follow me on Twitter

Friday, December 31, 2010


My parents were here all week and we had a FABULOUS time.  We just enjoyed our time together, Mom and I shopped.  Dad & Levi went to a movie.  The girls got our nails done.  Mom brought Memaw's peanut butter chews and a pecan pie. I made Memaw's orange slice fruitcake.  We met Jeff & Jessica (my cousins) for dinner one night.  It was nice to just be and enjoy.  I love seeing my kids with my parents.  That bond is so cool and I am so thankful that my kids enjoy being with them so much.  Addy would wake up early and go walking with mom.  And then either before or after dinner, we'd all go walk to the park again.

They left early this morning and we're all a little sad.  A had a hard time with the departure and I kept telling her, "A, it's okay." Her response, "Not to me it isn't. It is not okay."  And when K woke up and realized they were gone, he said, "Can you call them and ask them to stay 1 more day?"  It breaks my heart!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring,
uh, well the grown ups were stirring and so was the mouse.
Mommy's reflecting on a most wonderful day;
Christmas dinner with the Wilsons since they will soon be away.
A fun afternoon filled with salt dough ornaments & paint
They are painted & baked and not one was too faint.
A drop in communion with our Catalyst family
brought tears to my eyes as we greeted them happily.
Blain & Connie took the tots so Mommy could stay
And be with Daddy and not have to run away.
They even served us dinner and we got to hang out
After it was all over, we had so much fun, we wanted to shout.
We headed home to lay out cookies, milk, & reindeer food
and found a SWEET, surprise Christmas gift on our door, WOAH DUDE!!
The kids opened their Christmas jammies & headed for bed
with visions of Santa & jingles jingling in their head.
Daddy read about Zechariah, Elizabeth, & John
A & K had their best listening ears on.
We tucked the boy in & how quickly he slept,
Then away to the girl's room Mommy & Daddy crept.
We had her first communion  & explained what it meant
That Jesus' coming meant a life of servanthood He spent.
God sent Him to us so we could have life
But we have to remember His death & His strife.
What a special moment for a Mom & Dad
And what special kids, a girl & a lad.
Then we were rushed out of her room & were told to "believe"
So Santa would visit and hopefully leave
Presents and goodies for all of us four
We left Santa's Magic Key, hanging on the door.
So now all gifts are wrapped, cookies are eaten
Daddy's watching Pawn Stars & Mommy's almost sleepin'.
What a wonderful day in the Lowry house,
now all must sleep, yes, even Rosetta the Mouse.
So, all of our loved ones in the morning will call
to wish Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fighting the urge

Sometimes on my blog I want to blog about pretty specific stuff but I don't feel like I can.  I realize this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want. However, at the same time, I want to remember it's not so much a public forum for me to vent when something irritates me or when things aren't "fair" (you know I'm a just kind of girl).  Sometimes I have to fight that.  I'll read stuff that annoys me on twitter or facebook or have a situation and want to march into my computer and BLOG my little heart out. I have a friend, Wonder Woman, who works with social media stuff. A few months ago we were talking and conflict came up...not a specific conflict, literally the issue of conflict and how now, younger people (and maybe some older too) don't know how to deal with confrontation or conflict.  They blog about it or tweet about it or send a scathing email and that is how they deal with conflict and confrontation.  Um, that is SUPER unhealthy.  It reminds me of a story from a basketball coach in college (I didn't play-as if you wondered but I was friends with her).  She told about she was in a game and this girl fouled her hard from behind and she wanted to think of something mean and ugly to say but all that came out was, "TRIP ME TO MY FACE!"  That's kind of what I think about online conflict resolution.  Don't hide behind a computer, trip me to my face!  Say it to my face so that I can hear your tone and see your emotion and then I can respond and you can see my reaction.  Why hide behind nasty words or ugly digs?  When you do that, you are trying to control and you say things stronger and meaner than you most likely would if you were having a conversation.  And, really, when you confront someone, it should be out of love and trying to make a relationship better, not trying to beat someone down.  I kind of got off topic...I didn't receive an email or a nasty tweet or anything like that. I honestly read some face book updates from people that I haven't seen in forever and I get irritated. I don't even know why.  It doesn't affect me, it doesn't change me, it doesn't have one thing to do with me. I compare to myself and I get frustrated that I don't have the opportunity or the means or the situation that they have and I surely would not handle myself the way they did, yada yada yada.  It's easy to sit in a place of judgement, easy but wrong.  So, I guess I'm slapping myself on the hand through this blog.  I want to fight the urge to blog out of selfish, jealousy.  I don't have to fix others or make them feel stupid or make myself look better through some blog that they will not ever read.  I will say to you, my readers:)  When it comes to sending a nasty email or tweeting an ugly dig at someone, DON'T...trip them to their face and deal with it in a way that might actually strengthen the relationship not abolish it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Recap-

Wow so let me recap today!!  What a GREAT day it was:)  So, this morning, Levi rocked it, if you weren't there you can go to to watch it.  He talked about Plan A versus Plan B and going to for Plan A because that's the one where WE have the plans laid out and WE have it figured  out as opposed to taking Plan B when you know that's the one that God is saying, "Do this, let Me be enough even if it's not what you think is the best option."  Levi told a little of our story.  I was a little waterworks...I don't think back often enough to what God has done for us.  The path that He has carved for us.  The way HE has provided for us and continues to do so.  I need to remember and be thankful.  As I'm hearing Levi preach, I'm sitting next to 2 incredible women.  These two women were from the playgroup that I joined when we first moved here because I knew NOONE with kids...LITERALLY!!  I made some of the best friends there and am so thankful for them.  It just hit me sitting there that God continues to take care of me.

Levi also shared the stories of some of our Catalyst peeps and called them by name and reminded them (and us) how God has taken care of them too. It was very powerful.  I love that Levi is obedient and I love to hear him preach.  God uses him and it is incredible to be a part of that.  I love my husband!!

The kids went to a birthday party this afternoon (thanks Whit & Ash & Justin!!).  Levi and I had a free afternoon. We enjoyed a great lunch with the Moriarty's & Sprangs.  Levi went to a wedding (that I would have loved to gone to) and I stayed home and finished getting ready for our Open House.  We had almost 60 people in our home tonight.  Pam & Meagan helped me SOOOO much and it was so fun. I love people and I love the people of Catalyst. There is a strange feeling of comfort and casual-ty when I'm with them. I feel like I can be me and they are them.  I love that.  I'm blessed with so many great people and I'm so thankful.  We had a great time eating and talking with all of them.

I try not to "plug" Catalyst but if you're in the Dallas area and you just need to feel loved and accepted, try us out.  We are a crazy, fun, and loving bunch of peeps.  Levi was talking to a couple tonight and he said something similar.  He said, "The feeling of "comfort" that is Catalyst is not our doing, we couldn't do that or plan that, it is the people of Catalyst."  That is so true and again, I LOVE IT!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Hey!!  I've had a super weird week in a lot of ways. It has been very hectic and the weekend will continue that way as well...thus the season right?!  I'm trying to remember the reason for the season not to be cliche'.  I'm trying to savor the joys and traditions and memories that are Christmas for me.  I love this time of year.  I also try to think about Jesus' birth and what that meant for God to send Him and for us to receive Him.  When we were growing up, my Dad used to do some reflective activities. One time at Christmas, he had each of us pick a player in the birth of Jesus and tell the story from our perspective (you know, a wiseman, shepherd, angel, sheep, cow, Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, etc).  It was probably really funny to hear us tell it but it definitely got us thinking.  I've had a lot of empathy and compassion for Mary since becoming a mother myself.  What a courageous girl.  Kind of weird to think about her maturity at her age.

This week has been busy and lots going on.  MeaMea came over today with Baby J and helped get ready for our open house this weekend.  We're opening our home to our church family and friends to drop in.  I'm looking forward to it. She came over and helped. It was good to catch up and love on that baby...he's so sweet!!!  This evening I've been cleaning and getting the house ready.  I'm feeling a lot better although I did have another weird episode in the middle of the night Wednesday.  Hopefully all is well now....strange:)

Anyway, not a whole lot to say but wanted to catch up.  Hopefully you're doing well.  Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not a fan

of dealing with companies when things don't go well.  This weekend was crazy for me...I got sick on Sunday and I was down for the count. It was actually comical and embarrassing all at the same time. I literally had to run away from a friend mid conversation because I was gagging...gross I know sorry for the TMI. Anyway, I was out for a couple of days but now I'm back. Today I woke up feeling much better.

Back to the title of this post.  My Sprint phone has been acting weird. I was dreading taking it in because they last time it took them forever and I had to leave it.  I just don't have time for that..ha!  So, I finally bit the bullet and took it in yesterday.  First of all, the model of phone I have has common issues (whatever the heck that means) and they've discontinued it.  So, the lady tells me if it has to be replaced, I can give them $35 and they'll give me one on spot or I can send it to Sprint and it will be free.  I proceed to tell her that my phone will not update, it is slow, will freeze, etc.  BTW, keep in mind, I was not at my best but neither was she.  Other customers come in and she is super friendly. It was quite weird for me.  I was/am on some pretty strong meds but I definitely didn't imagine it all.

So, she tells me it will be 20 minutes for them to "fix" it.  I go across to Walmart and randomly, I notice a sprint employee walk past me...don't know why I even noticed that. So, after about 40 minutes or more, I go back.  She now tells me that I can send it but they can't guarantee that sprint will replace.  She said it will be free IF they approve it.  What is to approve?  If the phone has issues and is not working why wouldn't what I said back probably that was not a good day people.  So she tells me that that is what she's authorized to say...oh my gosh...get me out of here.  So, I thank her and ask if I can talk to a manager to get some clarity.  She says he's not here but I can talk to a tech.  I'd rather speak to a manager. So, she gives me his card and then she says, "and my name is ..." So I could include it in my conversation... Oh no she didn't!!  What in the world kind of customer service is that?!!

I walk out the door and dial the manager's number only to find out that now my phone has no service at all and will not make a call.  I march back in and let her know that now it will do nothing.  So, I wait another 20 or more minutes and listen to that employee and her coworker talk about whether or not they were going to Christmas party.  Finally the tech comes out, who is very kind and tells me I had a lot of apps running and it seems to be working fine, etc etc etc.  So, I say, "So, does it need to be replaced?"  NO, he says, it just needed to be cleaned. HOLY COW!!!  Who the heck checked my phone then?  Did the tech even ever look at my phone to begin with because guess what, he was the guy in Walmart that I saw.  Oh my lands.  So, she was going to get my phone replaced when all he had to do was clean it or something....craziness!!

So Sprint...I love your affordable plans that include all the bells & whistles but I am NOT a fan of the customer service I received in my local sprint store.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Being a Mom Rocks!!

So today I had a couple of FABULOUS mom moments that I don't want to forget.  A's teacher does "Elf on the Shelf," with them.  The kids love it and everyday they rush in and try to figure out where Little Red is hiding.  K and I went to her room one day and he saw the elf and said we should get one. So, HELLO!!!  I don't need to be told twice. I found a GREAT deal on Barnes & and ordered I mean we asked Santa to send us our very own "Elf on the Shelf."  Well he came today.  I was so excited.  We ripped open the package and read the book immediately.  K ran down the hall before we were even done.  A asked him, "You better come back here. You don't want the elf to tell Santa on you do you?"  He stopped and put his hands on his hips and said, "But A, I'm scared."  When Daddy came home they about bumrushed (is that a word?) him to tell him about our elf that we named, "Elvey!"  So Daddy read the story again (with only A because K again ran away).  So, we had some chickfila coupons and decided to go out to eat (meaning, I didn't lay out anything for dinner).  We talked a little about the elf and how he'd be in the box when we got home. Well, when we got home, we noticed that the living room lights were on.  Panic nearly ensued in our home.  We rushed to the box and opened it to find that Elvey was NO WHERE to be found.  Immediately, A buried her head in my sweatshirt and asked me to hold her.  K followed her lead and ran over to Daddy.  We decided to look for it...when I say we, I mean Mommy & Daddy because all 4 eyeballs of our children were seriously HIDDEN.  K put his head right in front of Levi's and would not look away. It was hysterical.  We couldn't quit laughing and could smack ourselves for not getting out the video camera.  A was shaking and wouldn't look either.  K spotted him but would not admit it.  Needless to say, the elf was not a huge hit tonight.  As we were tucking the kids in bed, K looked at me and said, "Mommy, I think we should send the elf back to Santa.  He's freaking me out."  Poor baby!!  And A barricaded herself under her covers and kept asking, "Are you sure he's not going to come back here? You know he moves."  Hopefully this will not backfire and we find all of us in the same bed tonight because they're having elf nightmares.

Second Magnificent Mommy Moment (that first one was just funny) happened this afternoon after Elf on the Shelf came.  My friend, Xuan, sent me a link to the Portable North Pole TV. I did this last year and it was fun but never could I have anticipated A's reaction.  I uploaded a few pics of her.  You click on the button for what they have done well and what you'd like them to work on. You put one gift they're getting, etc etc etc.  It's detailed and oh so cute.  So, I yell down the hall, "Oh my goodness, Santa just sent me an email for A and K."  They come running in and we play A's first.  Santa talks about how good she's been and what a great year she's had.  He tells her how much she helped her soccer team (while a pic of her in her uniform comes up).  He tells her what a big day her first day of kindergarten was (again while a pic comes  up).   As all of this is playing, I'm watching her.  She has the most GINORMOUS grin on her face. She is answering him and talking like he can see and hear her.  All of a sudden, I notice she has tears forming in her eyes.  Levi and I both stop and look at her.  I asked her if they were happy tears and she nodded wiping them away.  So of course, here go Levi and I wiping our tears.  It was so magical for all of us.  When Santa finished asking her about the toy she wanted, he told her to be good, kind, and generous (which I thought was wonderful). He said goodbye and the video ended.  She couldn't help herself and just began crying.  Levi asked her what was wrong and she said, through many tears, " I want Santa. I'm just so happy!"  What a great moment!!  I love that girl and how tender and innocent she is. I hope she stays that way forever!!  It was K's turn and he was super excited but not nearly as emotional.  I'm not sure he fully grasps the magic of that year he will:)

What a great day!! I love being a mom!!  My kids ROCK!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Had to share before I forget.  K has been telling me (ever since our race back in November), "Mommy, I missded you when you went to Ms. April's race."  Seriously, he'll tell me 2 or 3 times a day, since mid November.  I guess me being gone for that 24 hour period has really impacted him...poor baby.

And tonight, we were listening to a song called "Not Going to Leave Us Here." A couple sings it and the girl was singing her part and saying, "He's not going to leave us here..."  I turned around and said, "That is what God says to us." And without missing a beat, she says, "Is that what God's voice sounds like?"  Too cute!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

24 photo cards for $2.49

Just scored another great deal thanks to Deal Seeking Mom.  You can see the deal there but it's basically for new customers.  You order 24 photo cards and pay $2.49 shipping.  Wowser...they're going to be CUTE!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

FREE Music!!!

I am a lover of Christmas music!!  I do like the nontraditional:)  If you hop over to Target, you can score 14 free mp3 of their Christmas music that they in their commercials. It's fun music!!

And you can score 25 more songs on Amazon.  Amazon only does 1 a day for 25 days but if you missed yesterday, you can upload it today.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010


17 my thoughtful husband, he got me a tablet with his reffing money
18 a job that helps us and keeps me using my education and a great woman to work for and with
19 my friends, I am consistently reminded of how blessed I am with genuine, meaningful friendships
20 April- who is a great friend but also has been a great encourager in pushing myself past what I thought I could do...HELLO Warrior Dash!
21 warm, winter clothes.  today was freezing and it made me thankful for warm shoes, socks, and clothes. I realize a lot of people don't have that.
22  Christmas decorations and the inspiration from my mother in law.  She is a Christmas FREAK and I think she sprinkled me with something because my house has turned into a Christmas wonderland. I think we're up to 9 trees....I know it's madness but I LOVE IT!!!
23 Baby Jesus; having kids was really a spiritual experience for me (not so much the actual having them but the emotion and all of that -probably a lot of hormones too as i look back).  As we celebrate His birth, I'm reminded that Mary must have been scared out of her wits about all of this.  Mary must have been an incredible woman (duh).  She endured so much with His birth and death.  I am so amazed by her humility and willingness to go through all of that.
24.  my sister (she sent me some makeup today and put giftcards in there for my kids).  She is so thoughtful and considerate. She is definitely the nicer of the two of us.

I'll finish tomorrow...we're about to go eat.

Okay I'm back so I'll finish tonight!!

25.  my heritage.  I had (that is so weird to type) the best grandparents ever.  I learned a lot from them and am so thankful for the legacy they left for me.  My Memaw & Papa were incredible giving people.  They helped anyone and everyone and when you were with them, you felt like family (even if you weren't).  My Grandma was also a lover of people. She worked with people that were less fortunate than her and needed help. she always treated people with dignity and respect.  I wish my kids could know them.

26. Memaw's fruit cake. I make it homemade and it is delicious.  It's actually orange slice fruitcake...YUMOLICIOUS!!!

27.  music  I love that I get to sing with our band at church.  They are wonderful musicians and I really am lucky to play/sing with them.

28.  our little city.  I love it here.  I love the people. I love that we can go places and run into friends.

29.  Levi's willingness to "work" on his day off. Yesterday he cleaned our rug (I"ll spare the details of why but it was a BIG job).  He also steam cleaned our floor (I got a Shark over the weekend).  He also helped with all the Christmas decorating and getting stuff up and down out of attic.  I appreciate that more than he knows.

30.  The way my kids love me.  I love that at 4am K man still tells me he loves me with a big grin. I love that A will run up and give me a huge hug just because she wants too.  I love my kids more than I ever thought I could love someone.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I am a Warrior!!!!

so this last weekend was the Warrior Dash here in Texas. I'm just going to be honest. I only agreed to this race because my friend, Wonder Woman, asked me and signed us up. I knew I had to do it. You can read the inspiration here. So, I started "training" by doing the Couch Potato to 5K program. Which really works and is awesome. Back in September, I ran my first 5K with Levi and WW. It was a little less than a stellar experience for me. You can read about it here. However, I learned I could run a 5K and not die. I was doubtful.

I knew the Warrior Dash was coming and I complained and whined about it any time I could. Even, on the drive up, I was NOT looking forward to it. In face, WW and I contemplated sleeping in and skipping it altogether. We didn't we went. I was freezing the morning of which was probably a good distraction. We were supposed to run in the 9am wave. BUT, since WW is such an EARLY person, we got to the race at 7:30-ish. We saw the 8am wave go and survive as we were hanging by the fire pits to keep warm. We decided to get in the 8:30 am wave to get it over with. We both were nervous and questioning our sanity. I looked at her and said, "We should prayer." I was honestly half kidding but she thought it was a great idea. So, I quietly whispered a prayer that God would be with us and seriously help us to stay safe and not break a leg. People-this race had barbed wire, wrecked cars, and fire...oh yeah, and MUD!!! And I am thankful for this journey with WW. We really did need His help. We're both 30-something here!!  We did get cute Viking hats as you can see in the before picture above.

So, we all start yelling Warrior like things and jumping up and down. Even as I type this, I am giggling because it's just not typical for me. The excitement did get to me:)  So, we start and we're running. We ran most of the race.  About every 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile there was an obstacle.  We had to climb over wrecked cars, walk the plank, climb a rope wall, run through a creek that got about 2 feet deep (and then run the rest of the race with soaked feet), crawl over ropes, do a tire run, repel up a wall, slide down a muddy hill, go through a spider web, climb up and down hay bails, jump over 4 feet walls, and lastly jump over fire pits and dive through mud with barbed wire at the top.  That was a lot for me. BUT, I had so much fun.  We finished in 52 or 53 minutes.  I was really proud of myself.  I ran almost the whole time. It was nice though because some of the obstacles were backed up so I could catch my breath.  It was awesome.  You can check out our finishing video!

I am a WARRIOR!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thankful- I'll start here

a great place to start. If you have facebook I'm sure you've seen the posts about posting what you're thankful for everyday of November. Well, I haven't been doing it. I love the idea though so I thought I'd blog and do half now and half at the end of the month.
So, here goes (and not in order of importance):
1. the changing colors of the trees
2. K Man's crazy facial expressions
3. Addy's sense of style
4. Levi's frugal ways
5. my education (although not using it, I do have a master's degree tucked away)
6. music (all kinds)
7. my mom (she's so stinkin' fun)
8. my cowboy dad
9. Becker, our giant schnauzer
10. my crockpot & pampered chef roaster thing ( I love it)
11. peanut butter captain crunch
12. coupons
13. my yoyo girls
14. a GREAT extended family
15. our C group
16. our neighbors

okay so 15 more later :)


Okay i have so much to say but am running in different directions so I can't do it now....gotta go make supper.

I'm starting a few new projects and have a lot of irons in the fire...lots of fires.

I'm good....need to catch up soon. Just didn't want my blog or my blog readers to think I've forgotten about them:)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


So we had our C Group's our version of small groups. Oh my gosh. Can I just say that I love it! It's amazing to me that a bunch of us can sit around our living room and share personal experiences, thoughts, struggles, etc and it feels so comfortable. At least for me it does. I have no apprehension sharing and being honest even if it's not what I'm "supposed" to say as a pastor's wife. They love me for me and I love them for them. I love that we're all so unique and different but we can come together under the commonality of God. We can share and differ on opinions and even some theology and it's okay. We don't all have to agree on it all or think the same...that's the beauty of it. If you're not in a C Group (if you go to Catalyst) or a small group (if you don't go to Catalyst), you should be...not be it's what's you should do out of obligation, but because it is where you connect and live life with each other and where you feel loved and accepted. And I love feeling connected, loved, and accepted!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Turkey Day 5K...come on, let's do it!!!

Okay so once again, I'm going to copy my hubby's blog.

Who is Up for an informal 5k on Thanksgiving...
Many of you know that I was able to go to Ghana this summer with Mercy Project. My good friend and former neighbor Chris Field is the driving force behind this humanitarian effort. He has recently moved back to College Station, TX as he leads Mercy Project, raises awareness of child slavery, and raises funds to provide a better life for children who face the reality of slavery every day on Lake Volta in Ghana.

I have promised to be a mouthpiece to tell the story of these kids and to help in any way I can. In the last year I have played in a 50 hour long game of kickball (the game raised $20k). I went to Ghana to see these precious kids and have spoken to 25o high school kids about modern day slavery. I sold stuff so I could give to Mercy Project, and our small group held a garage sale that raised of $500 for MP. I am not bragging, quite the opposite in my opinion. I want us to realize that we don't have to be rich or give tens of thousands of dollars to make a difference. We have to be tenacious and keep it from slipping to the back burner of our schedule.

The 5k Challenge

MP will be holding a first annual Turkey Trot in College Station at 8 a.m. It is not feasable for me to drive that far for a 30 minute race. So, I got to thinking that I could just run a 5k through the neighborhood and invite some people to join me. We would pay the $25 and get t-shirts just like the racers in College Station and support a great cause.

I am hoping to get a minimum of 5 folks to run here in Rowlett. Seems pretty doable, so who's game?

Okay so back to far he has 5 confirmed runners (yes, I am one of them). If you're in the area, think about it and let me'll be fun and for a good cause. And heaven knows we could all burn a few calories before we stuff ourselves:)

Menu for the Week

Friday Soccer Party

Saturday- Teriyaki Steak with Brown Rice

Sunday- Out & Sandwiches for dinner

Monday- Chicken Casserole with green beans

Tuesday- Roast with carrots, potatoes

Wednesday- Baked Chicken with rice & veggies

Thursday- ribs, corn, salad

Friday- Sloppy Joes & french fries

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I will trust you in the darkness I will trust you in life's harshness,
I will trust you Lord to guard over my heart.
I will trust you and keep singing, I will trust you dearly clinging.
I will trust you and keep bringing you my heart.

Those are the lyrics that keep playing in my mind. I googled and can't figure out the title. I even youtubed it and heart a GREAT (sarcastic) rendition. I'm thinking of a couple of my friends that are really struggling right now. And I started singing this song in my head because they are mature in their faith and that's them...they still trust even when life sucks. And I love the line, "I will trust you dearly clinging." Sometimes I feel that way, that I am trying so hard to keep clinging and other times I feel like I'm barely hanging on. I want this to be my heart too. I want to be mature enough in my faith and relationship that I trust and obey in the midst of the harshness of life, when things aren't fair or right or just. I want to keep singing and keep submitting my heart to God through the crap of life. I'm praying for my friends right now. Praying that God would bring peace in the midst of the storm that is raging around them now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Okay...more wise words, from Levi this time.

I love my husband. He is one wise man! Lately, we've all been stressed about a variety of things and life situations, etc...just life I guess. Levi's been MIA for a while in regards to his blog. I thought I'd share his blog on mine tonight.

Not much to say...
I have sucked it up in regards to blogging lately. Truthfully, I simply have not felt like putting words on the screen. Life has been busy. I have been reffing a lot of soccer lately and feel like I am running around like a chicken with it's head cut off.

I will say that being the pastor of a church plant/re-start or whatever we are is the most stressful and difficult thing I have ever been a part of. I was lamenting some of the frustrations I am experiencing to my dad the other day as he is not just my dad but a pastor and church planter as well. He told me that the similarities to what I am experiencing now and what he went through in the late 1970s as a church planter are eerily similar.

He shared some stuff with me that he had never told me before about his ministry in Georgia and it really encouraged me. I hope I last as long in ministry as he has. I have an incredible respect for guys and gals who have been doing ministry for more than 20 years and for people who stick with a local church for more than 20 years. The easy thing to do is run off and find a new career or "better" church.

I have to be careful to remember that God is the one who will build his church. I am not called to build churches, I am called to make disciples and be faithful to the call he has put on my life. As long as I am putting in the time, energy, and effort to fulfill His call, it is all good.
posted by levi at 2:08 pm

Monday, November 1, 2010

Words of Wisdom

I got back from West Virginia last night LATE and have been going all day. In fact, I should be working now. I follow another church planter wife names Jennifer. I love her blog. I love to read what she says. She has wisdom and experience. I read her blog today and wanted to repost in mine.

Relational Pain #3

Vince just posted this on his blog from another pastor. It goes perfectly with the idea of relational pain, people leaving your church, friendships ending, etc.

As Francis Chan so eloquently put it recently, you’d be hard pressed to read in the book of Acts about a guy who got upset about service times or music style and deciding to leave a church. It’s true…people really do leave churches for silly reasons. I recently heard about someone who left our church because we focused too much on reaching the unchurched. Pretty amazing, since that’s exactly why Jesus came to earth. Sometimes, a Christian leaves a church for a good reason – perhaps to be a part of a new work or perhaps because they move. Let me offer some tips and comments on leaving a church and dealing with the fact that people leave your church.
If you’re leaving a church, talk to the pastor or a leader about your reasons. Don’t just disappear. My friend Kyle recently talked to me about why he was leaving our church to help out a church plant. I appreciated the fact that he wanted me to hear it from him before I heard it from somewhere else. He was kind and gracious, and I was able to bless him and will continue to pray for him.
If you’re planting a church, don’t try and steal people from other churches. Ed Young calls this pirating, and I’d tend to agree. If you’re trying to talk up what you’re doing and how your church can offer more opportunities than the church they are currently attending, you’re doing a disservice to the Kingdom.
If people come to your church from another church, make sure they left well. Make sure they have the conversations they need to have and that they left on good terms. In the early days of Oak Leaf Church, there are a few people I would not let step into leadership because they hadn’t talked to their previous pastor.
If people badmouth their previous church to you, they will badmouth you to their next church.
As a pastor, it’s tough not to take it personally when someone leaves your church. I compare it to someone not liking your kid.
I promise you that the kids ministry is going to do something that upsets you, or the pastor is going to say something that you don’t totally agree with. If you’re involvement there is shaky enough to be threatened by those things, then check your heart and see why you’re there in the first place.
7 times out of 10, leaving a church because the teaching isn’t deep enough is a sign of your own personal shallowness and has nothing to do with what the church is doing or teaching. Christians are supposed to learn how to feed themselves.
Many times, when people say they “had a bad experience,” what they mean is “they tried to pastor me, hold me accountable, actually help me grow, or expected me to honor my commitments and I didn’t want that.” Not all the times, but many times.
Leading a church is tough. Christians, pray for your church and for all of the pastors. You have NO IDEA what they go through. They deal with their own stuff, but they also worry and deal with the stuff of hundreds of people. On top of that, they know they are being judged more harshly by God. (James 3:1)
Hope this helps!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Diarrhea of the Brain your attention.  I'm sitting here tonight listening to the song set for Sunday.  We are doing a baptism. It's a first for us.  My kids walked into the church the other day and ran out and said, "Mommy, there's a bathtub in the church."  I am really excited about this step for a couple of our friends.

I'm using Levi's laptop and he had the set list playing so when I turned it on it just automatically started.  I also opened my email to catch up.  I've been running like a chicken with her head cut off this week.  I fly out tomorrow and I'm not packed.  I need to finish and send lesson plans for the next couple of weeks and do report cards.  It feels like a lot.

I sat down feeling discouraged, feeling like I always have to be up, feeling like I have to hold it together for me and for my family.  I'm feeling like life's not fair and that people are not true to their word.  I'm feeling helpless and clueless to help others that are close to me.  I feel unsteady.  I feel like I'm suffocating and that I can't keep up emotionally, mentally, or physically.

And then my Grandma died.

And then I feel the brevity of life.  I feel sad for my mom that she has to say goodbye to her mom. I dread that moment in my life. I'm feeling the sting of death and the grief and mourning that goes along with that.  I feel scared of cancer.  It sucks that my great grandmother, grandfather, and grandmother have all died from it.  It will be weird not to see my Grandma.  It's just weird.

That's what I'm feeling right now.  So I sit down and start opening emails.  I get one from Pam:)  She is telling me that our church friends are bringing food for Levi and the kids while I'm gone.  I get another from a friend in our small group offering to bring dinner.  I get another from a friend who offers to watch our kids while I'm gone. I think about the texts and phone calls and emails and cards I've gotten this week letting me know that I'm loved and being prayed for.  I'm listening to this song....and the tears flow. (it's a long song).  But seriously, every line hit a nerve for me.  So this moment of self pity turned into a moment of self reflection and gratitude in the midst of a crappy point in life.  This song is by Mike Crawford.  Google it to listen to the song, it is powerful!!  I realized that His words are the words that I build my life upon and I do want them to be mine.
Words To Build A Life On
Lyrics by Mike Crawford
These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
how can they be mine
These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
I want them to be mine

Blessed are the poor
Blessed are the weak
Blessed are the ones
Who can barely speak
Blessed in your hurt
Blessed in your pain
Blessed when your teardrops
Are falling down like rain
Blessed when you’re broken
Blessed when you’re blind
Blessed when you’re fragile
When you have lost your mind
Blessed when you’re desperate
Blessed when you’re scared
Blessed when you’re lonely
Blessed when you’ve failed
Blessed when you’re beat up
Blessed when you’re bruised
Blessed when you’re tore down
Blessed when you’re used

These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
how can they be mine
These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
I want them to be mine

Blessed when you’re heartbroke
Blessed when you’re fired
Blessed when you’re choked up
Blessed when you’re tired
Blessed when the plans
That you so carefully laid
End up in the junkyard
With all the trash you made
Blessed when you feel like
Giving up the ghost
Blessed when your loved ones
Are the ones who hurt you most
Blessed when you lose your
Own identity
Then blessed when you find it
And it has been redeemed
Blessed when you see what
Your friends can never be
Blessed with your eyes closed
Then blessed you see Me

These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
how can they be mine
These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
I want them to be mine

Blessed when you’re hungry
Blessed when you thirst
Cause that’s when you will eat of
The bread that matters most
Blessed when you’re put down
Because of me you’re dissed
Because of me you’re kicked out
They take you off their list
You know you’re on the mark
You know you’ve got it right
You are to be my salt
You are to be my light
So bring out all the flavor
In the feast of this My world
And light up all the colors
Let the banner be unfurled
Shout it from the rooftops
Let the trumpets ring
Sing your freaking lungs out
Jesus Christ is King!
Jesus is my Savior
Jesus is divine
Jesus is my answer
Jesus is my life

These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
how can they be mine
These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
I want them to be mine

Give us ears that we may hear them
voice that we may sing them
life that we may live them
hope that we may give them
hearts that we can feel them
eyes that we can see them
thoughts that we may think them
tongues that we may speak Your words

Monday, October 25, 2010


Today GiGi went to be with Jesus.  That is weird to even write.  It's such a strange feeling. We knew this day was coming and we knew she was sick and she's lived a long life but man it's been a difficult day.  I've got so many emotions, it's very odd.  I've worried about telling A all day.  She's got such a tender, sensitive heart.  I love that girl. I've also hurt so much for my mom through this.  She's took family medical leave act to take care of GiGi.  She would do (and did do) anything for her mom.  She sat by her bedside this morning as she took her last breath.  She was up all night and I know she is absolutely worn out today.  I can hear it in her voice.  I wish I could be there with her. I think that's the part that sucks the most about being here, I'm so far from them.  I hate that part.  Please pray for my family this week.  We will all travel to the funeral. It will be great to be together. I haven't seen most of these family members in 4 years or so.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

First Field Trip

Today was a bit bittersweet.  A had her first field trip today to the pumpkin patch. I was totally bummed that I couldn't go.  However, I sent Levi to go with her.  I walked in this afternoon and she was asleep.  It wore her out!!  I walked in and talked to her and I said, "Did Daddy get there on time?  Did you have fun? Did he have fun?  Did he have to fuss at any other kids?"  She looked at me and said, "Yeah, he got there and time and he was even in my group."  I had to hold back my giggling.  She is so sweet and innocent and funny without meaning to be.  Tonight, Levi worked late since he blew part of his day at the field trip. And he has a root canal tomorrow...not a great way to end your week but that's another story.  Anyway, I took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese...we never do that but I had a coupon. I had so much fun with them.  Chuck E. came out and we did the Cupid Shuffle and got free tickets.  I guess that's a new thing they do there now.  I had a good time just playing with them.  I am one lucky mama!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So much to say or not to say

This week I have felt like blogging but haven't....I've either run out of time or been exhausted.  It seems like I've had more time than normal to think.  I'm trying to be more consistent with my exercise too. I was doing so well and then kind of fell off the wagon after the first 5K. The second 5K is in November so I have to be ready for that.  I usually give myself about 30 minutes to run/jog/walk.  Last night, we had band practice at the Sprangs house.  They live 2.9 miles away. So, if I ran there, I'd have to run the whole distance.  I did it and it took me about 40 minutes.  I'm okay with that. I was just glad I finished it.

Anyway, I've thought a lot in the last couple of days.  The last week has been kind of weird.  I don't know if I would say I've struggled but I've definitely been contemplating some things.  One of those things is the idea of religiosity.  I think we can know how to live and we can know lots about God and the Bible, etc but that doesn't make us "good" Christ followers. I think we can get emotional and say the right things and even seem passionate about all of this.  The problem is that if you're not loving others and you're not influencing others, what difference does all of that knowledge and passion make?  I get aggravated at hearing people who are good hearted and well meaning but are just that.  They don't have relationships with anyone not in their "Christian" bubble or realm of influence.  They aren't building relationships with neighbors or community members or with anyone that isn't like them.  I know that might sound harsh, I don't mean it harsh I just want to always remember that for myself.  I want to constantly be seeking out people that are hungry, or thirsty, or have a need that I can fill.  I don't even necessarily mean hungry for food....maybe it's hungry for a friend or a listening ear. Hopefully that makes sense.  I think sometimes we sit in church or hear teaching or even read it in the Bible about going into the world and clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, etc etc. and it doesn't change us. We're so used to hearing it that it is just another good message but we don't put action behind it.  I want to remember that.

When we moved here, we knew NOONE!!  I had no friends.  My kids had no friends.  Levi and I were so lonely.  We had to do something.  I found a meetup group and that became my sanity.  I am still great friends with some of those women.  I realized at that point how important loving people is.  I love others because God loves me.  I want others to know why I love.  I truly had a need for people and relationships and I think that's why I had to reach out of my comfort zone.

Okay so that's all I got....hopefully you can hear my heart. I'm not trying to be judgmental or preachy or anything like that. It was just on my mind...maybe more so for myself than others;)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Image Issues

Okay so I had an epiphany in church this morning. I was in the second service and mind you this was the second service and I was paying attention but zoned out for a few seconds and had a thought. I immediately wanted to blog it and seriously thought about doing so on my phone...unrealistic for me right??!! YES!!  So, I was thinking about body image.  Honestly, it doesn't consume me but I struggle with my weight. I want to eat what I want without thinking, counting, exercising, etc...kind of like the undisciplined if you can't tell.  That doesn't work for me.  About a week and a half ago, Levi and I started counting points (weight watchers system).  It seems to be the most balanced and easiest for us. I did great this week at writing it all down (in my phone) and really making good choices.  And even when I did make an alternative choice (not bad), I had the points. I exercised 3 times...need to do 5 but whatever!  So, I guess it's been on my brain more.  Now, let me also say, I'm happy with me. I don't look in the mirror and gag at myself.  I see a little more than I'd like in there.  I want to be healthy and I want that to be motivation, not the size of my clothes or the lbs on the scale.  Which brings me to this morning.  I was thinking about a friend who is a little overweight.   I was thinking about her comparing herself to others and then I thought, "when I look at her, I don't think about her weight.  It doesn't cross my mind."  And  I thought about it. I love her so when I look at her, her outward appearance doesn't phase me. I don't even think about it.  I love her because she's her.  She's funny, caring, compassionate, moody (takes one to know one), etc.  And then I got to thinking about God's love for me.  I sometimes put myself down or lessen my value (not about weight but about other things in my life).  God doesn't see that. He loves me for me.  He doesn't look at me and think about my shortcomings or struggles.  I love that!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wow...I'm back

Oh my much to say.  We are back from Disney.  We had a fabulous time.  I am still pooped.  We kept saying, "There's tired and there's Disney tired."  We are recovering.  I tried to blog once at Disney and it didn't work. I emailed myself so I wouldn't forget. Here it is.

So tonight Levi went to Disney quest. April and Steve took Addy with them to Disney. Keegan and I were chilling at resort. We walked over to get a coke and cookie.  The cashier gave him a balloon with a princess and the frog book. On the way back to the room, Keegan looked up and said,"I'm going to give this to Addy because I want her to be super happy." How sweet!! I love that boy.

Keegan got pretty sick while we were there.  Levi took him to the ER and has a great story to tell.  Poor kid got a shot and a few breathing treatments. It was pretty stressful.  I got to see my grandmother too.  We drove down at the beginning of our trip.  It was great to see her.  We got to spend a couple of days with my parents and sister, bro, and niece too.  It was great. I miss my family so much.  They're awesome.

We got to do a lot of fun stuff.  We saw so many characters. I loved seeing my kids react and enjoy. 

It was great being with the Wilson family too.  What a blessing for us.  Definitely made GREAT memories!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Wow, this week has been pretty exciting.  We finally welcomed Lil' Sprang into the world yesterday.  It was so crazy how many of us were watching twitter & facebook like hawks waiting for any word on this baby's entrance.  The world of technology is pretty crazy.  It was so weird and awesome to hold him and look at what we've only seen in the form of a ball in Meagan's belly.  To actually look at his fingers and toes and kiss his head...pretty crazy.   The Sprangs are family to us and the addition of this baby only grows that love for them and him.  We are some lucky peeps to have them in our lives!!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Ready for an awesome week!!  Our good friends are being induced tonight so I am excited as I blog.  Can't wait to hear that he is finally here!!  I am ready for work for the next two weeks and am so excited.  We leave for Disney in 12 days!!!  This will be our first family vacation (not seeing grands) ever!!  I am so pumped!

Alas, onto my dinner plan for the week and then more chit chat!!

Monday-cheesey chicken pot pie
green beans

Tuesday- poppy seed chicken

Wednesday-Chiloso with small group-YUMOLICOUS!!!

Thursday- grilled chicken & veggies

Friday- ribs
baked potatoes

Saturday- Block Party

Okay so I ran this morning.  It was my first time back at it since the 5K and I so enjoyed it. never thought I'd type that.  I really did.  I ran longer without stopping and it just felt good!!  Gonna get back out there tomorrow.  I listened to Natalie Grant and man do I love her.  She has some powerful songs. I really felt like I got my praise on as I ran this morning...what  a great way to start the day:)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan 9/13

Here's my menu for the week. We're trying NOT to eat out:)

baked potatoes
green beans

Monday- chili  with toppings (fritos, cheese, sour cream)
grilled cheeses- optional :)

Tuesday- poppy seed chicken

Wednesday- pizza bread
DESSERT with C group

Thursday- chicken & rice
green beans

Friday- chicken & veggies on grill
baked potatoes

What are you cooking this week???

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I'm realizing more and more how important relationships are.  As I read the scriptures and see how much Jesus invested in other people's lives, it's a call and a challenge for me to do the same.  I think at times, I feel choked by all the relationships I have and try to maintain.  There's my relationship with God, with Levi, my kids, my parents, my sister, extended family,  friends (from mommy group, from church, from work, from my kid's stuff, neighbors), students, parents of students, long distance friends, and then there are the people that I'm trying to establish friendship with that I don't know well but I see a lot (like my Chick-fil-a friends,  yeah I admitted it).  Man, it's kind of crazy to list all of the people I'm in relationship with.  You're no different, if you took the time to list all of the people you come in contact with, it's kind of crazy.  It's also crazy to think that I can positively or negatively affect each and every one of those.  I'm sure I have at one point or another and if I haven't, I probably will. I know it's hard to believe but I get an attitude at times.  I struggle with getting frustrated easily, having little patience, and making mountains out of molehills.  I don't want to ever tire of being a relational person.  Levi was telling me about a leadership seminar that he watched and one of things was that leaders have to have a high pain tolerance.  People will hurt you (and the opposite is true too).  That part is hard for me.  Oh, I also struggle with forgetting past hurts, I'm a scorekeeper.  I hate that because I think I guard myself at times.  We had a couple over the other night and we were talking about schedules and Matt told me that I'm always on the go.  I told him that sometimes for me, that's a way for me to be in denial.  If I'm always going, I don't have to face myself or the yucky stuff in life.  I try to balance and even when I'm on the go, do that in a healthy way.  I really do enjoy being out and about.  Let me clarify, my busy isn't always going through my to do list.  Sometimes it's going with a friend to help with something or just hanging out at Katy's house or clipping coupons at Chickfila while the kids play, I'm still enjoying myself and the people with me.  I'm trying to do better balancing that with my downtime at home to make sure I get what I need to done as well.  Ok, I digress.....the point of this blog was to say that I want to always be relational. I want to be a positive impact in the lives of others.  I want to be appreciative for the help and support I get.  I want people to know how life giving they are to me. 

I hope ya'll have a great weekend.  We've got 3 babies due in our church family in the next few weeks and my prediction is they'll all come in the same week, we'll see if I'm right:)

Even when I try to focus on one thing to blog about, I can't help myself.  Thanks for reading my randomness!

Friday, September 10, 2010


So, I finished my first 5K last night.  I was really tired going into and against Wonder Woman's (AKA my personal trainer-ha) advice, I did not hydrate as well as I should have.  I sweated more than I have ever sweat in my life. It was crazy humid. We ran over the river that was flooded which was kind of crazy.  Let me back up, the opening ceremonies were pretty emotional.  They talked about the tragedy of 9/11 and honored some of our own fallen heroes.  There were a lot of firefighters, police & other military personnel that ran.  I told Levi he could run on ahead of Wonder Woman and I stayed together.  She could have gone ahead too, I did hold her back.  We ended up finishing behind the army unit that ran.  They sang and chanted the whole race.  I was okay for a while in the race, I did walk some too.  The hills seriously kicked my butt.  At the last hill, Wonder Woman sped ahead and I started embarrassing but fortunately most had ear buds in and couldn't hear me.  Wonder Woman kept encouraging me to run the last hill which I reluctantly did.  Levi was waiting for us with bottles of water.  I think he expected a huge grin of accomplishment on my face.  I don't do "pain & discomfort" well and my face showed it. I just wanted to sit.  UGH!

Today, I do feel pride and accomplishment!!  They both told me that was the hardest 5K here because of the humidity and hills....we'll see.  Levi wants to do another this fall.   I'm up for it...or I will be after I rest:)  I am pretty tired today but feel good!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


So, I found out last week that my grandmother has a mass in her throat that is 8 cm across. It is blocking food from going where it should.  They also found that she has a mass in each breast.  Her mother died of breast cancer and she had a tumor removed a long time ago in one breast.  I also found out that she hasn't had a mammogram in the last 10 years.  The doctors biopsied the throat tumor and should get the result tomorrow, there was a delay because of the holiday weekend.  However, they have already called an oncologist in and he has given her a few options. However, none of those options are good.  It makes me really sad.  The thought of her dying a painful death kills me.  The thought of my mom losing her mom breaks my heart.  The reality that life ends and that those I love will not always be with me is one idea that I'd like to stay in denial about. 

I got to talk to Gigi on Monday. She was in great spirits.  I asked if she was in pain, she said no except her arthritis.  I asked if she was scared or nervous, she said no, she'd lived a long life and it has been wonderful.  We talked about all of our loved ones that were in heaven and what a sweet reunion that would be.  I did not cry on the phone.  I didn't want her to hear that.  My tears were with mixed emotions.  I miss my family and so sometimes I cry just because it makes me sad to be so far away. 

I realized that in my own health, I need to be careful to have regular mammograms because there is obviously family history here.  I also realized that I want to be able to say what Gigi said, "I have lived a wonderful life."  I tend to major on the minors and hold grudges and take score. I don't want to do that.  I want to be a lover and a forgiver.  I want to savor each moment.

I'll keep you posted on Gigi.  She is an amazing woman.  My grandpa died when my mom was pregnant with me....thirty something years ago.  Gigi never remarried.  She worked, hard and when she retired, she started working at a "helping hands" type center.  She finally had to give that up a few months ago.  I admire her so much and I'm thankful for the legacy that she left for me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Catching Up

Ready for my whirlwind of randomness???

Okay so this week has kicked my butt!!  It has been super busy. I started back to work, 2 days a week. I know I'm whining but it is hard for me to get back into a routine.  Levi and I are running our first 5K together next week and I have only exercised once this week...ugh!!  seriously, kickin' my butt!!! 

Last night, we had some friends over for supper.  These are friends from the Chamber.  They actually own the Chick-fil-a in town (that's not why we're friends)!!  We love us some Chick-fil-a.  We just talked and talked and talked.  The kids played wonderfully and it was so nice to catch up.  We see them around town but it was nice to  be able to have uninterrupted conversation.

Yesterday for breakfast, we met a friend from Nashville.  He is a wonderful guy and I'm so glad he squeezed us in his busy schedule.  It was great to catch up and swap stories.  I actually worked for him in Nashville, great guy...missed seeing his wife.  It is neat to reconnect and share what has happened in the past 3 or 4 years and how life has changed so much for all of us. 

Talked to another friend early in the week and she shared a situation that she is going through where the other person's behavior is bordering on evil.  I hate to hear that.  I hate that those of us who call ourselves Christians don't act very Christlike.  I know I'm guilty of not acting Christlike at times.  There's a hard balance between being human and then acting out of our human nature in an ugly way.  I want to be the kind of person that extends grace and mercy and love even when it's undeserved or when I'm justified or when it's really not my fault and the other person is a jerk.  I think that's the test.  It says in the Bible (paraphrased of course), "...even heathens love those that are kind to them, the hard part is loving those who are mean (or evil)."  I hope I got that right. I struggle with letting that stuff go and not worrying about it.  I'm trying to do more praying. 

Lots of great stuff going on with us....there's my whirlwind of randomness...

Friday, August 27, 2010


Okay so let me debrief about school this week.  I love A's teacher....LOVE LOVE LOVE her.  She is gentle yet firm and she is hip too....what a find!  I'm so thankful for her.  The realization of what a HUGE job teachers have hit me harder than ever.  I taught for 6 years before I had kids.  I loved it and I always taught in low income schools and in Nashville, it was an inner city ROUGH school. I loved it and I loved those kids.  I never thought about what it's like being on this side of school.  I got pretty emotional thinking about it.  I am entrusting my baby to another human being for 7 hours a day.  I want that person to love my child, treat my child with respect, care for her, laugh with her, have fun with her.  I want my child to enjoy her days, not dread them.  That's a big responsibility for a teacher.  And I have worked with a lot of teachers...I've seen the good and the bad.  I wrote A's teacher a note the first day of school thanking her for taking on the responsibility of teaching. I told her that we have prayed for her before we knew who she was.  I told her that I would support her this year with prayers and however else I could.  I also told her that as parents, we are trusting her to take care of our baby.  I almost tear up writing this. 

A has done AWESOME at school.  She loves it.  She tells me stories every afternoon about friends and other teachers and classes and who she sees in the hall.  I love hearing about it.  K Man and I are kind of lost without her.  I feel like I'm missing something...not something someone and I am.  It is so weird, even at day 5.  I am so glad that she's loving it because that would make it a lot harder.  Next week K and I go to school so we'll be a little more distracted. I am enjoying my one on one time with him. 

There's my school update!

Morning Conversation

went like this as we were walking to school. I parked a little farther away because traffic gets back up and it's not much farther of a walk...anyway....

Me:  "A- you did so great this morning with your socks and shoes.  thank you for changing your attitude.  It made the morning so much nicer."

A:  "Yeah, last night Daddy prayed and asked God to help me with my shoes and socks today."

Me: "That is so awesome.  God answered Daddy's prayers for you."

A:  "He did.  Why doesn't He ever answer your prayers?"

Which then led to a really cool conversation about all the prayers God has answered for me.  It was a great way to start the morning, thinking of all the ways God has helped us.  I love that!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I totally need to blog about our first few days of school but I am pooped!! This routine is wearing me out just as much!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Yo Yo's

We have been called many things but the official name for us..."Yo Yos!!"  It all started about 16 years ago....holy cow did I really just type 16 years Nashville, Tennessee.  We came from different places, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, & yes, a Texan (wasn't me).  We met our freshmen year and all but one were instant friends, we met her a few months later.  We gladly let her join our crazy group. 2 years later, we were all still friends and we were feeling crazy one night. We all dressed in our most gansta' garb and headed out around campus flashing our Double Love gang signs and saying, "Yo Yo!" in again, our most ghetto accents.  So, we affectionately became known as the Yo Yo Mamas and now we're just the YoYos.  We are still very spread out but we've made it a priority to get together at least every 2 years....sometimes every year depending on the situation and necessity of a visit!  The moment we all get together, I don't think it ever gets quiet.  It is nonstop laughter, tears, joking, venting, honest talk.  Man do I love those girls. They are family to me. 

Well, we all have stories and struggles.  In the past year or so, we've had major ups and downs in the YoYo family.  I'm going to share an up.  Nanna...probably the silliest YoYo of the bunch, has been married 12 years now I guess.  She and her husband have not been able to get pregnant.  They have had a long, hard road of miscarriages.  Well, about 4 years ago, they adopted a little girl from Guatemala.  She is about the cutest thing and so much like her Mama it isn't funny!!  They found out when she was a little over 2 that she has brittle bone disease and one more stress for them.  They are pastors in California and they are awesome.  they are doing incredible things in their community and just loving God and loving people. It's been really hard to be so far away from family and being in ministry is definitely challenging.  We have prayed for Nannah and a couple of other YoYos who have not been able to get pregnant.  It's heartbreaking when we pray for something that we think would be so wonderful and truly is wonderful and it doesn't happen.  Yet, there are others that can get pregnant at the drop of the hat who are drug addicts or abusers or doesn't seem fair.  There's that word again.  Honestly to talk to the girls, it's not their first choice not to get pregnant but they are okay and their faith is strong and firm.  And they truly say, "Whatever is okay.  We know God has a plan."  I love that about my YoYo's. They are strong Christian women!! here's the GREAT news, Nanna is pregnant.  And in the next 6 weeks will be having a little boy.  I am so happy for them. We are all!!   Here's a pic of my beautiful friend and her lovely daughter (and son).

Monday, August 16, 2010

All I Need

So this Sunday we're singing this song at church.  It is by far my favorite Sprang original.  I feel like it speaks so clearly about who God is and that He truly is all I will ever need.  I love it.   My favorites are definitely more soulful and even bluesy...the rockin' stuff is fine but it's not my fav.  Soul is definitely my sweetspot:)  Glad that Spranger Danger added that to his repertoire. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lovin' Life

i have to blog about my weekend thus far.  Last night we played Whirlyball with 45 of our closest friends:)  We had an all church family event and we played Whirlyball. if you have never played, you should it is LOTS o' fun!  I love watching our church peeps interact.  They are all awesome....seriously, they are down to earth, fun loving, fun people.  I think back to 2 1/2 years ago when we had the same 12 people in a room every week and we weren't growing and how depressing that was and then I look at where we are now and it just makes me so thankful to God.  His timing is perfect and He brought the right peeps and the right time and He will continue to do so and I LOVE that!!  Then, this morning, we had a kids' worker meeting.  Wouldn't you know that we have exactly the right number of people to fill the amount of spots?? Is that crazy or what??!! Again, LOVE it!  We are so blessed by our CatRow peeps!!  Seriously! 

Today is Levi's birthday.  Wonder Woman and family are going to keep our kids tonight so we can go out on a date.  It'll be fun!  They're awesome and the kids will have a blast. I'm going to try to let them sleepover...notice I said I'm going to try.  The kids love that's definitely harder for me. 

The weekend is off to a wonderful start!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A second

I wanted to catch up a minute.  The house is still quiet which is strange. I think my kids are worn out.  We are trying to transition into "school hours" but have not been so successful as of yet.  Anyway, it's quiet and I need to get off the computer and do my devotions but wanted to update quickly.  This week has been great.  I've been busy.  I've kind of had a hard time getting back in the swing of things since Levi's been home from Ghana. It's been strange.  We're getting there.  I cleaned the house this week and got almost all of AL's school supplies.  I think part of my problem is being okay with the school thing.  That's a big deal for me and I'm kind of sad about it.  She'll do great and I am so proud of her but I'm going to miss her.  This year I'm also teaching 2 days a week at a private school.  I think I'm a little nervous about transitioning back into a teaching role and not sure what that will be like.  Lots of changes.  I do think it will be neat to be with K-man.  Just different with both kiddos. 

Everything else is fine.  We've had to deal with a situation in the past few weeks that has been interesting and challenging all at the same time.  On the flip side of it it's interesting dealing with people.  That's profound, huh?!  No, not really!  People are unpredictable.  Truth gained, I want to be a real person (like Pinocchio- a real boy-jk).  I don't want to live one life for some and another for others.  I want to be one person.  I want to be true to myself while being considerate, compassionate, and merciful to others.  That's tricky to do.  When you deal with people or situations that's aren't graceful, compassionate, merciful, you realize how that feels. In response to being treated not so kindly, the human side of me says, "I hope they get treated this way or have to deal with this situation so they see how it feels." or "Paybacks are coming."  But, the Christian, Christ-loving side, has to take a different stance.  I do want them to learn and treat others better in the future but I shouldn't want revenge.  That's a hard balance to get those two sides in line.

Another random thought, I'm thankful for Jonathan & Meagan. Jonathan is like a brother to Levi and I so appreciate that.  I like him okay too:)  JK, he's like a little brother to me and I treat him like that sometimes.  I am so proud that they're on our team.  Meagan and I are great friends too. We spent the day together yesterday and she's someone I can just be honest with and she doesn't judge.  Just a shout out.  BTW, can't wait for baby J to get here....Aunt HeaHea is ready!! Yes, he is going to call me that:)

Have a great week!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Running Partner

I had to put a link to my running partner's blog.  It's funny to hear from her perspective and her story.  She's a keeper :) 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sunday Worship

Oh, by the way, I got to lead worship on Sunday.  Sprang taught again and Levi shared a bit about Ghana.  It was a great day.  Check it out, Catalyst Church!!  We did a Cyndi Lauper song:)  Or Quite Drive whatever!!  It was fun!

Life Update

Levi is home!!! Yeah!!!  I was so relieved to talk to him on US soil and then to see happy!!  It's been pretty sobering since then.  The realization is that what he saw in Ghana was not happy and the reality that their is injustice and evil in the world should not be okay with me.  Yet, I am comfortable to live in my nice house with all of my things and my happy little family.  It's kind of weird.  He's still processing and working through all of that and probably will for a while.  I'm stoked about going to Ghana at some point.  Those kids already have my heart!

It's funny (not really) how when there's such a happy time, it seems there are other things that try to steal my joy. I hate that.  I'm working really hard not to let it.  I'm trying to rely on God and pray instead of get sucked into negativity.  That is hard to do.  I'm not very good at it.  I've definitely prayed a lot more though.

We had  a busy and great weekend as a family.  AL was in a wedding and did great.  She was quite comical.  She was beautiful.  This weekend, our friends invited us to go camping with them.  It was about an hour and a half drive so Sunday night, we loaded up and headed that way.  We got there late, just in time for a camp fire and star gazing.  The stars were absolutely beautiful.  The next morning, we got up and rode their Wave Runners, I even drove one for a bit.  We rode over to an island and swam. It was so fun. The kids loved it (and me too). It was a lot of fun.  We also got to go swimming at a camp pool that was awesome. We had it all to ourselves. It had a crazy slide in it.  AL LOVED it, LJ was not a fan.  We had a blast.  When we were leaving, Levi asked me, "Remember when we moved here and I told you that we would make friends?"  "Yeah," I said.  "I didn't think they'd be as good as the friends we have."  I totally agreed.  We are blessed.  I spent today with my friend Katy.  She taught me how to make yoga pants out of a t-shirt. I know sounds weird but they're cute.  And Friday we're going to the circus with Wonder Woman and family.  I truly am blessed with wonderful friends.  They make my life so much nicer!! I don't think nicer is a word but you know what I mean. 

  Good night!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Couch Potato to 5K

Yeah, I realize I'm still not caught up on my blogging so here goes.  A couple of weeks ago, my friend Wonder Woman, emails me to tell me that she wants to run and 5K and wants me to run with her. The story is longer than that but that's the meat of this blog post.  I say, "Yeah that'd be great," without really reading about the race that she had ALREADY registered us for...what a friend!!  She knows me too well.  Had she not already registered and paid I could easily back out but because she already did that, I'm stuck.  She knows how I think:)  Anyway, so we're doing the couch potato to 5K running plan. I tried it last summer and got to week 6 or 7 and then quit...don't even remember why.  She made this great play list and told me I had to do it 5 times a week (BTW, the plan says 3).  So, I finished my first week last week and I did it 5 times.  This week started week 2, funny enough, our run song is the theme song of  "Wonder Woman." I've done 3 times so far this week.  I've walked/jogged a total of 18.69 miles.  That's pretty good for me!!  So, I've got to stay on track because the 5K we're doing is in November and it's called the Warrior Dash. Yeah, it's not just a 5K it's a 5K with an obstacle course that only crazy peeps would do.  I guess we're crazy;)  I'll keep you posted on my progress!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Home Improvement

I go through phases of home improvement energy bursts.  Some bursts lead to action, others just burst.  This last week, I had a burst.   In our kitchen, we have high ceilings and so there is room on the cabinets for stuff.  I'm not a collector of anything so I went to Hobby Lobby & Michaels and scoured for clearance and sales items. I did pretty good.  Then, I got the  knack to put a second coat on our fireplace.  Check.  Then, I thought about painting our hallway, and both check yet.

The hallway would be pretty simple.  The bathrooms, just a pain with the cutouts. Not sure I'll do it.  Our bathroom is big. I would love to paint it chocolate brown.  I was thinking about how to decorate. I'm not a big fan of wallpaper BUT, I saw this cute animal print wallpaper.  How cute, especially with the bathtubs.  I don't know how much I wound need, probably too much and I don't know that I want to be up sticking wallpaper. I did find cute bath towels to match. And then I could do my bedroom in an animal theme too. when I strike it big, I'll do a remodel on the bathroom. :)

Anyway, this summer, I've definitely been trying to spruce up the home & garden areas.  I'd love to do more with the backyard but that's a whole different blog entry!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Levi to Ghana

My friend, Andrea emailed me last night and in her message asked about Levi.  I thought I'd update all of you by copying my response to her. 

Levi left this morning. It was really hard for me to say goodbye. It felt different for some reason. I think I'm a little scared for his safety. Some people from church had us come to the church last night and they prayed for him and after they prayed he shared. One of the things he shared was something a missionary friend of ours said when she went to Haiti a few months ago, "If my faith isn't worth dying for, is it really worth living for?" It kind of put things in perspective for me but also freaked me out. This journey has been awesome for us and I am so excited to hear what happens there. He got all of his money and then some. We were fully prepared to have to pay a large portion of the trip out of our pockets. We didn't have too. After the his trip was paid for, some of the funding for the "camp" fun stuff fell through. So, we were able to buy t-shirts, soccer balls, and kick balls for the kids. There are actually 2 orphanages there. One is about an hour from the airport so that's the one that everyone visits. The other is about a 12 hours bus ride up into the jungle/forest, whatever. The kids at that orphanage have only heard of people (white people) coming to play with them and have fun. It's a hard trip to make up there but the 12 that are going are young and can make it. I am excited to see what happens to Levi through this. His heart has definitely been stirred and moved to action through Chris, his friend who founded Mercy Project and organized that kick ball game. It's been pretty crazy.

I'll try to blog more while he's gone and give updates!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

So I gotta blog even if it's backwards.....

I've had lots of blog worthy conversations and thoughts but have lacked the time to type them out. So here goes....I'll start with now and hopefully will be able to back-blog about Nannah, 5K, and Assembly...there might be another random one here or there.

Okay so here goes for today.  I love Catalyst Church. I truly love it. I love our people.  They are true, authentic, genuine (yeah-synonyms i know).  I love Levi and the job he does.  He truly seeks to bring scriptural truth out and to teach it boldly.  And he does and I sit in my chair each week with tears streaming down my face.  Sometimes  it's because  I hurt for others, sometimes it's because I feel like there are things in my life that need work, sometimes it's because I'm filled with joy but a lot of time it's because I'm overwhelmed with such a love for the people around me.  Today, I sat with my friend who is one of our biggest cheerleaders.  She is being transformed by God's love and that is infectious.  I sat in front of another couple that again, I'm just able to journey with and see what God is doing in their lives.  It was overwhelming for me today. 

At the end of the service, Levi called Brendan, our youth intern up and he asked our people to gather around him and pray.  Now, if I"m being totally honest, it freaked me out for a minute.  We don't do the gather around and pray thing very often and I worried about how our peeps would respond to that.  It was just a second because I hopped up to go pray for Brendan as did a bunch of our peeps. My two friends from the previous paragraph did too.  That meant the world to me.  (had they not, it would have been okay too-just to clarify) It was neat to see them supporting the body of Christ in such a way.   I loved that we, as Catalyst, were showing this 20 year old kid that we love him, we support him, and we're on his team.  Ministry is hard and it sucks sometimes, a lot of times for some pastors.  What a cool way to start your first ministry experirence- Catalyst style?? 

Monday, July 12, 2010


are in town for  few days so I am NOT on the computer....we are out and about enjoying them.  Just wanted to let you know why I'm MIA.

Have a great week!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oooh Ooooh Ooooh

So...gotta tell you a quick story. Last night, we had leftovers and after dinner, we decided to make a Sam's and Braums run.  LOVE both of those places.  We were pulling at of Sam's on our way to get our dessert and this lady flags us down.  We can see there is a car with the hazards on blocking the exit.  Levi stops and asks if she's okay.  She tells him she has run out of gas and only has $1 on her card.  I told him, let's go to Walmart and get a can and bring it back.  So, he relays the message.  We pull off and he tells me to get her a $10 giftcard too.  Okay, so reminder, this is my blog, I'm not trying to pat my own back but just sharing life and I don't want to have to sensor because I'm afraid of what you'll think.  This is part of my processing and just journaling if you will.  Okay back to story.... $10 is so not a lot, especially in gas language but it would help.  So, I run into Walmart and get the can (that is kind of expensive for a plastic can-it is environmentally friendly) and the gift card.  We rush back over to Sam's to put the gas in can only to find out that Sam's gas closes when the club does....oops!  So, we tell her we'll go across the street and Levi tells me to give her $10 (since the $10 walmart card for gas would be useless to her for gas).  We rush back over, she lights up.  I watch Levi in the rear view mirror open her tank and fill it with the gas and see him hand her the $10.  Ok, she lit up like a Christmas tree and proceeded to hug him, it was a HUGE hug (I wasn't jealous).  Then, she RUNS over to me. I get out and she gives me the same HUGE hug.  She tells me how thankful she is and how that my kids are beautiful and lucky.  I told her that we would want someone to help us if we were in the same situation. She told me again that our kids were fortunate because of us.  I told her that so many times we get it wrong, hopefully this time we got it right.  You would have thought we gave her $100.  As she finished talking to the kids and thanking me, she headed back to Levi who was finishing with the gas, my eyes welled up with tears and I began to cry.  I realized that it wasn't the gallon we put in her car or the $10 to fill it up a little more, it was the act of kindess that lit that lady up.  It was the fact that of all the cars that looked the other way as they had to go out of their way to get around her, we stopped.  I wondered how many times I have driven past people in need whether intentional or unintentional.  How many times have I missed an opportunity to serve others because I'm too wrapped up in myself and I don't want to be bothered?  That's kind of a scary thought.  Levi and I talked about that lady for a while on the ride home.  He said that he told her that if our daughter ran out of gas that he hoped someone would be kind enough to stop and help her.  AL asked me why I hugged that lady? I told her because she was my sister in Christ.  That totally confused her b/c then she asked if Nana was also my sister in Christ which kind of stumped me.  I moved on and let Levi take it from there in the car.  We explained that we do nice things for people because we want to be like God.  I've been challenged this week in my thinking that if I am a friend of God, my character needs to line up with His character.  I don't always get it right.  Some of you have heard me complaining about mowing our neighbor's yard. We're at it again, and it's okay.  As I was mowing this week, I started getting upset about it.  The song, "I am a Friend of God" came in my head, which I haven't heard in forever by the way.  I immediately thought if I'm a friend of God and want the character of God, my actions and attitudes have to line up with that.  My pride sometimes gets in the way, I want to be thanked and appreciated.  That's not what is important.  I want to be okay serving and helping without thanks or appreciation. I want to do things because they're the right things to do, not so that I'll get attention or praise out of it.  So, there's where I am.
BTW, we still made it to Braums and I had my junior rocky road in a cone but to go and a bit later. It felt good to do a good deed. I want to be that kind of example for my kids.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Catch Up

It's been a while since I've just caught you up so let's do that:)

Life is good right now.  I had a moment of panic today though because I realized that my parents are visiting this weekend, then we have a church conference, then we have a few days and Levi goes to Ghana.  Then, it's August and then my baby starts school. I am not sure I'm ready for that.

Thus my moment of panic.

I'm okay now.  We had a reunion of sorts tonight.  We had some friends over and just had a blast.  I feel very blessed in the area of friends (not just in that area).  I truly have made wonderful relationships and feel like I can just be me....however crazy, uncooth- as my hubs pointed out tonight, and silly oh yeah and imperfect. I love that!  I realize at times it bites me in the butt but (ha) sometimes it's worth that risk.  So thankful for ALL my friends.  That reminds me...I need to blog about my YoYo's!!

On another note, Levi is rockin' the Ghana fundraising, thank you if you gave.  We will send a note when he returns with pictures and tell you all about his trip.  I am so excited and trying not to think about the dangers of the trip...there are none, right????

The kids are doing great.  I can't believe how big they are getting.  K man dressed himself today, shorts backwards but who cares, they were on and I didn't help:)  AL is quite the biggie herself, so proud of her.

I think that's the catch up for me. I'm going to add some pics but will do that in another blog.

Levi is

kicking my tail in blog visits.  Honestly, I'm totally okay with that. I love that people are engaging in his blog. I love the stories he shares.  Check his newest post out about our Catalyst Coffee Table Books...they're awesome!!

I need to get busy's been a while!! 

Monday, June 28, 2010


So I don't want to steal Levi's thunder but on Sunday he taught on obedience.  He shared how he felt like God was calling him to go to Ghana this summer.  He didn't want to go, he was just playing kickball.  But he also felt like he had 2 choices, he could obey God or he could disobey God.  He didn't ask me so much about going as he told me he was going.  And I didn't fuss or complain or worry about where we would get the money.  I just agreed...not like me at all.  On Sunday he shared that when we're people who love mercy, it costs us.  He shared about his Ghana trip and how this trip will cost but again, he had the choice to obey or disobey and he chose to obey, whatever the cost is.  We had some friends call him and tell him that they were helping him with his trip. I sent them a message to thank them and their response was this, " thank God, not us. Just as Levi didn't have any choice in going, I didn't have any choice in giving."  That is so freakin' profound to me right now in my life.  God is working and moving and speaking and I am seriously just humbled and stunned and amazed to be a part of it.  I love it!!!


So yesterday Levi asked me to check all the AC's at the church to make sure they were turned down.  I had to be there early to practice.  As I was walking through the building, I noticed a lady walking by on the sidewalk and didn't think much about it.  I came back to the lobby and was putting stuff away before practice started and she came in the front door. If I'm being totally honest, my thoughts were, "What does she want?", "I have no cash," etc. They weren't positive thoughts.  She asked, "Can I come in and pray?"  It stopped me in my tracks.  The music at our church is loud, especially without bodies to absorb some of that noise.  I told her she was more than welcome to come in and that we were about to start music rehearsal which might get loud but she was more than welcome.  Side note, as I was walking in to church yesterday, I prayed that God would help me to be more consistent, committed, and to be in the Word like I know I should.  I'm struggling right now if I'm being completely honest.  So, as she started to walk in the worship area, I stopped her and asked if I could pray with her when she was done. It kind of came out before I thought about it.  She asked if I could just pray with her now that she really needed it.  She said that as she walked by the outside of our church, she felt impressed to come in and pray.  She said that she just moved her from Chicago 10 months ago and that she was being relocated again to the Gulf Coast. I know what relocation feels like. So, we sat down in the back row and I prayed for her. I prayed everything that I felt when we moved here and I prayed that God would be so close to her that even when life didn't feel "good" and when the chaos was so strong around her that she would feel His presence cradle her.  I'm not a super emotional person but tears fell from both of us.  She hugged me and didn't let go.  Man, my heart broke for her.  After we prayed, she thanked me and left.  I had a hard time gaining my composure for a few minutes.  I love when God brings people right to us.  I'm thankful that I was nice and didn't blow her off.  I would have missed seeing God work that morning.

So for me, there was no better way to start a Sunday morning. Marla was a great reminder as we prepared to worship a God that loves me for me without me having to have it all right or feel good enough.  I feel so unequipped to help people.  The crazy part for me was that with my negative thoughts flowing before Marla spoke, God still let me have the privilege to pray with her and for spite of me and my stereotypes and judgment.  How cool is that!! 

When Levi got up to teach yesterday, he taught on Unstoppable Obedience.  He talked about how God used and uses the B teamers, the JV team, the rejects, the uneducated, the ill equipped, the unworthy...DING DING DING, that's me!!!  He uses us without us having all of our crap cleaned out. He helps us to clean the crap up and then He uses us more.  I love that!!  My prayer for myself (not being selfish) is that I would continue to let God prune me and work on me so that my stereotypes, preconceived ideas, and judgments will fade. I don't want to miss loving on people because of my on small mindedness.  I want to love people and accept people like God would without negativity.  And I think, so what if she would have walked in and asked for $20 or for me to pay for her electric bill?  I would want to do what I can to help her.  I want to be a servant and humble and gracious and merciful.  And like Levi said yesterday to be a person who loves mercy costs me.  But is worth the cost every time.

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

That's the kind of person I want to be!