Saturday, January 31, 2009

Amazed For All The Wrong Reasons

I am amazed sometimes at how people can chronologically age but their maturity and concern for others seems to have gotten stuck in neutral somewhere back in their teen years.

How can she call herself a parent and yet choose to flat out ignore the damage her choices have on her kids? By her own admission she chooses to be completely self-focused without regard for the unnecessary burdens her words place on their shoulders.

Amazed, for all the wrong reasons, you tried to explain to her how unfair and harmful it was to them and all she could say was, "I don't care. They should know. It's my house and I'll say whatever I want to them."

They walk around spouting comments that they couldn't have dreamed up in their wildest imaginations, with information they shouldn't be privy to EVER, and it's easy to conclude exactly what's being said inside those four walls.

She can't handle the pressures that life deals sometimes, doesn't want to actually take on the responsibility that she should because it would require too much effort, so she chooses to lay those pressures at the feet of her children so that they can be sucked into her adult world. What happened to the premise that parents are supposed to PROTECT their children, not treat them as one of their friends or confidantes? You know, friends... those adult people whom you CAN and SHOULD vent to when things get tough?

Who is the adult here, anyway? Are you raising your kids or are they raising you?

What happened to parents letting their children lead child-like lives and shielding them from all the CRAP that will eventually land at their doorstep anyway as they get older?

Oh, but wait... that would mean that she would have to get past herself and realize that they are her children, not her sounding boards.

Bring The Rain

I'm lying (laying? always get confused about the usage of these two words) here in bed against a heating pad because I am so whacked that even though I'm on birth control pills to control my out of control hormones, my insides have found a way to dominate the stickin' synthetic hormones and ravage my lower half with intense cramps and nausea. I must have the strongest hormones known to man or would that be women?

Anyway, that's not the point of my blog, I just had to rant about it and MY blog seemed like the perfect place.

So, I'm outside yesterday enjoying the beautiful sunshine and cloudless blue skies while laying (oh, there's that word again) on the trampoline. I've got my iPod on and it's just shuffling through different worship songs. On comes MercyMe's Bring The Rain, and it made me cry and smile all at the same time.

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray...

Is my life just one big rain cloud right now? Absolutely not. Are there circumstances that I would rather be past and not have to deal with? Absolutely. I personally know people whose lives hold so much more pain than mine and bigger issues than mine. But my life is still mine and I do feel the blows dealt by it even if they don't compare to what others are feeling right now. Is that a selfish perspective? No, just real. Other people's lives give me perspective and I'm thankful that God cares enough to adjust my perspective when I'm too self-focused, but I've been on both sides of the perspective teeter-totter, so I'm capable of both viewpoints.

Back on point... this song was exactly what I needed to hear yesterday. Can circumstances possibly change who I forever am in You? That one stirred me to my soul. And that's when the tears fell. It was like Jesus was right there next to me, looking up at the sky, enjoying the warmth of the sun, and in the midst of it all He asks me, "Can your circumstances possibly change who you forever are in Me?" No, they can't. I can temporarily let them affect my emotions and even challenge my faith, but today's circumstances and tomorrow's problems won't ever change who I am in Jesus.

So with one simple line from a shuffled iPod song, my perspective was changed, even if my circumstances weren't.

Jesus... bring the rain!

February Foots

Tomorrow is the first day of February. What the heck happened to January? I swear [only sometimes] it feels like with each year that passes, the days get shorter. Even my kids keep talking about how it feels like time just flies by. Kids aren't supposed to notice that! Kids are always trying to speed up life, to get to their next birthday without pause for the year of life they have to leave behind to get there. But not my kids. Their noticing time. What does that mean?

Speaking of February, I get to change the page on my Christmas Gift calendar, which means I get to enjoy a new picture of my kids for a new month... hence the title of this blog: February Foots. My February pic is all about the kids' foots (the Coppedge ism for feet). It makes me smile when I see it. Any picture that Coli has taken of me and my family makes me smile because I know it was taken with love. (lub lub my friend!)

February 1st... not sure I'm ready to change months just yet, but I guess I don't really a have a choice, do I? Time marches on whether we like it or not!

Friday, January 30, 2009

dirty Laundry

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

The problem is sometimes I'm unwilling to put my stinky garments in His hamper to be washed. I have favorite sins, like favorite shirts, that I'm resistant to take off. Sometimes, I just wear my sin day in and day out, and the idea of confessing it and asking for grace doesn't even cross my mind. It's like He has a pile of clean clothes ready to go, but I walk right past them.

I read this paragraph from a devotion this morning, and these words resonated with me. It made me wonder how many times I sin [in small ways] and yet never consider asking for forgiveness, for cleansing... to be laundered. It's obvious when I sin in big ways, those that don't go by unnoticed by others. But what about those times when no one sees me or when the infraction is so minute that it even flies by my sin radar?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Everyone's gotta laugh at least once each day... preferably more... but sometimes the day itself just zaps that opportunity. (or is it me that's truly responsible? hmmm, that's another Oprah)

So, this is what made me laugh - OUT LOUD - today:

Cadbury Eyebrows from Nils-Petter Lovgren on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Going to bed after a hard day, still without concrete resolution, but with something more important - as my SisNBff told me earlier - UNITY. Tomorrow is another day and tomorrow's always have the possibility of holding what I sorely missed today... hope!

This Morning

This morning I'm ANGRY
This morning I'm FRUSTRATED
This morning I'm HOPELESS

I wonder what the afternoon holds?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fictitious Beauty

Beauty is POWERFUL. It may be the most powerful thing on earth. It is dangerous. Because it matters.

As I was reading in the second chapter of Captivating, this line opened one of the sub-sections 'Why Beauty Matters'. It grabbed my attention, and I immediately wondered what the next few paragraphs were going to hold. Was the author of this "Christian" book now going to expound on all of the virtues of physical beauty, as the world sees it? As it turns out, the answer to my question is NO... and YES. Here are the six words she used to described beauty:

Beauty speaks - every experience of beauty points to eternity
Beauty invites - think of a piece of music that captures you or an ocean that beckons you
Beauty nourishes - recall an infant feeding at her mother's breast
Beauty comforts - remember the bouquet of flowers at your loved one's memorial service
Beauty inspires - creativity in all forms
Beauty is transcendent - it speaks of heaven to come or the Eden we never knew

What an ironic chapter for me to read as I slipped into the bath tonight, hoping to soak away the residue from my day. Only minutes before I turned the faucet to release the hot water, I had spent a good half hour browsing the most recent photo additions to a website that chronicles celebrity plastic surgery.

It's been well over a year since I even considered satisfying my curiosity of the extraordinary beauty that is Hollywood and its icons; and for the first time that I can remember, I no longer found myself envious of what I was viewing but, instead, angry.

How is it that the majority of us 'normal' women have been so cunningly tricked into believing, and yearning for, the 'natural' beauty of Hollywood? Yes, we're all aware of what good lighting, a fabulous photographer and a few layers of Photoshop can do, but those magic tricks still only enhance one's beauty, they don't alter it. These Hollywood icons still have to start with natural beauty, right?

I soon discovered a different truth. Almost every woman that I consider beautiful has been surgically altered. The press is so eager to tout the great genes that "so and so" has been blessed with - this unique specimen of exceptional beauty - and 'we' buy it... hook, line and sinker! Yet all one has to do is to take a look at the 'before' and 'after' photos - BEFORE she was famous and AFTER her trip to the Beverly Hills surgeon - and the difference is remarkable. What's been thrown in our faces as nature's physical anomaly is simply beauty purchased for a price.

The set of photos that made me shake my head in disgust - probably because I'd never even considered this actress as one of the "surgically transformed" - were the before and after shots of Scarlett Johanson. She's barely 23-years old but has been in the public eye for most of her adult life. Scarlett is THE beauty of her generation... striking, sexy, hypnotically gorgeous. Men of all ages swoon at her feet and women wonder why they weren't lucky enough to be born from her gene pool.

And then the truth is revealed! She is only an icon to envy because she had the money to buy her beauty. Without the nose job and cheek implants, without the celebrity make-up artist and hair stylist, she grows up as one of us normal women - another face in the crowd.

We have an entire generation of young girls and women who shed tears of shame or guilt or jealousy because they weren't "blessed" with the natural beauty of actresses like her. And the tragedy of it is that the real Scarlett is never shown, never publicized, because that would allow the rest of us to breathe a sigh of relief and actually appreciate what we have to begin with... and realize that Hollywood beauty is what it's great at producing... a work of fiction.


Wow! It feels so good to finally have all my journal entries, since I started blogging 3 years ago, in one place and organized by date. It took me two days to complete this task but now that it's finally finished, I can move forward with sigh of contentment. It's like spring cleaning for the online diary. Brings a smile to my face. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Two days ago, after being sick with the flu for the preceding 3 days, I sat outside in the warm sunshine and was completely refreshed by Jesus. It was an unusually warm and sunshiny day for the middle of January, so I took advantage of the healing effects of sunshine and Sonshine. I spent 2 hours on the swing worshiping, praying, and listening. I had an awesome time, and God spoke a few things to my heart so directly it felt like He was sitting next to me and we were having a conversation like two, old friends. :)

Today I woke up and the weather has drastically changed. It is 48 dees-grees colder outside today than it was yesterday. Texas always seems to live up to its standard saying: If you don't like the weather right now, wait a day - it will change. Boy, has it ever!

I love spending time outside worshiping and being with Jesus, so I bundled up with my over-sized PIA jacket, two scarves, a beanie, mittens and my tall caramel macchiato and headed out to the swing, armed with my iPod and Bible. I spent an hour outdoors listening to varied music from Gateway and enjoying the winter morning. Near the end of my worship time, Revelation Song shuffled through my iPod and instead of singing along I decided to just sit and listen. Since this was the live version from Gateway's most recent CD, I was not only listening to worship team but also to the hundreds of voices rising from the crowd that was gathered that evening. It felt like I was standing in heaven's throne room as the saints worshiped their Savior, Jesus. :)

As the song progressed to the verse that sings: "Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder, at the mention of Your name...", I was immediately met by the awesome presence of Jesus. It surrounded me like a warm blanket and my face lit up with a smile that only His presence brings. Tears of joy spontaneously rolled down my cheeks because me body instantly reacts when Jesus makes Himself known to me in that way. He is so faithful to meet with me, even if it's just to give me a hug!

As I pondered that lyric, I couldn't help but wonder why those moments of being awestruck at the mention of Jesus' name were more few and far between than ordinary. Not ordinary in the sense of being bland or common place, but ordinary as in having it be a regular happening in my day-to-day affairs. Why am I not so awestruck on a daily basis? Jesus' name holds more power than all the forces of nature combined and then some; that alone should bring me to my knees every morning before crawling out of bed.

Jesus... help me to make the time each day to do nothing but sit in Your presence and be awestruck by the wonder Your name. Remind my heart - when it desires to complete the To Do list or, even worse, just be lazy - that You are waiting to meet with me; that Your breath and living water are waiting to feed my spirit and restore my soul.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Focused on the Positive

Since my last 2 blogs haven't been the most "positive" in nature, I've decided to blog today on the good and stay away from the downer crap. Being brought down by a situation or perspective is not a bad thing in my eyes because it's often the catalyst for change, but I can't stay in the negative mind frame because then I'll remain stuck in my hole.

So, here are my positives for today:

I got on the scale and was relieved to find out that the near end of my period has also brought with it a drop in the water weight gain that goes with it. I was 6 pounds less today than I was on Friday, and that brings me a sigh of relief. 162 means I'm closer to 160 than to 170. Whew!

I woke up with a raging headache this morning that I went to bed with last night. My headache is not completely gone, but the extra bed rest, extra-strength Excedrin and extra, loving care from my hubby has reduced my pain from a loud roar to a dull thud.

Something I ate yesterday caused my belly to go into extreme gas/intestinal pain mode last night. 2 doses of Pepto seemed to lessen the severe cramps and stabbing pains for a short while, but they would come back as soon as the pink stuff settled. I was awake until 4am, even though I was so tired all I wanted was to go to sleep; but the pain was so intense at times that even though I was trying to get my body to relax, I found myself on my hands and knees breathing through the pain like I did when I was in labor. Who knew that bubbles of gas, which never really seemed to find their way out of my body, could cause such grief? This morning I woke up with a sore belly - I think from the muscles cramping up so harshly - but the stabbing pains are gone. :) :) :)

The first week of 'back-to-school after the holidays' is over, and we're now settled in our normal routine again. The Christmas season is awesome but having this new year ahead of us is like a breath of fresh air!

I am really thankful, especially after a conversation with my SisNBff, that my life is relatively drama free (right now)! Boy, I've forgotten just how much emotional turmoil can be stirred up when people lose their focus of what's real and what's truly worth dying on the mountain for. Peace is definitely under-rated!

I have a husband who really loves me and truly wants the best for me.

I have my SisNBff who shares a part of my heart and I know will always be my Friend-To-The-End, no matter what.

At an age where most girls are developing their independent side and reaching for more freedom, I have a daughter who really wants to continue to be home schooled when she could choose a whole new world of people and experiences she won't get at home.

I have a home who's scent (and every home has it's own) is familiarly comforting to me. It's my home, and I'm so thankful to blessed with a place to call my own.

I have a true friend in the Holy Spirit... my comforter and counselor.

Monday, January 12, 2009


What are you really hungry for?
I'm hungry for purpose. I'm hungry for finding the greater purpose in what I do... and too much of what I do seems so mundane to me. I want to fit comfortably into my role as wife, mother, teacher and caretaker of my home. I struggle against worldly standards that preach I have to do MORE to not feel like a failure. I'm hungry to know that I'm truly making a difference in the lives of my children as they are raised. I am a full-time Mom and teacher more than anything else because I daily impact the lives of children I am responsible for raising into Godly, responsible adults.

Why are you overweight?
Because I really like food... the taste of it, the smell of it, the feeling of joy it provides. Food is not just a "necessity for life" kind of thing; it is a component of daily satisfaction. It satisfies cravings, while at the same time bringing more. It brings me comfort when I'm feeling down. It is my guilty pleasure when no one else is around. It's something to do when I'm bored. It's fun to eat and it's become a crutch.

Why have you been unable to maintain weight loss in the past?
In the past year, I've lost my "mind over matter" discipline. I haven't cared about the way I've looked or the fact that I was outgrowing my clothes; I simply ate because it felt good, without thought of the consequences. I haven't cared about me or who I became in this eating journey. I lost my desire to work out or to stay healthy, and I never found a way to pick it back up.

What in your life is not working?
My body, for starters. My body changed drastically in 2008. I battled hormonal fluctuations that were affecting every other aspect of my life and because that battle took its toll on me physically, I gave up emotionally. I had expectations for every part of my life - especially my marriage - and when those expectations were not met, the defeated emotions played into and fueled the fire for what was already wreaking havoc in me physically. I was told on Christmas Eve - and I've since pondered it greatly, time and time again - that I simply have not learned how to live with my spouse and vice versa. It's such a simplistic view, but in so many ways, it has burned in my heart. I could write a lot about the independent events of 2008 that didn't work, but they're really not important. What is important is that I am taking control of my fluctuating hormones through being on The Pill, and Anthony and I are completely proactive in investigating every road that will teach us how "to live with each other".

Why do you want to lose weight?
I HATE the way I look and feel. I know I will never be a supermodel size 0 or even a size 6 for that matter, but my perspective on how I used to look has changed. I look at pictures of me from just a few years ago - when I thought I was "fat" - and yearn to be that "fat" again. I really did have a nice shape... a normal shape... one that was attainable for most people and not by just the blessed few with hypermetabolisms or the ability to just not eat. I was healthy looking. I was not super skinny, but I've never been skinny. I've always been athletic and I really like that about me. I'll never be a woman with a ballerina body, but I don't think I ever wanted that anyway. I want to look good again. Good being about healthy and toned. I want to feel good again. Good being about healthy and toned. I love the feeling of workout and the results of sweating for a purpose. I just have to dig down and find the ability to get back to work so that I can love the work again. I want to deserve to be called beautiful when my husband sees me in my birthday suit. Not a beautiful that the world sees, but the beautful I felt even on my honeymoon from less than 2 years ago. I've gained 18 pounds since I've been married. That's just NOT okay... on anyone's terms. It's definitely not attractive on my body and it's completely unhealthy for me, considering that I'm not 20 anymore. My body is getting older and my weight will affect my health... if not today, then tomorrow. I once got down to a size 8 - a true size 8 - after working out extensively after having Alec. I thought then that I was still "fat" because I couldn't wear a 5, a size I've always been fixated on. Even with compliments about the way I looked - and I now know that I DID look good - I wasn't satisfied because 8 was still considered large by worldly standards. Now, I don't care about the world or what it says about anyone over a size 2. Who really wears a size 2 anyway??? I don't personally know 1 adult woman who actually wears a size 2, so that standard is only practical in Hollywood. I would be tremendously happy just being a nice size 10. Seriously, I would. And that's going to be my long-term goal; not reachable in 2 months, but definitely reachable for my body. I always thought 10 meant I was super-sized, but I look at pictures of myself when I was a 10 and think now... "Crap, I looked HOT! What was I thinking????"

Okay, so I've completed the soul-searching question and answer portion. I'm setting my mind to a purpose and goal and I will not give up until I get there! I don't want a brand new wardrobe, I just want to be able to get back into the one I really liked!

Friday, January 9, 2009


What are you really hungry for?
Why are you overweight?
Why have you been unable to maintain weight loss in the past?
What in your life is not working?
Why do you want to lose weight?

These are 5 questions that were put before viewers on the Oprah show this past Monday. No, I am not an Oprahite - and I can't remember the last time I actually watched her show - but I wasn't feeling well on Monday and saw that she was doing a new year show on weight gain, so I decided to watch... knowing I was in that category and looking to see what I might glean from her fitness experts.

Well, I haven't actually taken the time to answer these 5 questions yet, but I will be this weekend because Monday is D-day for me. I am so fed up with how I look and how I feel that I'm ready to do anything, and I do mean anything, to not feel like a person who should be moo'ing instead of speaking.

I got on the scale tonight, something I know I shouldn't have done because I started my period late yesterday, and I weight 8 more pounds today that I did just 4 months ago. 8 STINKING pounds! I weigh a disgusting 168 pounds, and I almost cried when I saw the number. The only reason I didn't cry is because I was so angry that I wanted to throw the scale at the wall; not because it's the scales fault but for the sheer laziness and lackadaisical attitude about food and exercise that has brought me to my highest weight since giving birth 12 years ago.

I seriously look like someone who is 5 months pregnant or someone who just gave birth and now needs to lose her baby weight. I have a belly that is flabby and actually hangs over my jeans. I put on a long sweater/shirt tonight that I bought this past summer and felt good in and couldn't believe how much I've expanded between my hips and my boobs. I've got middle-aged spread!!!

I always looked at other women who let themselves get that paunch and thought, "why don't you just do 50 sit-ups today so that your husband doesn't have to look at that. how lazy can you be?" Well, I've never had to fight a flabby stomach except for after being pregnant, and now I look just like the women I judged.

I'm so completely disgusted with the way I've let myself go. Honestly, I don't even know how my husband looks at me naked and doesn't shudder at the sight. I know that weight isn't everything and it doesn't change how much you love someone, but I don't deserve in any way his compliments of how beautiful I am. I may not be the size of other women I know who may look at me and crave just to be my size, but that doesn't change the fact that I know what I've allowed my body to become from what it normally is - and I don't like it one bit. I can honestly say that I HATE the way I look, from every angle, no matter what I'm wearing.

If finally feeling self-loathing is what it's going to take for me to get on the treadmill and push through sit-ups on a daily basis, then I'm going to welcome this new friend. I am going to take the most unflattering picture of myself that I can think of - with clothes on, of course - and tack it to my refrigerator and pantry. That way I will have no excuse for eating crap that is only going to add to this jelly-roll belly and cellulite-ridden backside.

Less than 2 years ago, I bought a size 8 wedding dress and thought - even then - that I could stand to lose 10-15 pounds to look good. Now, I can't believe that my perspective was so warped to think that a size 8 wasn't worthy of beauty. So WARPED, I was!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

To Care or Not To Care

With the beginning of a new year - and my choice to fully embrace the philosophy that a flip from one page of the calendar to the next CAN really make a difference - I've found myself truly pondering 2008 and asking myself the big question... Why?

Why am I so eager - this year - to start new with 2009 and leave 2008 in the past? Well, it's not like I really have a choice about leaving 2008 in the past because it's now part of my past whether I like it or not. But WHY is it important for me this year to start new and start fresh?

As I sat in tub just a few minutes ago, I had one thought about 2008... It really was the hardest year of my life, and that's saying a lot considering some of the years through which I've lived.

What makes this past year different is that I felt out of control both physically and emotionally, two things I've never really battled before. I've always "prided" myself on being athletic and possessing the ability to change the shape of my body through discipline and simply determining one day... to just do it! I've also "prided" myself on being a strong person emotionally and being able to push through even when life was throwing one curve ball after another at me.

This past year I experienced my body throttle full speed into a state of total anarchy where my hormones literally took control of my body and and played with me like a cat plays with a trapped mouse. There hasn't been a roller coaster built yet that can compare to the twists, turns, peaks and plummeting drops that my body experienced from day to day. Somewhere between 40 and 41, my body committed a "freaky friday", except I felt like I switched bodies with a 50 year old women in the throws of full menopause instead of a drama queen teenager.

Physically, I didn't know my body anymore and my emotions seemed more than happy to go along for the ride. At some point I literally found myself asking this question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Actually, it was, "Which went all wacky first, my emotions or my body?" I didn't know what my body was going to do from day to day, and I never knew in which emotional state I was going to find myself when I woke up.

I battled constant fatigued, sporadic nausea, inconsistently consistent headaches, and... something I never really knew if I truly believed in... depression. Well, now I believe it does exist and it wielded its sword against me in battle all year long. I can now dub 2008... The Year I Chose NOT To Care.

And, I don't know, maybe choice isn't the word that exactly fits because I was fully capable of acknowledging that I didn't care about so many things, but I just couldn't find a way to actually make myself care. I watched my life change, my body change, my home change... and I didn't care. The house was dirty... so. The laundry didn't get done... so. My clothes no longer fit... so. I haven't given myself a pedicure in 2 months... so. I haven't engaged in bath tub worship for months... so. I can't remember the last time I prayed consistently for a week straight... so. I feel disconnected from everyone... so. My family is reaping the consequences of my behavior... so.

Wow! When I read it in black and white, I realize just how much I stopped caring about. So, it's easy for me recognize WHY my heart is so embracing the opportunity for a fresh start, for a new outlook and for a season of change. I NEED IT!

January 1st may be just a "tomorrow" when I'm standing at the door of December 31st, but this year my "tomorrow" brings with it hopes and dreams of a year of change... and joy... and smiles... and laughter...

I know I didn't grammatically end that last sentence correctly. I'm doing that on purpose. I'm leaving my options open for more.

Monday, January 5, 2009


So, I bought a book at church that was recommended to me in a counseling session last year (so weird to be able to say that about practically everything now, even though it could have been merely days ago that it happened). The book is Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. I haven't read anything yet by these authors, although I know he writes to the "manly" man Christian. My counselor - who is more tomboy than girlie-girl, like me - highly recommended this book to me because she she's herself and me, and she knows how much this book opened up to her and spoke to her heart. There's been so much going on since our meeting in November that I didn't give the book much thought, until today.

I'm truly embracing this whole "new year" outlook like I never have, and I really want this year to be about growing, learning, and living without regrets. I want to be able to get to the end of 2009 and not be completely glad that it's over. I want to live this year so well that I'm not so willing to see it go because of how good it was. That doesn't mean that I think no bad things are going to happen or that my life will be one big rose parade, instead I want to be able to look back on this year and see that the way I lived through each and every situation was different than how I handled things last year.

I want to look back on 2009 and see Jesus way more than I see myself!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Today's conversation at lunch with Coli (yummy, Red Robin A1 burger!) really ignited my heart about the mission field. Putting "to go on a missions trip" on my 2009 goal list was really about a heart desire to experience the mission field, without any real plan on what that looked like. Coli asked so many good questions about what I wanted that trip to look like, what I wanted out of a missions trip, and where I wanted to go. This is how I answered, off the top of my head/heart:

I want to go somewhere outside of this country that is completely unlike where I live
I want the freedom to use my gifts and the ability to pray for the people I am with
I want to be able to love on children
I want a life-changing experience
I don't want a tight agenda-based trip
I don't want to just go build a home (although I would love to serve in another capacity)

There is so much we talked about and I realized that I had never thought about what my "mission trip experience" looked like to me until we sat down today. I've always said that it would be "neat" to go on a missions trip, but I've never believed that that particular perspective was enough to get anyone out there. The thought needed to turn into a dream to become reality. Not a day dream but a heart's desire dream. God is building that desire in me and I believe that this year He will fulfill it.

Today was the first day of a dream that is about to unfold...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Backwards & Forward

I'm just a little over an hour into this new year - 2009 - and since I'm still awake, I decided to post my first blog in over 3 months. I can't believe it took me this long to get back here, but I've lived life without feeling inspired - at all - to record it. So, I didn't. But a new year - even though it's just another day - brings with it a sense of hope, a feeling of freshness and a desire for the new, as we say good-bye to the old.

I took time today - along with the rest of my family members - to write down some memories and lessons learned from 2008 and goals and such for 2009. I'm keeping all of this, mine and the rest of the family's thoughts, and storing them away until this time next year. And then, before we ring in another new year, we'll read through our 2009 submissions to see just how our year went as compared to what we hoped for, determined to accomplish or dared to dream about. Looking forward already...

Their thoughts are safely tucked away, but I'm recording mine here to constantly remind me of what was on my heart the day before a new year dawned.

Looking Forward in 2009

2009 Word for Change:
Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD, Isaiah 1:18
What I know is that the Hebrew view of reasoning together doesn’t end with thinking. The word here is yakach. It means “to decide, to judge, to convince, to reprove, to correct and to be right.” Hebrew cognitive activities always result in tangible actions. Unless there is a change in life, no thought is really complete. In fact, in Hebrew, I don’t know something until it shows up in the way I behave.

2009 Song Verse:
God of everything I see
come create again in me
you were yesterday you will always be
so this take this breath that i breathe
and be the life that I bleed
create again in me

2009 Scripture (personalized):
May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, grant Me out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in my inner man by the Holy Spirit, Himself indwelling my innermost being and personality. May Christ through my faith actually abide in my heart! May I be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, that I may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints the experience of that love and what is the breadth and length and height and depth of it; That I may really come to know practically, and through experience, the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge without experience; that I may be filled through all my being and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself! ~Ephesians 3:14-19

2009 Goals:
1. Read through the Bible
2. Develop a consistent and quality quiet time with God
3. Memorize the book of James
4. Go on a missions trip
5. That I will learn how to live out Romans 12:18 - that as far as it depends on me, I will leave in peace with everyone
6. To journal/blog at least 3 days a week
7. Discover my place to serve and give back
8. Get into a consistent work out routine
9. Be able to get back into my wedding dress (by losing the freshman 15)

Another year has gone (far too quickly, I might add) and another new one is just beginning. My heart is hopeful and my eyes are focused on what lies ahead and not behind.


1. Celebrating my first New Year with my husband, a bottle of wine, Starbucks, Taco Cabana and a "naked dinner" by candlelight in the living room.
2. Trying not to freeze during our first family photo shoot with Coli in Los Colinas.
3. ChurchMedia Group began in January and for 3 months our lives adjusted to that of a "normal" family. Although mornings started early, there was something peacefully consistent about having breakfast with Anthony while it was still dark; and then retreating to my bedroom - after he left - for an hour [before the kids awoke] for a time of worship, prayer and study.
4. Being a part of the Habitation services and learning from those experiences.
5. Making over Teighlor's bedroom, because it was my first big home adventure.
6. Thoroughly enjoying the fun and wonder of our day of giant snowflakes the day before Teighlor's 13th birthday.
7. Laughing at Teighlor's obstinate attitude at being taped while shaving her legs for the first time.
8. Having my mom and Nanny stay with us for 2 weeks in March. Although at times it was stressful, I know that God arranged that visit knowing it would be our last time to spend with Nanny before he took her home in June.
9. Celebrating my first wedding anniversary in the most simple way and learning that celebration and memories don't have to come with a high price tag.
10. Being a part of my first small group at Gateway and meeting - through that group - Connie Swain, who I'm privileged to call my friend and mentor.
11. Living through my very first tornado warning and enjoying the true excitement of it.
12. Learning, from my groom, the backdoor to Gateway's worship calendar and obtaining access to their song schedule and mp3's.
13. Celebrating Alec's success at making the Keller All Star baseball team, especially since he was an unknown player to the coaches.
14. Living through the month of May with virtually no money, yet having an amazing peace that "waiting on God for provision" was exactly what God asked us to do, even though it made sense to no one but Anthony and me.
15. Owning my first MacBook and becoming an Apple convert.
16. Being told by Anthony that I had just lost my grandmother - grieving deeply at his first word - yet having the Holy Spirit provide an almost instantaneous revelation that my heart could celebrate because she was now with Jesus, in heaven. That is the peace that passes all understanding!
17. Living out God's amazing ability to do more than I could ask or imagine when He provided financially through Teen Mania.
18. Being blessed with a scholarship for Teighlor to CAMPED and then hearing of the awesome ways God moved at that camp... forgiveness and spiritual gifts.
19. Praising God for the incredible blessing of being able to pay off 5 credit cards within a few months when only months before we couldn't even pay our bills.
20. Getting out of the old bed and into the new one that is just ours.
21. Getting to take mini-vacations to Lindale throughout the summer. Loved these days!
22. Experiencing Kairos and beginning my journey of understanding my true identity in Christ.
23. Reading The Shack and having a book open up my eyes and heart to an out-of-the-box God.
24. Receiving my prayer language at Beyond The Veil!
25. Living through God's changing power regarding the visitation agreement with Kevin.
26. Learning that holidays are as special as you make them and that they don't have to stay the same from year-to-year in order to be memorable.
27. Watching Teighlor perform in her first theater production.
28. Ending a hard year with an honest, heart-to-heart conversation that seems to have opened up doors of healing and forward momentum.

Favorite Song:
Beautiful, Kari Jobe

Favorite Movie Seen:
August Rush

Favorite CD:
The Ryan Edgar Project

Favorite Book:
The Shack

Biggest Lesson Learned:
That my God is able to do immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us; and to Him all glory is due.