couple of weeks ago and he was telling me how he is getting to keep Eli two days a week when he is off. He is spending more time with him than before. They like each other pretty much. He told me that when he doesn't have him, Eli will sign "more" and "daddy". I might have misunderstood what he was telling me, but when we finished our conversation, I kept thinking about "more daddy". I thought of how it probably makes God feel when we tell Him we need or want more of Him.

Some days when I get the empty feeling inside I feel like I need to fill it up with something. I think I would feel better if I just had:

some time to myself

some chocolate; preferably supported by two scoops of Braum's Creamy Vanilla, topped with roasted pecans and a
couple of cherries singing the Hallalujah Chorus as loud as their little cherry mouths will sing

some more grandbabies (hint, hint)

my house cleaned up

my new chicken pen built, or

my garden plowed.

In reality, all I need is more Daddy, more Abba Father, more Jesus - Lover of my very needy soul. Sometimes when I wake up in the wee hours of the morning, I pray for all I know to pray for then beg the Lord for a little more shut-eye. I was thinking about that today while I was driving and realized that He CHOSE to wake ME up to spend time with me. He loves me so much. In Isaiah 50 it says "Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear and I was not rebellious: I turned not backward." In other words, whenever He wakes me up I don't roll over, pull the pillow over my head, and desperately pray for more sleep. He CHOSE ME to visit with. Out of everybody else. ME. I need Him. Oh, how I need Him.

If you are trying to fill up that spot with people, alcohol, drugs, things, or calendar events, it won't get filled. We were born with a void inside that could only be filled by something greater than what we can control. It has to be Jesus.

Fill me up with You today, Jesus. Up and overflowing. I need more Daddy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Man

Sixteen years ago on a Sunday afternoon, Kyle, Adam, Kayla and I walked down an aisle in the chapel at First Baptist Church, Snyder, to take someone new into our family. Some of the people in the chapel weren't sure how they felt about the whole situation or if it would even work. I knew it would. We had some adjustments to make and some issues to work through, but it has been a very sweet journey. I never thought I would be a preacher's wife and Miichael never thought he would be a preacher. We've both grown up a lot since that day, and learned over the years that we just want to walk through life together and be available for whatever God plans. He knew he wanted to grow old with me even though at the time I wasn't too keen on growing old at all. Now I love to think about our later years and how sweet they will be. And the grandparent role? It makes me smile to think of him as the Poppa as the other half of this Lollie.

From the very beginning there has been a song he sings every once in a while and it always brings sweet emotion to me.
"Rockin' chairs, rockin' babies', rock-a-bye, rock of ages. Side by side, we'll be togethter always." That is one of the lines out of the old Dolly Parton song. When we had the babies and they would cry, he would always mention what a sweet sound that was because "some people don't ever get to hear that sound". He loves being a dad. To all of them. He would sing that song because it made him think of us, with all the kids until our growing old years. I love that.

I can't believe it has been sixteen years. It has been sweeter than I ever imagined it could be. He is my best friend and confidant. He makes me laugh, especially at night before he gets in bed when he reaches over and picks up both socks he has just "moon walked" out of, then holds them high like they are trophies or something, a sock in each hand with a silly grin on his face. It cracks me up. This man laughs in his sleep. I love that, too.

I love it when he wears a baseball cap. I love to watch his hands when he plays the guitar. I love it when he gets emotional when he talks about the Lord. I love when he teahes me the Word when he's been studying. I love that he loves me so much, no matter what I look like. I love that when I'm down he encourages me. I love to hear him play the piano late at night when we are all in bed. He brings me diet coke from Sonic. What an amazing husband. An amazing man. My man.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Say No to Crack

In Titus 2, the older women are told to teach the younger women to be sober, and love their husbands and children. They are also to teach them to be discreet and chaste. The definitions for discreet and chaste are "temperate, self-controlled, sacred, pure, pure from carnality, modest, and pure from every fault". We live in a time where modesty and purity are almost unheard of. The girls were talking the other day about when we first came here, how shocked they were when they would see someone's cleavage or backside because of how low the shirts and pants were worn. They said they weren't shocked any more because they have seen it so often, but it does seem to be getting better. Not long after we came there was a lady getting baptized and one of the young ladies standing up there with her had "Up Yours" on the back of her shirt. She also had on some very short shorts. Standing up there for the whole congregation to see. I think it may have caused a few of our women to have a case of the vapors. If we are faithful to teach and not to condemn or criticize, they slowly start changing their ideas of appropriate dress because the Holy Spirit is leading them.

In Ruth 3:3 Ruth was told by her mother-in-law to wash, clothe, and annoint herself and then to go lay at Boaz' feet (her prospective husband). The word for clothe means "doubly clothed". Instead of taking her clothes off to get her man, she actually covered herself with an extra coat! You girls without husbands, know that when you wear provocative clothes, it will take a long time before a guy will know your heart because he will be preoccupied with what your body looks like. Just remember that "perky" eventually loses it's perkiness and "firm" will eventually best describe your mattress rather than your backside. If he falls in love with your heart, then physical things won't matter years later. How sweet is that !?!

For married women, in Proverbs 31:11 it says that the heart of her husband safely trusts in her. Your wardrobe should never be something that would draw another man's eye to your body. Your husband should be confident that the things you say and the things you wear would always bring honor to him. If you ever hear "nice melons" from somone other than your hubby, you better be standing in the produce section of your local grocery store! So to be discreet and chaste, means you must strive to be pure from every fault. You are to be pure in the way you think and pure in the way you dress. If you are striving to honor God you will honor your husband and his heart can safely trust in you. That is really sweet.