Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Moving On

For those of you who don't know, we are moving to Charlottesville, VA. In fact, we are beginning our journey there tomorrow. My husband gets to join the staff of a young church plant in the area. We are excited about the journey ahead of us, but also sad to have to say goodbye to our friends and family in TX.

And, yes, I cried. I cried when I had to say "goodbye" to all of my dear friends in Katy, and I cried when I had to say "goodbye" to my home for the last time - the home I had brought my babies home to and spent so many hours feeding and rocking to sleep. This was the home my babies took their first steps in and said their first words. Within this home, we had countless parties and get-togethers with friends and family. As I cleaned that wonderful home on moving day, after all the furniture had been moved out, all I could think about was the wonderful memories we had there. And, then, I couldn't help but be overwhelmingly thankful to my God for blessing me with such wonderful memories. I serve a magnificent God who would allow me of all people to have the privilege of having such wonderful memories.

And as Adam and I did our final walk-through of our home before signing it over to someone else, I walked around that empty home and realized that it was no longer a home but a house, a building. It was the place that God chose to bless my family with as a home for the past 5 1/2 years. But now, it didn't hold my family's future. God holds my family's future and He holds all of those precious memories that we will make. Yes, it will be in a new home, but they will still be just as sweet and just as memorable. God reminded me in that moment, as well, that my home will really never be on this earth, but it is in heaven with my Savior who died on the cross so that I can have an eternity of beautiful memories. And I will never have to say "goodbye" again!!!
"Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." John 14:23

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bottle of Tears

I love bottles. I have all different kinds around my home. I have a beautiful, glass red one on my mantle; I have perfume bottles displayed on my dresser; I have shampoo bottles in my shower, which I love because they make my hair clean. I also appreciate the baby bottles in my cupboard, reminding me of all those sweet moments of rocking and feeding my little girls when they were younger.

But my favorite bottle is the bottle of tears I just read about in Psalms 56:8. It says, "You have kept count of my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle." 2 Kings 20:5 is written when King Hezekiah is sick and dying. It says, "Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you." What is so amazing to me is that God not only sees our tears, but He holds onto them in His bottle, keeping count of all of them.

Now there is a lot of tragedy in this world. So much pain and suffering that I cannot even fathom, not to mention the amount of tears. A lot of people ask, "Why does a good God allow pain and suffering?" This world is a very evil place, ruled by the most evil of all, Satan. Because our world is evil, we all will have our own share of pain and tears, unfortunately. But I take much comfort that in the midst of all this evil, our wonderful Father holds onto all of our tears remembering each one of them, and counting them all as significant. He doesn't just see you when you cry; He remembers the reason for each tear, showing us how much He loves us. That is what a good God does!

If pain and suffering do anything good, they remind us of what is really important - the decision we make about our life after death. Praise Him that for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ we have a hope. "I [Jesus] have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) Jesus has overcome all the evil and pain this world will ever bring. And even one day, God will get to throw out all the tears He has gathered in His bottle. Revelation 21:4 says, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Praise Him for His victory on the cross and that He offers new life to all who seek Him. That is the kind of good God I serve!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Necessity of the Word

Now, I am not a brilliant mind. I don't have my masters or doctorate in anything. I haven't even been to seminary. But I am a woman who reads God's Word and studies it. I want to know my creator and I want to know how I can follow Him more faithfully.

I have been doing a Bible study this year that has required me to read through the whole Bible and study the main points and characters of each book. So far, I have gotten through Song of Solomon. I have loved it!!!! I have been able to see such a clearer view of Scripture as a whole and I am so excited to get back into the study in the fall. Of all the things I have learned this year from reading the Word, is that man has the choice to follow God or not. And historically, man has succeeded at this and also failed miserably. Every time man has failed, it is because they have neglected the Word of God.

That is why my heart aches and my stomach churns when I start to hear more and more of our generation turning away from the Word. I hate to hear pastors who only teach the nice parts of Scripture, and I hate even more when pastors start to say that some Scripture is untrue or irrelevant. If we have learned anything from history, it is that the only way we will succeed (the way God views success) in this life is by following all of the Word. The moment we start to pick and choose what is true and untrue, we start on a slippery slope to destruction. It happened to Israel every time they neglected to follow the law and it will happen to us as well. If we choose to follow God's Word, meditate on it, memorize it, study it, we will be "like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers." (Psalm 1:3)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Prayer to Keep Going

"Then the king said to me, "What are you requesting?" So I prayed to the God of heaven. (Neh. 2:4)
Hear, O our God, for we are despised. (Neh. 4:4)
And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night. (Neh. 4:9)
Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people. (Neh. 5:19)
But now, O God, strengthen my hands. (Neh. 6:9)

Praying...I find it hard to do. Why? Maybe I struggle to have faith that the Lord hears me sometimes, or maybe I am too busy, or maybe I wonder if it will really do any good. I am an optimist in general. I tend to see the glass as half full. But sometimes, the subject of prayer makes me a pessimist, especially when I am waiting. Waiting on God to do what I think He is supposed to do. Isn't that funny?

I've been reading Nehemiah lately and am really challenged by his prayer life. Above are just a few of the prayers he records in his book. Nehemiah is given by God the grand task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. They were completely destroyed by the Babylonians about 70 years earlier, and now God is ready to do something great again with his people. And of course, Nehemiah comes across some serious opposition. But his response to any difficulty no matter how great was to pray and keep on going with the task God had given him. He never asks God for a sign of confirmation and he never questions God's plan. He just prays and keeps on going.
I am incredibly challenged by that. God has called me to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a discipler, and a teacher. Now when the going gets tough, how many times do I stop and question? Many times, the toughness of life distracts me from the task God has called me to. Instead of just praying and moving on with what I know to be true, the questions and doubts stop me from being effective.

Oh, Lord, teach me to have the focus like Nehemiah did. Teach me to trust you enough to pray and keep moving. Forgive me for all the times I have neglected to pray and remain faithful to what I know to be true. Keep my eyes on you in the good and the hard times. Remind me always to pray and keep going.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Boston Marathon Weekend

Here is Adam after the race. He looks surprisingly good for having just run 26.2 miles in 3:03. We got to see him midway in the race and he flashed a big smile at us.

Here we are at Harvard. As you can see, just being on the grounds made us feel like we needed to contemplate and think more.

Fenway Park was awesome to see. Such a piece of sports history!

This is a picture outside the balcony of where we stayed. It was simply amazing! Thank you, Smarts!!!!

The day before the race we checked out the finish line because we knew it would be too crowded to see it the day of the race. It was unbelievable how many people were there to watch and cheer for the runners. Boston really does an excellent job on making this a special event for everyone involved.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Look At Whats To Come

We went to College Station to get our sweet friend and very talented photographer, Liz Chivvis, to take a few pictures of the girls. This is just a sneak peak of what she has taken. Liz is awesome and the girls had fun too, until J started screaming her head off.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


J is sitting up now! She is growing up so fast.

Love this picture! Okay, so the reason I was convicted...I took J to the doctor a couple of weeks ago for her shots. K has really gotten into trying to "read" this little white Bible our church gave her when she was born. So, K asked if she could take her Bible to the doctor. My first thought was to say, "No. You don't want to lose it or get it dirty," but then I thought that it is a good idea to be teaching her even now that it is good to take your Bible wherever you go. So, I changed my mind and told her "yes". When we got to the office, I stood in line to check in J and I told K that she can go ahead and sit down since Cinderella was playing on the tv. Well, I watch as she walks over to the seats, sits down next to a boy at least one year older than her, holds up her little Bible, and says to the boy, "Hi. My name is K and this is my Bible. The Bible is God's Word." Oh, how convicted I was by such innocent boldness! Lord, teach me to be just as brave when I find myself sitting next to strangers, and help K to never lose her boldness for You.