Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Basketball Season

Basketball season was so much fun for these two! Last year they were a team of 3rd graders playing in the fourth grade league, but this year they were 4th graders playing with other 4th graders and they did awesome! With only one loss, they all grew so much in their skills! It was an exciting season!

Kelby

Troy






 As their team party we took them to Cici's and then a Baylor basketball game! 





    At the game they were the loudest group during a cheering contest and won a free pizza! 

They also stayed after and got several of the players autographs. What a great way to end the season!







Sunday, February 12, 2017

Extraordinary

A month into my 2017 word and I feel like I am being more intentional this year than any other year prior.  In this word, I wanted God to move through me in extraordinary ways and to see His effect on others' lives.  In January, my brother was been given some tough dicisions to make and I have felt God say specifically for me to pray and keep praying.  And not just pray like I normally pray, but intercessory prayer.  One definition says...

"Intercession is prayer that pleads with God for your needs and the needs of others. But it is also much more than that. Intercession involves taking hold of God's will and refusing to let go until His will comes to pass.
Intercession is warfare -- the key to God's battle plan for our lives. But the battleground is not of this earth. The Bible says, "We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and spiritual powers in the heavens above" (Eph. 6:12).  Intercessory prayer takes place in this spiritual world where the battles for our own lives, our families, our friends and our nation are won or lost."
I can truly attest to this being a battleground.  As I have started to pray for my brother in this way things within my personal life have become very tumultuous.  At first, I shifted my focus back onto me and began to pray for those areas to quiet down, but as I did this, I was reminded what God had asked of me and that was to pray hard for Blake. I soon realized that all the drama arising around me was only a distraction.  So do I choose to let it draw me away from what I was told to do or do I choose to overlook it.  I chose to take the spiritual perspective.  I know that if stay faithful to Him and obey what He's called me to do then God will take care of the attacks coming against me.  It reminds me of the song taken from Isaiah 54:17 that says " no weapon formed against me shall prosper, it won't win."  What a sweet place to be! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Disciple Now

Our annual Disciple Now weekend was so much fun. Each year our group grows and we are able to take more students along to enjoy this life changing weekend.  


Teague had to tag along for the first night so he found us a little prayer closet to sleep in.  He called it his cubby and refused to leave to help unload the car because he didn't want anyone to steal it.  My parents came into town Saturday so he left with them for the rest of the weekend. 



Saturday we had a dodgeball tournament and the youth pastors decided to be nerdy refs so here they are ready to call the games.





The Acts crew








Our youth leaders.  We could not pull off a weekend like this without help, and they are the best! We love them, the kids love them and they love the Lord! What else could we ask for?!? 
The whole group together....83 teens, 25 leaders, 3 churches, 1 God


Monday, January 02, 2017

2017 Word

As I look back over all my words I love the progression the Lord has brought me through.  In 2010 I heard on the radio about the concept of a word instead of a New Year's resolution.  It sounded like something I could do so I thought I'd give it a try.  I was 6 months out from the divorce and starting to feel like my feet were back under me a bit, so I chose the word Adventure. The next year my life began to feel more and more "normal" and I wanted to continue to seek Him just as fervently in the good times so the word was Crave.  I then met Richard and the boys and I moved to be closer to him and my 2013 word was Community as we looked to find a church home and get plugged in.  We got married later that year and 2014's word was Legacy as we learned how to join our families as one.  I didn't feel too successful at that one so I made it my 2015 word also.  In 2016 I chose the word Lead as I am starting to feel comfortable in my career and looking for ways to better my classroom.  It has been a fun 7 years! And I know this year won't disappoint!  

My 2017 word is extraordinary.

We've all heard the saying "hurt people hurt people." There is a lot of truth in that and it has helped me change my perspective when dealing with others.  You could substitute many words in the place of hurt to change the statement, but my favorite is "free people free people."  In this case free meaning not under the control of another.  My life is far from perfect and I still have lots of areas of refinement in which the Lord must work, but overall I do feel "free".  Acts 13:39 states "through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses."  I still sin and seek His forgiveness daily, but through Him sin no longer has control of me, and that makes me free.

 This caused me to look at my life.  If I am free am I helping others find freedom?  As of now, the answer is no.  My life does not look radically different.  Oh I pray for others and read my bible and go to church, but my life is not radically changing others.  Francis Chan has the best quotes on this...


Acts 3 is a perfect example of this.  Peter and John met a crippled man at the temple gate who was begging for money. They told him they didn't have any money but what they did have they would give to him and with that statement Peter grabbed his arm and said "in Jesus' name, walk". And he did. That's faith!!  That's a moment where you are desperate for Him to come through or you're screwed, as Fransic Chan puts it.  Peter didn't sit down with him and ask him if he could pray for him.  No!!  Peter was so sure of his faith and the authority behind his faith that he put action behind it.  There is nothing wrong with praying for others, but what if we took our authority in His name and put it to action!  What if?? 

Free people free people.

The definition of extraordinary is: very unusual or remarkable. Synonyms being exceptional, unbelievable, phenomenal, astonishing.  So, my goal is to take this year and really pursue an extraordinary life.  To look for those needing freedom in whatever way they need it and pour out the love of Christ on them in a bold way.  My pastor from Lubbock wrote "the only part of the gospel you believe is the part you do."  I want my life to look like the gospel and the gospel includes extraordinary faith with extraordinary results. I don't want my life to make sense to unbelievers.  I want Him to use my life to draw others towards Him because I chose to do it His way and His way will always be extraordinary! 




Sunday, January 01, 2017

NYE 2016

Another year at the Fireworks Store for us.  This is our fifth season and each year we get more and more repeat customers who love helping out our youth.  In 2012 I never would have imagined it turning into the ministry that it has become.  Usually people start by asking why there are so many teenagers working in there and we are able to share how each one is earning their way to summer camp.  We have Christian music on the stereo and we get many comments about that as well and how people appreciate it.  This season was the first where I had several customers come in and ask if this was still the youth group and once I said yes they told me that is the reason they come to our warehouse.   What a blessing!

I the flip side, I also love how we are getting to expose our teenagers to the line of work that is a lost art these days...customer service.  Difficult customers, rude customers, chatting customers, sweet customers, by the end of working two 12 hour shifts they have seen it all and I hope have learned that even though we are tired and worn down, we still treat others with kindness and respect. 

I even had Troy and Teague helping out bagging and they quickly realized the nicer you are to others, the nicer they are to you.  By the end of the night they each were tipped a few dollars for their hard work by random customers and they thought that was the coolest thing. So they had to buy a few poppers with their earnings.


Every few hours they would ask to take a break and Troy would work on his Rubix's cube and Teague was on his tablet.
One of the youth was so kind and patient with Troy and was able to help him in learning all the algorithms needed in solving the cube.  He was so proud once he finally got it!

Goodbye 2016...Hello 2017!  We are looking forward to a fantastic year!







Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Word Wrap-Up


Another year has flown by and it's time to reflect and move forward as January 1st is right around the corner.  The first of the year always brings the excitement of new beginnings, fresh starts, and the anticipation of what is yet to be.  As I've looked back over the all the years in which I have chosen a word I've noticed that it truly does keep me focused and pressing towards the things God wants.  2016 was the word LEAD.  I wanted to be a better leader in my my home, at church, and at my job.  I looked for opportunities that would force me to lead and I jumped at them.  The first being to take the challenge of reading the One Year Bible this year.  My church is full of amazing women of God and I knew I wanted to be among them so I found out what they were doing and joined in, and one thing they do is read the One Year daily.  It's such a great way to get the Word daily and routinely.  After 365 days, it's pretty much become a habit and has made me better in so many ways.  I have always read the Bible daily, you know, a verse here a chapter there, but this year I get to end the year saying I've read the whole Bible, every word of it!  To be a follower of Jesus it's so important to know His Word. I'm looking forward to continuing this reading throughout this next year so the words and stories and promises can continue to soak in.


Last January, I also prayed to have an intern join me in the classroom.  I knew it was a long shot because they only look at teachers who have been in the field for over 3 years.  Plus, I missed the training class over the summer due to Youth Camp.  So, I was prepared to have to wait another year, but I continued to pray about this opportunity.  When I turned back to school last January there was paperwork in my box for an intern.  I was shocked and confused! I went and talked to the Assistant Principal just to make sure there hadn't been a mistake.   Sure enough, everything was good to go and I got my first intern!! 
And with the start of the 2016-2017 school year last Fall, I got my second intern! I have been so blessed with young ladies who have a passion for teaching and an internal motivation to do their best.  You never know what you will get with a randomly placed intern, but God has been so gracious and given me great girls to work alongside.  

2016 has been a great year with lots of learning and stretching and I'm proud of the progress I've made.  A year almost doesn't seem long enough for some words, but 2017 is coming, like it or not, and He has already set my sights on the new task at hand.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Day

With the boys at their dad's and the other kids with the mom's side of the family, Richard and I had a
rare and quiet Christmas morning with just the two of us for breakfast.


My family drove in and we spent the morning opening all of the adult gifts and ate a wonderful lunch, and then waited for the kids to get home.

I made a ton of gifts this year with my Cricut, so almost everyone got a decal or homemade shirt of some kind.


Richard surprised me with a standing mixer!! I can't wait to try it out!

All the kid returned home around 4pm and we geared up for round 2 of presents.  They first started with their stockings.  Baylee received money and a small scavenger hunt for the boys.  There were a few small presents around the house which led them to the porch for their big gift.


All the boys were pretty excited except for Teague.  He wouldn't be in any of the pictures at first but then he warmed up to the idea and actual shot at the target a few times. 



Then we opened the rest of the packages and everyone got some great things!!

An Active Faith shirt
A Duke hat for our future Dukie
A metal detector
My Sweet Tea and Jesus creation for Baylee
And a maze contraption that kept Teague busy

  It was a full day and a very full Christmas. We are so blessed to be able to celebrateChristmas multiple times with multiple families.  God has put such special people in our lives and we are thankful for each one of you!