Apr 30, 2007

Monday Morning Praises

Today, I just want to praise God for a wonderful weekend. We had a few obstacles to overcome with the kids that I want to share, but in each case, we came through just fine. It is funny how sometimes the distractions in life, are the best ways to teach a lesson. Here is some of what happened.

Obstacle 1-We left Corpus to go to Victoria for the weekend with a cranky bunch of kids who were irritable, sleepy from a week of standardized testing at school, and way too much junk food at school(in celebration of the testing ending). This made for a very unpleasant trip of bickering, whining, and often the occasional threat from the parents.
Lesson- Have a talk before leaving town, and lay ground rules of expected behavior. Pray first, not after the bickering has begun. Invest in some type of dvd player for the car as soon as possible (just kidding).
Once we got to the grandparents house, they were great! They took all their frustrations out on Skip and I beforehand, and I guess it was out of their systems. I'm not condoning any of their behavior, but I am so happy that they were sweet the rest of the trip for all of us.
Obstacle 2- Once we arrived in Victoria, Seth realized he did not have his book he was supposed to have for a project due on Monday. He had left the book in his lunchkit which I thought still had food in it because it was heavy. I threw it in the fridge on the way out of the door, so it wouldn't be left out on the counter for the open house we were having on Sunday. He meant to take it with him, so he had left it out.
Lesson-Seth learned only he is responsible for his book and remembering to bring it with him. When you aren't responsible, your work is often doubled. He was only three chapters from finishing the book, and we could not find that book in Victoria. Instead he read another book called Sounder, which took him away from a lot of fun and play time, but I don't think he will soon forget something like that again.
Obstacle 3-Our daughter Ashley went to youth at our new church for the first time on Sunday, and loved it. In her excitement, she wasn't thinking and left her purse unattended while she went to hang out with some new friends in another area. When she returned, her phone was taken out of her purse.
Lesson-Ashley learned that she needs to be responsible with her things wherever she may be. I told her to pray about getting it back, because God is concerned with every detail of her life. She did. I temporarily cancelled her phone because we have a basic plan that doesn't cover text messaging, and I could just imagine someone using it and the huge bill I could have incurred. As we were driving home last night, we received a call that Ashley's phone was retrieved. I told Ashley all of this might not even been about a lesson for her, but instead a lesson for the one who took it from her. I pray that this may be a turning point for that child and this may be a time that they saw Christ's love and forgiveness.
Lesson for me-I have truly sheltered my daughter(in love of course). She is so trusting of others. I learned that just because she is in a christian school, in a church youth group activity, or anywhere, her safety is in Christ Jesus and always has been. I need to lean on knowing that I have done my best, and I will eventually have to let her spread those wings. I can pray for her, teach her, encourage her, and love her. The rest I need to give to God.

In reflecting over the weekend, many scriptures have come to my mind. One scripture that sticks out the most, but is so simple is this:

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33b

***I want to add that Parkway celebrated 15 years of Changed Lives this weekend. It was a beautiful service that I will hold dear always. Scott Weatherford, our dear pastor and friend is now leaving the church to go to where God has called him. May he continue with bringing thousands more to Christ in Florida, as only God allowed him to do in Victoria. He will be missed by so many, but we rejoice in his new endeavor. Also, may God bless his family and his friends who are taking that journey with him. You have personally been so instrumental in Skip's and my life and our ministry. I will never forget all you have done for our family. You baptized Skip, you dedicated my first two children, you sat with us at the hospital for all of Seth's surgeries as a baby, you prayed with us more times than I can count, and now you've given Skip such a wonderful opportunity to serve God at Parkway. You are a true blessing! Thank you so much.

Apr 27, 2007

Friday Fun

House Stuff
My house is still for sale, and we have yet to have an offer placed. I know I have done everything I can humanly do, and now I am waiting for what only God can do. It is not a matter of the price or even the house itself, there really aren't any homes selling in my area or price range. This waiting, and praying has been so wonderful for me. I am out of control, and that is precisely where I need to be so that I can look to God through all of the uncertainty. The blessing, as I've mentioned before, is that Skip is able to stay with family when he begins in May. He has been home working on the computer so much lately, that I haven't had a chance to really blog or catch up with all of your blogs.

I did find a home I love in Victoria, but we are waiting to make an offer until we have someone interested here. I am praying that it will still be on the market, but if it's not, I know God will have something even better in store. That may be why we haven't sold our's yet because there is a perfect house which is not yet on the market. Don't you love how I think I have it all figured out? There goes the control thing again. LOL

I have been spending a lot of time with Skip and the kids over the last two weeks. I know I haven't left yet, but it is wierd that I feel like I don't really belong here. I went to my current church last week with the kids, while Skip went to Victoria, but it was a strange feeling. I didn't understand why I felt that way because that has been my church for the last 9 years. I think it is because my heart is already thinking of my new church home. The new friends and connections have already begun, and I am going through some sort of natural letting go process, I guess. My close friends still call or email daily, but others I think have already gone on with me gone. That is a good thing, and it probably is best. I am so happy the friendships I hold dear are still letting me know that we will keep in touch. I know several of my past friendships have only grown stronger when they moved away. It is wierd how you can say so much and really share your heart with someone when you are writing instead of talking.

Skip is busy with creating all kinds of neat things for the web, video and music at our new church. He is so happy, and giddy(yes, I said giddy) about all God is going to do. He keeps asking my opinion about songs, and video ideas to add to the services, which is totally fun for me. We used to do that kind of thing together all the time a couple of years ago. We think alike and our humor is so similiar, that we ended up cracking up forever last night about all the silly things we have done over the years together. You know, my man is certainly not perfect, but he is just a perfect match for me. I hope everyone loves and accepts Skip at Parkway, just the way everyone has done at BAF.

Bible Study
I only have four more weeks of the Daniel study, and do you know what? I don't know if this brain of mine can handle it. Just kidding, this is by far the BEST STUDY I HAVE EVER DONE! I was confused by a scripture yesterday, probably due to the fact that Beth Moore had me flipping pages and rewinding the dvd like crazy, and I remembered that my dad and I went through a study of Revelation about 13 years ago together. Not only when I called him to ask the question, did he know the answer, he within 30 seconds, had out his outline and notes to share and help me. Skip said, "He probably had the file labeled by date and color coded." He's right about that, and I love my daddy for it. I started thinking about all the bible study time I can have with my dad when I get back. I know without hesitation, he IS in the Word everyday. It wasn't that way growing up. He did not ask Christ into his heart until my parents divorced and he hit rock bottom about 16 years ago. I praise God that he gave me the dad I always wanted, even if I was 24 years old when it finally happened.

I don't know if I mentioned this but my old bible church pastor is now on staff at Parkway. He knows all that Hebrew, Greek translation stuff that makes my brain hurt but I have suddenly developed a passion to know more. Since small groups are where bible studies take place outside of the church during the week and not on the weekend, I was so psyched to learn that there are a few adult Sunday school classes. I may be a bit out of place, but I told Skip that I am signing up. He just smiled and laughed. He thinks I'm a little like my daddy I'm afraid. I am currently leading only my 3rd bible study in my home, and I would love to continue, but with more knowledge and understanding. I really want to help new christian women in their walk.

Important Stuff
That's about it, other than I found some really cute shoes at Target last week. If you want to take a look, here they are. I have a narrow foot, and these fit great. I love heels and feeling tall when I'm only 5'5''. I found a cute black and white polka dot top to match at Ross. I think I paid around $11.99. I love me a good deal. Happy Friday everyone!

Apr 21, 2007

An Beautiful Day in Corpus

It doesn't matter how sunny and hot it is in Corpus Christi, you can rest assure that there is almost always a breeze blowing. I love the wind so much, even though my hair will tell you otherwise. I will probably miss that feeling so much when I move.

I was playing some basketball with my son outside today and we ended up sitting on the basketballs having a chat about random things. We were talking about some of the houses I saw online that I will be viewing this week, and about what we will be doing about his school options next year. Seth, as well as my girls, like the idea of homeschooling and we were discussing some of the things that we hoped God would give us clear direction about in the next few weeks. As we were talking, we just decided to pray together outside. We pray all the time inside, but rarely out in the open with the breeze blowing through our hair. It was probably one of the best prayer times I've had with Seth, and let me just say that he is my Number One prayer warrior. Remember when it snowed in Corpus several winters ago? Seth takes full credit for that answered prayer. He also believes that is why the Aggies(Whoop!) beat that certain Austin team this year in football. I know God listens to our prayers, and when we put our trust in him, he will lead the way. Seth has learned this at a very young age, and I feel truly blessed for that. He will be fine whatever path God leads us along.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Seth and me. We took it at a wedding several years ago, but I think he is still just as cute today. I can't wait to still be praying prayers of faith with this sweet young boy when he too big to set on his mama's lap.

Apr 18, 2007

For Heather

Today we have the awesome privelege to help a friend who is in need of our love and support. Heather was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, and Boomama is setting up a way to give financially to her family. Many people in the Christian blogging circles have followed Heather for quite some time and know of her trials with her precious daughter Emma. I don't know this family personally, but I know that Heather is a treasure by what I've learned about her over the past year.

If you would like to give a donation in any amount, please head over here to lend her your support today. I am doing the same right now. I know that if this was happening to me, you would all do the same without hesitation. Let's help another sister be blessed today. Thank you guys so much!

Apr 17, 2007

Thank you Sweet friends!

Okay, my pity party for today is over. I received the sweetest, and most insightful emails and comments EVER! Thank you guys so much. I know I'll be fine. I'm holding true to Proverbs 3:5-6.

I just wanted to say I am in utter shock about the events that unfolded yesterday when I was worrying about my silly stresses. It is unfathomable what occurred at Virginia Tech. I am lifting up those sweet parents, families, and friends of those who lost their loved ones yesterday. I know God can use this tradgedy for His glory.

Cry...Pray...Cry... And it's not even That Time

I am having one of those mornings where try as I might I cannot quit crying. I knew the excitement of the upcoming move would eventually have to die down a bit, but I wish so badly it didn't. You see I spent yesterday in Victoria looking for homes, and schools. I guess I thought since I have been praying about both of these things, that God would just open the paths and I would miraculously have answers to both questions. Instead, I am so lost that I haven't a clue what to do. The main problem I'm having is that there are basically three(according to very trustworthy resources*friends*) public schools that should be excellent for my children. However, my kids have attended an amazing private Christian school for the last 5 years and have been somewhat sheltered from real life (I know, I know the Christian bubble thing and all). I like that bubble for my kids, so there. Anyway, I went to check out a Christian school that seemed very similiar to our current one, and got so excited UNTIL (there is always an until) they told me they only give pastor discounts if you are a senior pastor. I guess this is a common thing, but I have a big problem with that. My husband who is a worship/media/video pastor works just as hard for his congregation as any senior pastor and probably makes a lot less a year. Anyway, I currently receive a 40 percent discount at my our school and I told them (the new christian school)that. They said they were sorry, but even to senior pastors they only give a 25% discount. Skip has basically said, "Well, it's between public and home schooling." I am terrified of home schooling because I know my kids and I know me. WE WILL NEVER CHANGE OUT OF OUR PJS. I know that is okay for some, but I don't think I can emotionally handle the change, nor do I feel a calling right now to do that. I did homeschool Ashley for kindergarten and she did great, but I did not enjoy it. I had no support system and I was extremely lazy.

Okay, back to homes. There are lots of homes for sale in Victoria, but if I am going to go with the (so called) top 3 public schools, I need to live in certain areas. We wanted to have my brother-in-law build us a home, but there is basically no houses for rent while we build. I checked on several, but they go so fast that there wasn't any when I called. I don't even know if I want the extra stress of building when Skip is going to need my support in his new job role. I know I sound like I'm complaining, and I am, but I am at a loss of what to do. Skip has no time to help in this. He is so happy and thrilled about work, but he has asked me to take care of the house hunting and the schools. He feels that I will make good choices and he just wants me to be careful with staying under budget on everything. We are taking a pay cut, but Victoria's cost of living is a little lower. I need prayer guys. I need my current home to sale, I need to know what to do about schools, and I need to find a new home. Also, I need to stop crying and trust God in all these matters. He has been in this move from the beginning, and I don't know why I am letting myself get upset. He will take care of me and my family in All things. I am praying this Psalm from my one year bible today.

Pslam 86
1 Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;
answer me, for I need your help.
2 Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
You are my God.
3 Be merciful to me, O Lord,
for I am calling on you constantly.
4 Give me happiness, O Lord,
for I give myself to you.
5 O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
6 Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord;
hear my urgent cry.
7 I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble,
and you will answer me.

Apr 13, 2007

Friday Fun

My sweet girls and I took a quick photo at the new church on Easter. Note that it was 40 degrees outside, but that didn't stop me from wearing my cute new Easter dress. I love red right now, and this dress was on sale at JCPenney. You should see the cute strappy sandals that I found at Payless to match. What can I stay... I'm a thrifty girl.

We had another house hunter yesterday, but they went with another home. I know I need to wait on the Lord and be patient. Thankfully if Skip needs to go to Victoria before the kids and I do, we have tons of relatives to stay with until I can join him.

I wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU for all the sweet emails and comments I've received about our upcoming move. I couldn't feel more love and support from all of you. I really am going to catch up on all the new blogs out there very soon. Sorry if I haven't been by to visit your site lately.

I'm sure many of you have heard of the serious health problems for two very beloved bloggers- Kelli and Heather. If you have not had a chance to catch up, please go here and here to find out specifics. There is going to be a fundraiser for Heather on April 18th at Boomama's site. I hope you will all join in to help this family in need of our prayers and resources.

Apr 11, 2007

Are You Sitting Down?

Hang on to your chairs girls, because I am about to take you on a ride with me. This ride started about 9 and a half months ago as Skip and I were vacationing in our favorite mountain vacation spot- Estes Park, CO. Skip was about to undergo surgery for hip replacement the next month and we were just beginning our sabbatical. He was in quite a bit of pain and needed the rest from our crazy schedules. On one particular day, Skip did not get up and fly fish like he normally does, instead he just layed there in bed. I'm an early bird on vacation so I was up drinking coffee, watching for elk out our window, and basically just enjoying the beautiful scenery. When I went in to check on Skip, he was crying. My manly man DOES NOT CRY. Okay, maybe at the birth of our three children, but that's about it. When I went to him, he was openly sobbing, and he told me words I will never forget. He said, "What do you think about going home." I knew he did not mean cutting our vacation short, he meant going home (as in our home town. As in moving. For those of you who know us, we have been in Corpus for 8 years(this May) and love it like no other place on this earth. This is where Skip and I have truly experienced God in a way we could have only imagined. This is where Annie(our 7 yr. old baby was born) and our children have grown up. This is where Skip has been led by God to help build the most awesome church in the world(I am a little biased). This is the place I find comfort and strength from friends, neighbors and my church. This is home. So I then I looked Skip in the eyes and said as gently as possible, "WHAT? ARE YOU CRAZY? ABSOLUTELY NOT, CORPUS IS MY HOME AND I WILL IMMEDIATELY GET TO PRAYING THAT YOU ARE IN SOME SORT OF DELUSION FROM YOUR PAIN MEDS AND THAT THIS CONVERSATION WILL NOT EVER COME UP AGAIN." I wish with all my heart that I could say -Naw, I'm just teasing. But with all honesty, I really was did say something like this and I shut my husband and his feelings down out of fear and insecurity. We have about the most wonderful pastor in the world you could dream of, an A+ staff. I can't even begin to tell you about the wonderful people here. It is too many blessings, you will be jealous. I'm serious! The people in South Texas are as friendly and giving as you could ever find.

Now fast forward into a couple of months, and God started to speak to me through my prayer time. I started praying more for Skip and for his happiness and his desires. I slowly started thinking less about me and looking more to my husband's passions and joys. Don't get me wrong, he has been happy everyday at his job and could probably go on doing the same things until he goes home to be with the Lord, but is that what God wanted? I really started asking God to show me ways to pray for Skip and his talents to be used by God to the fullest. Skip started to take on a more behind the scenes approach in weekend worship. He was directing the services, and doing more video, instead of singing and leading us in worship. Skip was okay with that, and in fact the talent that came forth was phenomenal. Not only talented musicians and singers were brought to us, but also more artistic web designers, and more volunteers with vast skills that were needed to make worship even better. It was amazing how God just kept making things better and better. Skip, however, still seemed to be becoming restless and questioning of God as to what he was supposed to do. I was keeping all of this to myself, but I knew my husband was searching for answers that he didn't even know the questions to. I shared this with my wise friend in China, who prayed constantly for us. In the mean time, Skip was so busy with the new building so there wasn't a lot of free time to do anything but keep moving forward.

We decided to put our house on the market in November as many of you know. We wanted to move to a one story house, and get our housing costs down a bit. Well, months have now gone by and we haven't had a single offer on the house. I kept praying that God would sell it, but I didn't understand why he didn't. Then a few weeks ago, we were told that our old church in Victoria was losing their Senior Pastor, administrative pastor, and their worship pastor. The three of them are going to start a wonderful church in Florida and are leaving a huge void that needs to be filled by someone that God can use to bring about growth, vision and change. This is a wonderful church called Parkway Church that has about 1200-1400 a week in attendance. Not only did we find out they were losing their worship pastor, we found out that they wanted Skip to come and be the new one. Okay, I'm at this point freaking out! Nine months ago when Skip brought this desire up, I never thought there would actually be a possible job opening. I also never thought God would call us out of our comfort zone. Parkway has a wonderful interium pastor who has a heart for reaching the lost, which we have met with and absolutely love. He is so different from our current pastor, but Skip and he clicked immediately with ideas and vision. We began to pray and get immediate confirmation from God. Not only that, our BAF pastor is completely aware and has been so supportive of whatever we choose to do. Bil is in the business of following God -Whatever it takes. He and his wife are very sad to see Skip leave, but they know what Skip has brought to BAF and are thrilled for Skip to share his gifts with another church. Yes, we are taking the job and moving in a couple of months. Praise God, this girl is going home. Guess who lives in Victoria? My mom and her husband, my daddy and his wife, Skip's parents, my brother and his wife along with their 18 month old twins (too precious), my brother-in-law (my sister is currently in LA with her son breaking into acting), my 19 yr. old niece (I'm very close to her), Skip's brother and wife and their beautiful family, my grandparents, Skip's grandmother, too many aunts and uncles to list, and so many friends that would take up pages and pages to come. Everyone in Victoria already knows and is so thrilled. We are just now sharing with friends here which is very sad, but they couldn't be more excited for us. I guess I know now why my house did not sell over the last 5 and a half months. God knew what we didn't. Is this the coolest thing, or what?

I am still in shock a bit, and haven't a clue about schools for the kids, but I do know that God is in this and he is fully preparing the way for us. He has the details worked out and we need to trust his ability to lead the way. I feel so blessed, excited, and sad all at the same time. I feel I have truly learned a ton here, and I am ready to go out into a new season of life. I wanted to tell all of you so badly what has been going on, but I promised Skip that I would wait until everything was official. We could not be leaving on a higher note. BAF had 10,150 people in attendance for our grand opening weekend. Yes, I said 10,150 people who heard the word of God preached and tons came to Christ for the first time. Skip has been here since the beginning and it is bittersweet to leave. I know that he is going to offer so much to Parkway, and I myself am also ready to bloom into something beautiful there. I hope all of you will join me in this wonderful adventure. I have a feeling it is going to be a thrilling ride.

Apr 7, 2007

I Am Speechless

I just got home from celebrating the most awesome Easter service EVER! We had standing room only on our Saturday service and we still have 3 more services tomorrow. I am fully confident that MANY found Christ for the first time tonight. I am so blessed to have been a part of this special night as we opened the doors for the first time to our new building. The music had me on my feet praising God and had me crying in awe of how great His sacrifice was for me. Bil preached his best sermon thus far, and GOD WAS GLORIFIED!!!

Happy Easter!!!!

Apr 5, 2007

One Of Those Days

Today has been one of those days that I haven't let 30 minutes or more go by without stopping to pray. My kids have joined in with me since they got home from school. The main source of my prayer has been for our church. Skip is in complete panic mode. I would never want to disrespect my husband in any way, shape or form, but I do mean he is in complete stress mode. I can't say that I blame the guy since our church is literally opening it's doors to our new state of the art building in less than 48 hours and we have no sound working. Yes, I said no sound. Everything is hooked up and musicians ready to practice and NOTHING is working. Satan is probably having a good ole time laughing it up, but I happen to know that he is going to get his due when that first note is played and everything comes together in God's perfect timing. Skip is the guy ultimately responsible for this entire area, and he is feeling the pressure. I know that when you all join me in prayer, heaven is going to hear. God will be glorified, and this weekend's services are going to be wonderful.

It is so funny that in my Daniel study this morning, Beth was sharing that there are three ways to respond in a crisis situation. 1)We can panic, 2)We can become paralyzed, or 3)We can pray. I am going for the latter for sure. I have been going over all the incredible ways God has moved in my life over the last several years (I am talking miracles), and I am believing for the same this weekend. Even if we have to sing acappella, God's praises will be heard.

***UPDATE*** I went up to the church about an hour after writing this post to pray in person, and to watch rehearsal, and let's just say, THERE IS SOUND!!! I was bawling at how beautiful and powerful the music was. We have been blessed with such gifted musicians and singers, and especially tech sound/lights people (they never get the recognition for making everyone look and sound so good). I was also crying that God heard and answered our prayers so quickly. This weekend is going to ROCK because we have we have a God who is THE ROCK!

Apr 1, 2007

Fun Flicks

I have been on a week break from blogging with a lot on my heart. I will share with all of you sometime after Easter exactly what this is all about. In the meantime, I will leave you with two excellent movies that you need to watch when you get some free time. One is a dvd and the other a great family movie that just opened this weekend.

I know many of you have already seen The Pursuit of Happyness, but those of you who haven't-GO RENT IT!!! This movie made me so appreciate the blessings in my life. It also made me very aware of how hard work and determination don't always pay off immediately. Sometimes you have to work a long time to see those rewards come to pass. The acting is exceptional and I was literally clapping and crying at the end. I was all alone when I watched this (Skip at work) so I didn't really have to worry about my reactions. I'm one of those people who like to get fully immersed when I take on a movie and the storyline.

We took the kids out on Friday night to see Meet the Robinson's. I used my trusty Rotten Tomatoes review site and it did not dissappoint. If there is a 60% or higher fresh rating, I usually love the movie. I'm pretty easy to please with movies. Meet the Robinsons was rated G which is always a plus, and it was Disney at its finest. I loved the cleverness of it all. There were several times we were laughing out loud and it was visually a wonder to watch. I didn't even see it in 3D which was suppossed to be even better for those of you who have a theater that is showing that version. A great movie to take kids 7 years old and up! I just picked 7 because some smaller children may be a little scared during some of the darker scenes(which aren't too many). My kids could have seen it at any age and done fine, knowing that it is just a movie, but I know some children get scared a little easier than others.

With Easter and our first service in the new building only a week away, I'm sure this week will be busy. I am challenging myself to pray everyday for the lost people who will be attending BAF for the first time this next weekend. I pray that they come to know Jesus Christ as there Savior, beginning that relationship which will last for eternity. So many lives have already been changed at this church through God's awesome power and mercy, that I can't wait to see what He has in store for the next phase.