Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Time Spent

One of the greatest treats for me as a Momma is to see my kids ministering to other people. When Kayla talks about the Bible study she has in her home with several of the girls who were part of our Bible study in Stillwater, I usually cry. It makes my heart happy. Jade is loving on other mommy's babies and Amber has prayed over the radio with one who was waiting for help to come. Kevin spends valuable time with a young man going to school in Tulsa. Both Kyle and Adam have talked to people about the Lord, sometimes while their audience is captive. :)

When I talk with Keith and Sherri about the university ministry at Lubbock, I am overwhelmed with how God is using them. When I was at their house last Thursday night we stayed up until well after one just talking God talk. So sweet.

Marla shares some of when she and Justin lead worship and, the greatest of all - when she loves on her babies.

There is nothing I want more than for my kids to be in the center of God's will. Watching them work for the Lord, hearing how they love on students/young ladies/babies just makes me feel like I'm going to explode.

This past weekend in Ruidoso I was so blessed to spend time with Sherri, Marla, Tara and Cynthia as we loved on those girls. There is nothing sweeter than working alongside girls you've been blessed to spend time with earlier in life. Knowing that time put into their lives is now bearing fruit.

Love every minute now.

Worth every minute then.

Sherri, Cynthia and Tara

Sweet Girls

Twins - not really

Baby Anna

Monday, March 28, 2011

Free To Sing

I couldn’t stand there any longer. Not one second more. My body slid down the door frame to my knees. Hearing the hearts singing out in worship to their Bridegroom, their Lover, their Jesus, forced me to my knees.

I soaked it in. It was beautiful to me.

It had to be glorious to Him.

For months I had prayed that He would meet with us there. There on that mountain. My prayer was that He would show us Himself so mighty that we couldn’t credit any one else.
I pictured Him getting to the cabin before us, walking through to make sure everything was ready.

We had some things to give Him. Some names that didn’t belong to us but we carried because we believed the deceiver. We gave Him Unworthy. We gave Him Immoral and Unforgiven. We gave Him Forsaken and Unclean.


Then He gave us something in return. He called us Worthy. He called us Forgiven and, I love this, My Delight Is In Her. He called us Daughter. And, hold on . . . He called us Bride.

That is why we could sing. These girls who wore black and red and who could have possibly thrown a tortilla or two in their college lives.

We sang because we believed Him. Oh, we already believed in Him, but now we believed Him.

Our voices singing out Jesus Loves Me. Our hearts crying out Lord I’m Amazed By You.
We took it in. We took Him in.

There in the back of the room on my knees I listened to hearts. Hearts singing out strong because an exchange had been made.

An exchange that made us free to sing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Watering Trees

Today I went to the church for a few minutes and noticed our Oleander trees needed water. The garden hose wasn't in front because men were using it in the back moving fence to give us more parking. So, since I was there I decided to go out and water the pecan trees by the arena that we planted in memory of loved ones.

I climbed the fence and started pulling the hose down to the end of the fence line. There was mud all over the hose, but I noticed that it smelled a lot worse than mud. As I was walking back to turn on the water I found out why. I had pulled the whole hose through a freshly laid cow pattie. I started to say freshly squeezed but that didn't sound very lady-like. It's safe to say that the hose wiped out most of that fertilizer mound.

So then I began to soak the trees. I bent over to wash all the mud off my shoe and raised up to see 20 something cows/steers/bulls (not real sure what they are so I'm covering all bases) staring at me through the fence. They had horns. I screamed a little.

Finishing one side and headed for the other, I was stopped in my tracks. Turned around and a big red cow/bull/steer was standing on my manure rough hose. Right on it. "Shoo!" didn't work. It just stared at me. I threatened with words that included "ground" and "round". Still stared. Reminded me a little of being a mom. The water hose became my weapon. They eventually left so I could finish up the job I had started.

The trees are beginning to bud, for which I am so grateful. The sign of life on something that represents a life no more.

I remember planting the first tree with the daddy of the man the tree was to represent. We dug, watered, planted and covered this small tree. He helped me with several others and as I was putting up hose, I noticed him leaning on his shovel, tears in his eyes, looking at this tree.

There was nothing he could do to keep his son from escaping the grips of cancer, but he was going to do everything he could to keep this tree alive in that boy's honor.

That shovel bearing the weight of a dad and his grief.

They are brothers, sons, daughters, and husbands. Eight trees now doing more than growing and giving us shade and fruit.
Eight trees set as a reminder of lives lived.

So we will water. To see life.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Four Sisters Close

At any given time there can be two to six razors on the side of our bath tub. Last week there were four all piled up on each other. Kayla was on my mind because she was going to come stay the weekend with us and every time I looked at those razors I thought of the four girls. Four sisters so very close.

Kayla was ten when we brought the first two home. She was almost eleven when we brought the last one home. From the very beginning she became second mom. She wiped bottoms and noses (not necessarily in that order) and kissed skinned knees. At times there was frustration because nothing was her very own it sometimes seemed, because there were six little grubby hands all over her stuff.

She seldom complained.

Now days when these girls are struggling with stuff, they often call her. She is always ready to be ears to hear and words to comfort.

God has also blessed us with two more who are ready to listen if needed. Jade and Amber are always ready with God answers to hear and God arms to hug.

Hannah, Leah, and Rachel. You are blessed. Blessed not only with your second momma, but now with a third and fourth who love you dearly and want to help guard your heart.

I'm blessed as well.

And oh, so thankful for the reminder on the side of my tub.


Our yearly "sister trip" took place in Tampa Florida this year. We loved it. Twice we went over to Ybor City and walked up and down the "Cigar City" sidewalks, and tried different cuisine. Cathy like her Greek meal, but Christy and I didn't love ours. But the Cuban food we LOVED. The food was good, the dessert was excellent.

We went to the beach on Wednesday afternoon and it was the perfect end to a great trip.

I took videos with my phone for a lot of the trip and it wasn't until we played them back and heard the commentary that we realized how hick we really are. Or at least I am.

We shopped, ate, and laughed until we cried.

Most of the photos turned out blurry, which I was quite grateful for that on our "jumping pictures". You just really don't want to see those. So funny.

So, once again, Christy, thank you for letting us go along with you. Thank your bosses for me. It was wonderful!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This Toe Don't Scoot

Shoe shopping has never been a top priority for me. I had a pair of flat blue slip on shoes for probably 8-9 years and wore them whenever I didn't have on tennis shoes. Wearing shoes most of the time is a priority for my feet - they don't like going barefooted. As a young girl, my best friend Gale and I would move irrigation pipe in the alfalfa field to try to toughen up our feet. We wanted good calloused feet. Walked on caliche roads - anything to have tough feet. Not sure exactly what our reasoning was, but I'm sure it made perfect sense at the time.

At this time in life, I search for the most comfortable shoes I can find.

I do have a problem, though. The problem is that I have a toe that doesn't cooperate. One toe. The big toe on my left foot is bigger than the big toe on my right foot. It also hurts if it isn't tucked comfortably into a sock then poked into a tennis shoe. Someone mentioned gout. Not sure what it is, but I do wish it could be something with a prettier name than gout.

Cathy and I were trying on sandals yesterday and I tried to slip my foot into a shoe. I don't know about anyone else, but when I slip my foot into a flip flop, I really don't slip it. I go in about halfway then use my big toe to walk it up in there, one scoot at a time. It didn't work this time because of the darn toe with the ugly name. So I sat down a little exasperated, and put the shoe on. I had come to the harsh realization that this toe can't scoot anymore.

So yesterday I found some cute shoes that make my happy. Every time I bent over today and saw my feet, I think I said something about loving my shoes. They even make a happy sound when I walk.

Living without the full use of part of your body that helps hold you up takes some adjustments. Other toes have to step up and work a little harder. Take on a little more of the work.

I received a phone call several years ago from a girl that was in my family group at a youth camp many years earlier where I was a team leader. We visited and caught up on life then she said something like "do you know what I remember most about you?" I was ready to hear something like how much I loved the Lord, how much I loved my kids, etc, etc. But what she said made me a little sad. The thing she remembered the most was that I couldn't clean house without my shoes on. She remembered correctly - I couldn't - still can't. But what broke my heart was that I had a whole week to put Jesus into her and I failed. The fact that I can't clean house without shoes on made no difference in her life. She went through many struggles and heartaches that maybe, just maybe, if I had focused on the important things, life could have been a little easier for her.

Sometimes there are those in the body of Christ who feel somewhat handicapped. They are hurting - and others need to step up and be hands or feet for them. Sometimes they need to be ears or voice for them. They are all around us. Sometimes it IS us. If we do it like we are encouraged to do it from the Word, we will still function as a body and the hurting ones will find healing.

My prayer is that you don't make the same mistake I did. Keep the important things important. Give them Jesus first and foremost, because that is what will make the difference in their lives.

Friday, March 4, 2011

He Speaks, and the Sound of His Voice

There are times you hear from God and it’s as if He is sitting beside you whispering His will right into your ear. His Creator voice into your created ear. Some claim to have heard an audible voice from their God. I haven’t had that experience, but I might as well have. There have been many times I knew an answer was straight from Him.

The last time that happened was a week ago Saturday. For several months I have been preparing to speak to a group of ladies from Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy. The theme for their retreat was based on the different relationships women experience. I bought several books and read through the one they were suggesting. I had notes everywhere and books everywhere, but nothing was coming together in my head.

So that Saturday I was at the church all day trying to help Michael by keeping visitors out of his office so he could study, and had all my notes all over the desk trying to come up with something. Still nothing.
That night as I was heading south toward the house, I cried out to God, asking why things weren’t happening for me. After all, I only had six days left. Then I clearly heard in my head, “I didn’t make you a speaker. You go do what you do.” Then a sweet peace just came over me. I woke up the next morning, still without a plan, but a confidence that He did have a plan.

That next weekend in beautiful Camp Tejas, God met with me and 100+ other women eager to hear from Him. He was amazing. Ely also heard from Him and the songs she brought to sing with us went hand in hand with the spoken Word. I wish you could have seen their faces as the Word washed over them. A beautiful sight. I was so blessed to be able to witness that.

What if I hadn’t heard from Him? What if He spoke and I didn’t hear because of the desire to have a plan to please or meet others’ expectations? I hate knowing that I’ve probably missed Him many times. I don’t ever want to miss Him again.

There is a song that has played itself over and over again in my head the last week or so. One part of it goes like this:

He speaks, and the sound of His voice
is so sweet the birds hush their singing.
And the melody that He gave to me
within my heart is ringing.

Thank you, Jesus for putting the melody in my heart. It comes from You and only You. Thank You for loving me enough to tell me what You need me to know. Thank You that I heard You Saturday night.
Take the glory, Lord, take the glory.