Monday, June 29, 2009

Teeter Totter Faith

If you are anything like me, waiting on God to answer a specific prayer is one of the hardest struggles in your spiritual life. I feel like the last three months have been a constant teeter totter of faith vs. impatience. In April, when Bruce and I were certain that God was leading us to take some sort of sabbatical from full-time ministry, I was nervous and secure all at the same time. In 16 years of marriage there has never been a time that we were not consumed (in a good way) with a church family. I wondered how this was all going to play out. How long would God tell us to wait? How long could we endure it?

I realized it wouldn't be long about 4 weeks ago when I saw Bruce face light up after he led a little boy in our community to the Lord one night. The family called, and Bruce sprang into action. It was like he had never missed a beat. So when his pastor from childhood called and offered a part-time position to Bruce, I was pretty sure it was a done deal. But I was wrong. Bruce and I spent time in prayer and weighed the pros the cons and the finances. There was no way we could afford a mortgage and rent in a new town...especially with only a part-time job. Yet, somewhere in the middle of all the human rationalization, God was saying..."Go".

So we said "Yes". We figured if we tried to obey, God would do His part and provide. The next day we were given a check for $ God was telling us..."watch me...I can do more!". So, after the call was made, we continued to pray. Two days later the offer turned into a full-time job offer. With retirement.

No...our house hasn't sold...but can you understand why I am not worried about it? God's got that under control. During the last 2-3 months our circumstances have been awkward, lonely and sometimes a little discouraging, yet God has been right here with us. Carrying the burdens, refreshing our spirits and encouraging us to stick with this hunt for His Will.

So...for those of you still reading (bless you)...Bruce will be an associate pastor involved in outreach, discipleship, teaching and assimilation. Please pray this transition is smooth for the church and for Bruce.

A few prayer requests:

1. Sell of our house here.

2. Transition for us all to be smooth.

4. God would be glorified and honored in all of this!

A few praises:

1. There's a huge homeschool community there for us to be involved in.

2. My kids enjoy staying at hotels...which might be our home away from home for awhile.

For those of you who have prayed for us....thank you. This has been a 12 week journey..I don't know how well we did, but I am thankful for all I have learned and praise the greatest Teacher of all.

Friday, June 26, 2009

More Garden Goodies

The other day a community resident called and said they had excess squash in their own garden and wondered if we could use it to distribute to people in the community!!! She then told me she would be bringing me some every week or so!

The scouts came and picked the green beans.

Thanks to all our volunteers that are coming up during the week. I don't always know when you are there...but can tell by the lack of weeds you have been!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Hop on over to Truth for the Journey for a complete listing of all the bloggers who participate in Thankful Thursdays....who might want to participate too!

1. A friend who made dinner, colored my hair and took a family picture for me on Sunday.

2. Another friend who I was blessed to have a kid-free dinner with last night.

3. An unspoken prayer request- answered.

4. Teachable moments with my kids

5. A wonderful Mission Gunter Community Meal with over 200 in attendance.

Thank you Lord for your abundant blessings....all of them!

What can you give thanks for today???...leave a comment below!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


One hot June day a desperate mother of two released her children into the yard with a running water hose. 30 minutes later, mom hears oldest child at the door.

"Mom, brother just pulled his bathing suit down and peed in the yard"

The mother said, "That's ok"

Youngest comes running to the door and announces loudly and matter of factly "I peed in the grass over there".

Mom replies, "OK, but you can only pull your pants down in our yard, not anywhere else...not church, not the bank, not Wal-mart. No where else but our yard".

To which he seriously replied..."ok, only the donut shop".


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Searching for Curriculum

I've been looking on-line for homeschool curriculum for 2nd grade. I was disappointed to see Switch-On Schoolhouse doesn't start until the 3rd grade because I was thinking Savannah would really do well with something computer based. So then I came across Time 4 Learning and really liked their site. Anybody out there familiar with them?

Last year I used Saxon Math, but to be honest...all the repetition is a little much. By the end of the year Savannah was bored out of her mind! We used a Brain Quest workbook to supplement all subjects. We used a phonics dictionary for spelling and Horizon's language arts. We used an art based penmanship book. She read Horrible Harry books, Magic Treehouse, A Beka grade level books, the newspaper and anything else she could get her hands on. I think we read close to 200 books...she loves reading. Anyway, I'm feeling scattered and the need to be more structured for her sake and mine.

If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to leave me a comment, let me know what has worked for you or what didn't! Let me know if you think going with one particular curriculum is better (like Abeka) or if you think mix and match works. Can't wait to hear from you. Thanks!

Dear Summer...

Dear Summertime,
We've been expecting your arrival for the last few weeks. The temperature kept rising and rising so we knew your appearance was only days away. This week, it's official and you are here.
Unlike years past I will not be able to spend time an abundance of time with you outside. Seems I have a few freckles that don't like your intensity too much. So while you are heating it up outdoors, I will be enjoying ice tea and air conditioning inside.

After your behavior at the garden, my kids are a little afraid of you. I mean really...must you always burn them? They are tucked away indoors for a day or two...and hopefully the next time they come out to play, you won't be so harsh.

I do have some high hopes for while you are here. I'll be looking for a new house, and selling this one hopefully! I'm also planning on doing a little leisure reading, eating a few snow cones and scoping out new homeschool curriculum for Savannah and maybe even a little for Tucker. I am planning to go to see my family in Georgia in July. I hear you'll also be there.

While you are with us I will be finding out whether I will be getting a niece or a nephew, and for my sis-in-law's sake if you could be gentle and mild during August, we would appreciate it...too bad you won't be around when he/she arrives in December.

I do appreciate the way you are helping with the garden and my flowers... and my yard looks better than ever. If you could message your good friend "Rain" and schedule some routine visits from him that would certainly increase our chances of having a fruitful harvest. It's been a couple of weeks since we saw Rain, so even if he's feeling scattered...he's welcome here.

Whenever you're around my kids are happier, there's no school and things look brighter. However, 3 months is plenty long enough to visit and I am hoping Autumn will want to come early this year...bringing with her cooler weather and a colorful atmosphere. Don't take it personally....there are many years you arrive early too.

We love you Summertime! Enjoy your stay!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tribute to Dad

Today I am interviewing Savannah about her goes:

1. What is Daddy's favorite thing to do for fun?
  • play hide and seek with me
2. Where does Daddy like to go out to eat?
  • Babe's
3. What does Daddy do at his job?
  • gives people kleenex
4. What is the best thing about Daddy?
  • He is really fun
5. What is the best word to describe how Daddy looks?
  • awesome
6. What is the first thing Daddy does in the mornings?
  • eats breakfast
7. How long does it take Daddy to get ready in the morning?
  • 5 minutes
8. What is Daddy's favorite book?
  • The Bible
9. What is Daddy's favorite food?
  • Chocolate pudding
10. Who does Daddy love the most?
  • The family

Happy Father's Day Bruce!

Mission Meals Report

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21- to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Keelie over at Red Writing wrote a beautiful synopsis of last night's first Mission Meal. Please take time to read it. Several times in the evening, as I watched God working, I got misty-eyed. Sometimes it's almost too much for me to take in...the way God has done EVERYTHING!

Click on over to Red Writing and read all about it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Warning: Sappiness Ahead!!!

I'll cut right to the chase. Today Bruce and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary. As I was thinking back to the things that I love the most about him, I realized that the verse in the Bible that says "He who finds a wife finds a good thing- Prov. 18:22" could just as easily read "She who finds a husband finds a good thing". I certainly have found that. The song above is one of the songs we had sung at our wedding. I am not EVEN a fan of country music (sorry!) but I loved this song 16 years ago...and still today. Below are 10 things I appreciate about Bruce:

1. He loves God more than me.

2. He has amazing integrity.

3. He has an outgoing personality that balances my not-so-outgoing one!

4. He irons his own clothes!

5. He is a great dad.

6. He treats people with respect.

7. He goes the extra mile for friends...and complete strangers.

8. He's a great cook...(he's been waiting years for me to say that!)

9. He likes an adventure.

10. He loves me unconditionally.

At this point in our journey, we are raising kids, working jobs and most of the time just trying to snag a few moments here and there to spend alone. I'm thankful for the comfort I find in our life together. I am thankful we share the same goals and dreams. I am thankful to partner in ministry with him (wherever that leads us.)I am thankful for the security we share in our relationship and the strong committment we have in this marriage. I am thankful that from the beginning we have known this relationship would fail without God, so we have depended on Him. We've had our ups and downs, but they've been our fault...not God's!

To end this post, I'll let you in on a few little known facts about us:

1. We lived in married housing...cinder block BBC for the first year of our marriage.

2. Our first car that we bought together was a sky blue Mercury Topaz. The payment was $202 a month.

3. After being told we couldn't have children and canceling maternity insurance we have ended up having 2 kids.

4. We marathon shop the day after Thanksgiving.

5. We love Tennessee.

6. We once boxed in a boxing ring for a sermon illustration...and I might have accidently hit him.

7. We have learned that you learn something from everyone...somethings you want to do in the future and some you don't.

8. Neither set of our parents have/were divorced.

9. We are huge American Idol fans...episode one to finale...DVR...every week!

10. We are both wearing replacement wedding rings.

Happy Anniversary Bruce! Love you!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Take a look at Truth for the Journey to read more Thankful Thursday lists:

My Thankful Thursday includes:

1. We had our first house showing with our new realtor. Good feedback...husband was previewing for wife who will be in town in a few weeks. Said our house was nice, cozy and liked our converted garage.

2. My brother and sil heard the heartbeat of their 13 week unborn baby last week.

3. A friend who was there just when I needed her.

4. A husband who I will celebrate 16 years of marriage with tomorrow.

5. The faithfuless of God.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you are thankful for.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thoughts on Community

With the diveristy of the United States one would think that Americans would have figured a way to live in community with each other. Instead I find myself continuously bewildered and a little disappointed that there are still ghettos, chinatowns, the other side of the tracks, white trash and other politically incorrect words and phrases that certainly pronounce the differences in our skin color and our ethnicity.

This Saturday night The Mission Gunter is hosting Mmm (Monthy Mission Meals) We have had a generous donor contribute the funds for a delicious meal to feed between 300-500 people. The goal of this meal is to build a spirit of community in our town and to continue to foster relationships with our and yellow, black or white. As a white female, I have asked myself what does it mean to live in community? I think for myself it means that I look past someone's skin color, financial status, car, house, and clothes, and wonder what can I learn from them and what do I know that I could offer them? It's understanding that someone more wealthy than I can teach me a thing or two, and so can the person living on welfare. For some reason along the way we have lost touch with the value of a person....regardless of where they live, how much they own and where their kids are going to college.

I want my kids to grow up around many cultures, to have an appreciation for the person and to learn from the strengths, gifts and talents from others. To isolate them in circles of only middle class white children robs them of the experiences different cultures can bring. Just think how great it would be if my 3 year old could speak a few words of Spanish because he played with a couple of hispanic boys, or if Savannah learned to do a litergical dance from an african american girl she knew...or if I learned to make Mexican food from a willing hispanic grandmother.

In the process of Mmm The Mission desires to demonstrate to each Gunter resident the great love of God. Some of that will be done through our actions (service) and some of it will be demonstrated by participating in conversation and fellowship. I'm looking forward to it! I hope to see tables full of colored, yellow, black and white. What a blessing that would be.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jack-O-Lantern June

Last October you might remember I blogged about a trip to the pumpkin patch. We purchased 8 or so tiny pumpkins and once we got home I let the kids decorate them with markers. We didn't carve them. We lined our front porch with these homemade autumn decorations and once Halloween and Thanksgiving passed, I threw them into my flower beds to rot....Not one of the brightest ideas I have ever had!!!

This spring after cleaning all my flower beds out, planting new flowers and a few seeds, I put a layer of mulch down. Things we moving right along. Until...a few weeks ago I noticed this...

Can you guess what this is? Yep...I am growing my own pumpkin patch....very unintentionally!!! I have deliberated about whether I should pull up the pumpkin vine and have decided not to. I am going to leave it there because it reminds me of an important biblical principle.

You never know when the seed you sow will take root, be watered and produce fruit (or pumpkin in this case). How true is that! We never know when that opportunity to share Christ's love will blossom into something beautiful later. I forget sometimes that just because I don't get the result I want when I do something for someone, that later...sometimes years later that kind deed, spoken word or prayer will be just the thing someone remembers in their time of need. I also fail to remember that just because I don't lead a person to the Lord doesn't mean that the seed I have sown was worthless. God's Word tells us that some sow, some water but GOD gets the increase. I just need to be concerned with sowing seed wherever I am and let God do the rest. He's more than capable.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Happy Thursday!

A big shout out to Truth 4 the Journey for Sonya's faithfulness in reminding us to take time each week to think about the things we can be thankful for.

My list this week includes:

1. The internet. It's been on the blink off and on for the last week. It's made me realize how much I rely on all the luxuries of having the world at my fingertips!

2. God's protection as we traveled to Houston last weekend.

3. Seeing friends and aquaintences from years gone by while we were on our quick trip.

4. First fruits from the garden

5. The blessing of working with some wonderful people on the board at The Mission Gunter.

Comment below are share what you are thankful for this week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I Heart Peppers

Here's a pic of the first banana peppers from The Mission Field Community Garden. I'll be taking these to Morgan in the morning for her to distribute to a few families. Green beans will be ready within a week, tomatoes in a couple of weeks..and more just around the corner!

Thanks to all those involved!

Cec Murphey Blog Tour Coming Up!

Most of you know I am a publicist assistant to Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. I get a great deal of satisfaction helping promote fantastic authors. Along the way I have the privilege of "virtually" meeting them and getting to know their story.

Well, Cec Murphey is different. I have actually been blessed to meet Cec in real life. He is such a blessing to those who come in contact with him and to many who never meet him personally.

I am "fixin" (I'm in Texas- it's ok to use that word) to be coordinating a blog tour for Cec and would love for you to click over to KCWC and read all about it and how you can become a host for the blog tour. It's as simple as cutting and pasting to your site. Super easy and such a great way to help get the word out about his new book When Someone You Love has Cancer.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to The Journaling Gina

Today is my 1st birthday as The Journaling Gina. I can't believe that what started as a way to communicate with the GBF ladies for a Bible study on Proverbs has turned into a mild addiction to documenting all things important to me. Now, over 200 posts later, I am glad it has!

I was looking back through my first posts and was reminded of how good God has been throughout the last year. The joys, sorrows and giggles are recorded for me to journey back and rememeber where we've been.

At a time in my life when things look uncertain on the outside, I am comforted by the faithfulness of my God in the past and encouraged that the same God is still in control of my future.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Like 1995?

This weekend we are in Houston, Texas. A quick trip to Cypress Creek Baptist Church where Bruce will be preaching tomorrow for our dear friend "Grandpa Bill". There aren't too many men in the world that I would allow my kids to call "grandpa" since that title always seemed like it was ripped from my dad (he passed away when I was 18) so, when I had kids and they met Bill it just seemed right that they call him that. He's got that personality of a grandpa. Silly, a little goofy, kind, thoughtful, generous. He's done quite a few really special things for me through the years. He was the one who introduced me to The Message...long before others were using it and inscribe something very beautiful on the inside cover. He also gifted Savannah with her first calculator at the age of 2. I guess he has high hopes that she will become a CPA...much like himself before he entered the ministry. So, when we had the chance to come help out this weekend...we took it...after all...he and Joyce are like family.

Anyway, we are snuggled in at the hotel...but not without a few really funny incidents to share from our trip.

1. As we passed through Huntsville today we wanted Savannah to see the Sam Houston statue that towers the trees on Interstate 45. She was thoroughly impressed. We told her a little about Sam Houston and I concluded that he had lived a LONG time ago....her response "Like 1995?"....yeah...something like that!

2. Tucker is potty trained...mostly...but he doesn't really care for big boy underwear which is causing some problems. Also, when he needs to go to the bathroom, he completely undresses himself. I'm wondering how the nursery workers will handle this tomorrow. When I talked to him a little bit about this tonight...explaining that he might not want to take all his clothes off in front of strangers his response "I not's ok."

Happily living in the moment! Hope you are too.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Check out Sonya's Thankful Thursday list at her site.

Today I am thankful for:

1. Time with family.

2. A camera that works (mine was broken...all better now)

3. A God who knows all, sees all, care about it all.

4. The blessing to hear Bruce (dh) preach this weekend in Houston.

5. My job that allows me to work from home.

Leave a comment and let me know what you are thankful for!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You Can't Turn Your Head for a Minute!

What started like this...

Ended like this....

I don't know what is worse....his poor little face or the fact that Savannah immediately went to the freezer and pulled out a pre-packaged roll of 73/27 ground beef!!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

UP- movie review

This weekend the family headed over to McKinney to see Pixar's newest flick, UP. I was hoping it would be as good as the previews looks and I wasn't disappointed!
We saw it in 3D, but the things that impressed me so much in this movie weren't really the animations and technology...although they were there...big time. I enjoyed most the sweet, tender story line between an elderly man and an insecure boy and the power that time, a good word and a kind heart still have in the world.
I give UP 2 thumbs UP! Disclosure- Bring tissues...that last scene sent the water works into full swing!