Friday, August 29, 2008

Luke, the Great

In the last few weeks, I have been grumbling a lot about Luke's growing independence. I thank God that Luke thinks for himself and is learning to assert himself. I just wish he could do so while obeying my every request. Pop and Granny remind me that God made 2-year olds so cute so that parents would still love them through this challenging stage. So, rather than bemoaning the latest challenges, I want to share with you some of the wonderful things about my incredible son. (in no particular order)

1. He loves his daddy and tries to be just like him.

2. He likes to be helpful. This morning, he helped me make the bed. I didn't ask for his help. He just started tugging on the covers. He threw pillows up onto the bed for me as well. He often helps me move laundry from the washer to the dryer. He always runs to get them mail when he hears it fall through the mail slot. He is kindhearted.

3. The faces he makes. The sounds he makes. The things he says. His laughter. This morning we took a walk around the neighborhood. I had constant commentary. He pointed out what was blue and yellow. Part of the time he just sang. He pointed out every basketball hoop along the way.

4. I love that he loves his cousins. Amelia is his best buddy. He also thinks very highly of Micah, Noah, Sam, and Will.

5. I love the way he pats me on the back when he hugs me.

6. I love the way he never really hesitates when I ask for a kiss. He just says, "uh-huh," pulls the pacifier out, and puckers up.

7. I love how he thinks. How inquisitive he is and how he remembers details. He has always studied the world around him. He soaks it all in.

8. I love how he counts, "1, 4, 8, 9, 10!" Or, how he always answers there is four of whatever.

9. I love how "alligator" and "elevator" sound exactly the same.

10. I love how he loves the out doors. He is a boy through and through. I love how when playing with Amelia, he will put his football or cars in the stroller and then push them around the house. I love how he tells me his toys are cold before covering them up with a blanket.

11. I love how he gets so excited about cake. And chocolate. I love how when he first started talking, 9 times out of 10 his first word in the morning was "chwoc-late." I enjoy that he still says it "chwoc-late." Several months ago, we were at my parents for my dad's birthday. I told Luke to go tell Pop happy birthday. Luke walked up to him and said, "Happy Birthday, Pop! Cake?!?!?!?!"

12. One evening, I tried to get Luke to pee-pee in the potty before his bath. He excitedly sat on the potty and tried to go. But, he must not have need to, because nothing happened. He then looked at me and very earnestly said, "Not working." The next day, I asked him if he would like to go pee-pee on teh potty, and his eyes got that intense look they get and he told me, "That potty not working!"

13. I love his eyes.

14. I love his smile, even when it is behind a pacifier.

15. I love that he never tires of throwing rocks, especially if they are being thrown into water.

16. I love how he wants everything to be in its proper place...unless he doesn't want it to be.

17. I love the way he runs, especially when he hunches up his shoulders, says "Hut! Go!" and takes off.

18. I love how he wants Mommy to build blocks with him. I love the way he laughs with glee when he knocks my tower down.

19. I love the way he asked to sit on the floor rather than in Mommy or Daddy's lap the other night when we said bed-time prayers. He was such a big boy, holding our hands, and bowing his head, though peaking around the room.

20. I love the way he says, "I love you, Mommy."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Woo Hoo!!

I am so excited! I will be joining Christianne and Sarah in visiting Kirsten in Bellingham in August!!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pop and Granny gave Luke what he calls a playground for his birthday. We have taken to going out to the playground in the mornings before it gets too hot. This morning, I thought to grab my camera before he was through playing. I had so much fun taking pictures. I had a hard time narrowing them down, so you are now inundated with many pictures of my favorite subject.
Unfortunately, Luke's new playground is in much need of maintenance. Good thing for us, Luke is a well-qualified and experienced handyman.

By the way, today is a pajama day - or at least a pajama top and diaper day. I try to give Luke one day a week in which he can stay in his pajamas or diaper all day. He loves it.

Heavy lifting requires help from the tongue.

Oh so serious!He is very concerned about a small piece of plastic that is sticking off the wall.

This is the "Yes" face - he is in the middle of saying, "yesh."

Still working on that piece of plastic.

Six Random Things

Thanks for the tag, Christianne! This was fun.

1. I don’t chew gum, because I have recurring nightmares about gum. I dream that I am done with my gum. I try to spit it out, but it is stuck in my teeth. At this point I reach in to pull it out. I pull out a glob, thinking it is gone, only to find that there is more stuck between my teeth. So, I reach back in and pull, and pull, and pull, and pull…

2. While in seminary, mostly because she told me I could never lie to her convincingly, I stole Lisa Jones’ remote control. She had entrusted me with a key to her apartment. I dropped by one day when I knew she would not be there, slipped in, and took it. She asked me about it the next day at school. I told her I did not have her remote, technically not a lie. I had already placed it in the mail, and it was on its way back to her. She spend the next day or two searching through her apartment, convinced that I had not taken it.

3. I enjoy cooking. I especially enjoy making bread - maybe because I love eating bread. My bread does not always turn out great, but I am learning.

4. I nearly drowned in my Grandparents’ pool when I was little. It was early in the morning. I was playing on the pool steps. My brother was playing in the deep end of the pool. I was on the last step, but thought I had one more to go. I stepped off and went under. I remember trying my hardest to get to the surface, but I was going nowhere. My mother was sitting on the side of the pool, but her attention was elsewhere at the moment. She looked back to find me paddling away and going nowhere beneath the surface. In somewhat of a panic, she began pulling off her robe. My dad yelled at her from across the yard, “Don’t worry about your clothes! Get in and get her!” Mom jumped in, nightgown, robe, house shoes, and all. I was never so glad to feel her arms swoop me up. Perhaps this is why I don’t like putting my head under water.

5. I cannot whistle. Nor can I roll my tongue.

6. I have never changed my hair color – no dye, no bleach, not even the wash out in a few days kind.

I'd love to hear six random things from Candace, Kristy, Christi, and Elizabeth.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Earlier this month, I entered the 30s club. As my birthday fell on the church's Parent's Night Out for March, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to get our friends together for a little party. My sweet friend Candace took some pictures and posted them on her blog. I am so blessed to be surrounded by loving friends and family.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Moving Forward

Sometime in August of last year, it became next to impossible for me to focus during the worship service on Sunday morning. Adam and I attend the Gathering, a non-traditional, more contemporary service offered at our church. There are three Godly teachers who share the teaching responsibilities for the service. It didn’t matter which teacher stood before us with God’s Word, from the time the musical worship ended and we sat to listen, all I could think about was my vision for the Women’s Ministry of my church (PDBC). I would pray about the deficits I saw and yearn to share what I had learned in my 9 years of training. I would present a case in my head for the need to pay the current Women’s Ministry director and pray for wisdom on who to talk to about it. I would also sit and try to coax myself to patience. I told myself over and over, now is not the time for me to be in Women’s Ministry. After all, I am too young. No one wants a 30-year old in charge of their Women’s Ministry. And, I need to wait until Luke and hopefully another child to enter school before I can take on a profession. It is highly important to me to raise my own children, to be the one at home with them, teaching them the basics of life and loving God. At the end of each sermon, there would be a time of response. During this time, all I could do was tell God over and over, “I am your servant. Please show me how to serve you.”

I only shared my heart’s turmoil with God and Adam. My sweet husband was and is a source of encouragement. He is always confident of my abilities. He believes that God has blessed me with talent that must be used for God’s glory. He listened patiently as I poured out my desires and vision and fear over and over again. He prayed.

Then, on Sunday, February 17th, Adam and I were returning from a marriage retreat, driving with our friends. I sat with Debbie in the backseat, chatting away while the men had their own conversation in the front. The feeling that I should share my vision with Debbie grew as the miles passed. I took a deep breath and laid it all out to her. Now, one thing you should now about my friend Debbie is that she can pray. When they thought up the phrase “prayer warrior” it was Debbie they were thinking about. When it comes to prayer, this woman is Maximus in Gladiator. She has the biggest rippling prayer muscles I have ever seen and she knows how to use them. So, I decided if I was going to enlist the aid of a prayer general, it should be her. She listened with excitement as I told her my thoughts, hopes, and worries. She agreed to pray with me about the direction God wants to take PDBC’s Women’s Ministry.

The following week, I felt God urging me to talk with another lady from my church. Donna is the Mentor Mom in our Mothers Reaching Mothers group (the one I have been heading up since July). I met with her on the following Tuesday, February 19th. I presented all my vision to her, emphasizing that I did not want the current Women’s Minister to feel like I thought she was doing a bad job or that I was seeking to take her job. I simply felt that God was calling me to share my training and serve him in PDBC’s Women’s Ministry. I shared with her that I was excited about how far the Women’s Ministry had come since I had left for college twelve years ago. In the time I had been gone, the women of PDBC had created the women’s ministry. It didn’t even exist in the years of my growing up. However, I also shared with her that I thought it was time to take things to the next level, and I had training in this very area.

Donna was excited to hear what I had to say. She revealed to me that she was actually the first Women’s Ministry Director and Leslie, the woman who had taken over for her was one of her best friends. She encouraged me saying that Leslie would be excited to hear my ideas, which was just what I needed to hear to have the courage to take the next step in calling Leslie for a meeting. At this point I was moving in euphoria at how clear God was making each step.

At this point I also felt that there were three big obstacles that only God could clear. First, I was concerned about offending Leslie. I in no way wanted her to feel like I thought she was doing a poor job. As I saw it, PDBC had a Women’s Minister and so it could not be my time. Second, I felt that my age was a huge obstacle. I was afraid they would all look at me and think I am too young to take on such a position. Third, the position is currently not a paid position. I think this is a problem on many different levels, but I also know that only God can work the strings of the church to create a paid staff position for this role.

So, I arranged to meet with Leslie on Saturday, March 1st. As I laid out my heart to her, her smile grew larger and larger. She explained to me that every August she prays and asks God whether or not he wants her to continue in the position of Women’s Ministry Director. This August, she had felt a release, an assurance that her time in the position had come to an end. She had also been searching for a replacement. She strongly felt that she should train a replacement and not leave the ministry unattended. However, every woman she asked told her they were not the one to take over. And, the last woman she had asked even told her that she felt it was time for a younger woman to take the helm.

I sat stunned. God had just obliterated obstacles one and two. In fact, the people on the other side of the issue had been praying the same prayers only from the other perspective as me. They had been praying for a replacement for Leslie, and that this replacement would be young.

It was made official when the Minister of Education, Leslie, and I met with the Women’s Ministry Team on Sunday, March 9th. I am PDBC’s new Women’s Minister. I am so excited about this. Sometime during the day I met with Leslie, God showed me that this is what he has been preparing me for. This is why he took me to Biola and DTS for training. This is part of why he brought Adam and I back to Abilene. All the training I have received while away from home was so I could bring that training back to minister to my home church. I am blown away by the blessing of being able to give back to the church that has been such an elemental part of my upbringing and faith.

There is still one obstacle left – the issue of salary. Please understand, I do not want to belittle my church in any way. This is an issue now because it has never been an issue before. As I already said, when I left twelve years ago, PDBC didn’t even have a Women’s Ministry. The whole area of Women’s Ministry is new. The women who started PDBC’s Women’s Ministry already had jobs and were happy to volunteer their time for the church. I am the first to come along with the credentials and training and calling for vocational ministry. It is just new territory for the church, and it is an unexpected expense. The church leadership is not opposed to paying a Women’s Minister. It will just take some time and going through the right channels. I would appreciate your prayers for this. Yes, my family could certainly use the money. Living on one teacher’s income is not easy. More importantly, I think it is vital for this to be a paid position to give legitimacy to the ministry. The Women’s Ministry has always been well supported by the staff, but I think it is time that the women of the church had their own representation on the church staff. God has blown the other obstacles apart, and I know that he can take care of this one, too.

Praise God for he is so good!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Update on Connie

God is so good!

Connie is doing very well. She has been moved out of ICU and is in her own room. They have taken her off sedation, so she is alert. The ventilator has been removed as has her feeding tube. So, she is breathing and eating on her own. Praise God!

They have fitter her for a helmet and started physical therapy. She is now able to sit unassisted in an arm chair. She is also able to say a few words, which means she has not lost all ability to speak. Praise God!

Also, the latest MRI shows that the clot in her heart, the one that was oh so scary and needed open-heart surgery asap, has completely disappeared. There is still as small clot in her pulmonary artery, but they do not seem as concerned about it. Praise God!

All in all, she is doing very well. She still has a long way to go, though, so your prayers are still very much appreciated. God is doing so much. He is answering prayer above and beyond all that we have imagined (Eph 3:20). I pray that we will keep this a testimony to God's goodness and give him all the glory.

Praise God!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Learning to Say Yes

I have been going through Beth Moore's latest Bible study, Stepping Up: A Journey through the Psalms of Ascent. In it, Beth shares several stories about her new grandson. In one account, she shares how she told her daughter to set up as many "yes" situations as possible for her son, because the next three years are going to be full of "no."

So, this afternoon, when Luke clearly communicated that he wanted to take his nap on the green blanket on his floor, I decided to say "yes." He got down on the blanket with his cup. I closed his window shade. I turned off is lamp. He pointed to the overhead light and said, "Light off." (Lately, we must turn on both the lamp and main light in his room for him to play.) I shut the door and walked away.

I peaked back in about ten minutes later, expecting to find him playing with his toys. I was impressed to find him still quietly laying on the floor in his room. He was still awake, though. I asked him if he was going to sleep. His wide blue eyes looked innocently at me as he nodded. So, I once again said, "night-night," closed the door behind me and went about my business.

He has been snoozing soundly for about two hours now. I have to admit, I'm kinda proud of him.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Literary Meme

It may have taken weeks, but here, finally, is my answer to the literary meme. It may not be as intellectual as some where hoping, but hey, my life just isn't very intellectual these days. =)

1) One book that changed your life. At first, I thought I could not answer this question. After all, if a book changed my life I ought to be able to remember it without gazing over my bookshelves, right? But, I scanned over the shelves anyway.

My eyes stopped on my Bodie Thoene shelf, and I remembered that these books changed my life. Reading Thoene’s Zion Chronicles and Zion Covenant series awakened in my a love for Jewish history and Old Testament. This love has shaped my life as it caused me to choose Bible as my major at Biola, and then go on to pursue a Masters of Theology in Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary. Now, I ended up with Th.M. in Women’s Ministry rather than OT, but that is a different story.

2) One book that you have read more than once. I realize that this may reveal my inner geek, but I have read Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series twice, and will probably read the entire thing again and again. When a friend suggested I read this series, he told me that each time the next book comes out, he rereads the entire series. I thought he was a little outside sanity. When I began the series, the first eight books were already published. It was the summer of 2000, I had graduated from college and was waiting for seminary to begin. I sat in my first apartment and read from the time I awoke until my eyes could take no more in the wee hours of the morning. I anxiously awaited the arrival of book 9 that fall, and then forsook all homework to devour its entire 766 pages one weekend. Two years later, I excitedly took up book 10, but soon realized that I didn’t remember who half the characters were. I plugged along thinking it would soon come back to me. Some of it did. However, when I heard that book eleven would soon be available, I started back at book one and indulged my way through ten pure dessert books.

Jordan is a master story-teller. He literally has 100s of characters, each with his or her own personality. The second time through was almost like reading it the first time. There is so much there there, that I think it will always be like reading it fresh. One of my favorite things about Jordan is that his female characters think and act like we girls do. He is the only male author I have ever read who truly captures the mind of a woman. I find that most male authors write females who are really men in the role of women. Also, Jordan believes in a world of right and wrong, which is reflected in his work. Though heroes have flaws and villains may occasionally do the right thing for the right reason, evil is evil and good is good. There is no wishy-washy morality.

Sadly, Jordan, who’s real name is James Oliver Rigney, Jr., passed away in September from a rare blood disease. The twelfth and final book of the series is now set to be finished by Brandon Sanderson. I await its arrival in Dec 09 with mixed feelings.

3) One book you would want on a desert island. Okay, at the risk of sounding cliché and artificially holy, I am going to give my truthful answer – the Bible. I am afraid I would get bored with anything else. I also think that perhaps a deserted island would be an excellent chance to have the time to delve into the depths of Scripture. What can I say? I’m a seminarian. My favorite literature is the written Word.

4) Two books that made you laugh. See How They Run: An Energizing Guide to Keeping up with Your Turbo-Toddler by Lorilee Craker. Adam’s Aunt Joan gave me this one for Christmas. I think I laugh at least once a chapter. I don’t know if it is truly funny, or if I laugh out of sheer gratitude that other mommies are going through the same things I am. In the midst of great story telling, Craker also gives great advice on how to handle toddlerhood and insight into the quirky mind of toddlers.

And…well…do Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books count? Joss Whedon has been doing season 8 of Buffy in comic book form. Each month, my sweet husband picks up the next issue for me. Whedon’s humor makes me laugh. He is anti-Christian, though, so be forewarned.

5) One book that made you cry. Mister God, This Is Anna by Fynn. Lisa Jones gave me this book and it is eye-opening. It is the true story of a man who adopts a little girl off the street and their friendship. Anna is full of spirit and thinks outside the box. I have learned so much, my mind has been opened by the mind of this child.

6) One book you wish you'd written. This may be cheating, but the truthful answer to this question is the book in my mind. Someday it may be written, but today I wish I had written it.

7) One book you wish had never been written. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Okay, so I don’t really wish it had never been written. I just wish I was not made to read it in 7th grade. I found it very traumatizing as a young girl. I did reread it a couple years ago and it wasn’t so bad, but I still have a bit o’ bitterness towards it.

8) Two books you are currently reading. Okay, this one makes me laugh, because I could probably fill a page with the titles of books I am currently reading. The combination of a shortage of reading time and an attention span that is increasingly becoming more and more like my toddlers has lead to many book casualties – meaning, I read the first hundred pages or so, sit it down somewhere, and then get excited about something else which I start. So, here is a brief list of books in progress: See How They Run by Lorilee Craker, Mister God, This is Anna by Finn (I realize I have included these in other questions. They are nearly finished.), Moses by Charles Swindoll, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, A Jane Austen biography that I can’t even locate currently to tell you the actual title and author, and The Normal Christian Life, by Watchmen Nee. And, do Cooking Light magazines count?

9) One book you've been meaning to read. See above list. And, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I have heard so many good things about this book. I even picked it up when I found it on sale about a year ago. It is definitely on my to do list.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Please Pray

I am sitting in a waiting room in Methodist Hospital in Houston. My mother and I drove down here on Friday when we learned that my 22-year old cousin, Connie, had suffered a stroke. She was already in the hospital when the stroke happened, talking to one of her doctors (what Godly timing!). She was emitted due to bloodclots in her lungs.

On Friday, they removed a clot the size of a walnut from her brain, it was what had caused the stroke. Friday afternoon, a three-hour MRI revealed clots in her lungs and a dangerous clot in her heart.

Saturday morning, due to Connie's brain swelling, the neurosurgeon removed her left skull flap to allow room for her swollen brain. She was then moved to the Neurological ICU.

They are keeping her heavily sedated, but we are encouraged because she will tighly squeeze with her left hand when we talk to her, and this morning she opened her eyes. Several times today she has opened her eyes and looked for the person talking.

Please pray for Connie. Pray that she will recover quickly and completely. Also, please pray for her mom and dad. You can imagine what they are going through. Also, please remember my cousin Carrie in your prayers. She is seventeen and being brave through all this.

Also, please pray for her boyfriend, Travis. He has been here by her side through the whole thing. It is so obvious that he loves her deeply. Both her family and his think they are planning on getting married. He is so devoted to her and having a tough time.

Also, her friends have started a group page on Facebook for her called Prayers for Connie. If you are on Facebook, please check out and join the group. It is such an encouragement to her family to see how many people are praying for her.

Thank you.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I was looking back through the pictures I have taken lately of Luke, and I noticed a theme. We have waking moments, too, but lately his sleeping moments have made me laugh.

Luke has clearly become to tall to sleep sideways in his bed, which explains the bent legs, but if you look closely, he is doing a back bend over a pillow, and there is a cup under his knees. Comfy.

Lately there has been a string of incidents involving things sticking to Luke's face while he sleeps. Here, the pacifier is hanging from behind his ear.

And here, the pacifier is sticking off the side of his face like a cute little horn.
I must confess that there have also been some incidents of fruit chews being stuck to Luke's face, or in his hair. I realize that putting my child in bed with fruit chews is not the wisest parenting move. But, at 4:30a when he is awake and insisting he is hungry, fruit chews mean Mommy can go back to bed for a couple hours.

This one, I just thought was cute. I keep hoping that maybe we can replace the pacifiers with the lamb as Luke's lovey.

And, my favorite. These two are from last night. From birth, Luke has shown himself to be Daddy's boy. It always makes me smile when I look up to find that Luke and Daddy are doing the same thing, sitting the same way, sharing the same expression. Now, they even sleep the same. I only wish you could hear their synchronized snoring.
It was all the better when I walked out of the bathroom to find that they had even turned over together.

I love my boys!