Friday, December 12, 2008

Taveling Light, take 2...The Lord is my Shepherd

"Sheep are dumb!  Have you ever met a sheep trainer?  Ever seen a sheep do tricks?  Know anyone who has taught his sheep to roll over?...No.  Sheep are just too dumb."
"...And defenseless.  They have no fangs or claws.  They can't bite you or outrun you..."(although I have seen them out jump Claude!!!)
"...What's more, sheep are dirty.  A cat can clean itself.  So can a dog.  We even see birds in birdbaths or a bear in a river.  But sheep?  They get dirty and stay that way."  
These are some excerpts from Traveling Light by Max Lucado.  

At first, you read these and think, I'm kinda offended by the fact that I'm being compared to a dumb, defenseless, dirty sheep!  But, in reality, we ARE like sheep!  When it comes to truly knowing what is best for myself, I don't.  When it comes to really fighting the spiritual war (and winning) I can't.  When it comes to washing away my own sin and being made perfect, IMPOSSIBLE!  
I think David, being a shepherd, understood all too well just how much we are like sheep.  We need our shepherd.  We would not survive without Him.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"These are a few of my favorite things..."

Since a picture is worth 1000 words...

WOW!  I love that man!

New haircut...

I went and got my hair cut and highlighted!  OK that was the "highlight" of my day today!
Take a look:

Thanks to Dizzy for the "choppy layers" idea!!!  I think I've finally found a style I like!!!

On a different note, here's my cute dog, Jack-Jack (and my cute hubbie!!!!).
He doesn't hold still very much!  I guess that's a characteristic of a Rat Terrier!

I really thought he was going to hold still for this picture and at the last second, he moved AGAIN!

FINALLY!  Claude had to pick him up and "tease" him with a toy to get him to look at the camera!!!!
Ain't he cute!?!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Traveling Light

I've been reading this book by Max Lucado titled "traveling light".  I must say that this man can write!  He's great at explaining things in layman's terms!  
Anyway, he takes Psalm 23 and breaks it up into individual verses, then he elaborates on them.
For example, David started off with "The Lord...".  OK, why?  To remind us of who God is.  
Bear with me because THIS GETS GOOD!!!  
Taking from Max Lucado's book "...the name I AM sounds strikingly close to the Hebrew verb to be - havah.  It's quite possibly a combination of the present tense form (I AM) and the causative tense (I cause to be).  Yahweh, then seems to mean 'I AM and I CAUSE'.  God is the One Who is and the One Who causes."
So, think about that for a minute.  I don't go around saying "I am."  I always add another word like "I am bored" or I am Sheila".  God doesn't do that.  He plainly states "I AM" and adds nothing else.  He doesn't have to!  

The more I read this book, the more I realized that memorizing Psalm 23 when I was a little girl was good, but I don't think I ever paid attention to what this passage of scripture really says.  So it makes me wonder how many other scriptures I've memorized that I haven't really "learned".  
What about you?

I will be bloggin more about this book as I come across things that jump out at me.  I've already highlighted ALOT of things, but my blog would become a book if I wrote about all of my thoughts on each thing!!!
Til next time...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

3 years ago...

Yesterday, December 1st, marks 3 years that we have officially been "North Carolinians"!  I remember it so vividly the day (night actually) that we left.  We packed our Uhaul, went to one last dinner with my parents and my older brother, Murray.  It was my Murray's birthday  My younger brother, Philip, and his wife, Sarah, were too busy that night!  My wonderful sister-in-law chose THAT night to have my niece, Rose!  She was born just before we headed out.  I will never forget those feelings that night.  I was so tired...mentally, physically, emotionally.  I was sure we were suppose to go, but I didn't want to leave my family and friends.  My niece would never know me (not true, but so I thought at the time!).  My nephews would forget me (also, not true!)  I would miss not being able to hang out with my Mom and Dad.  Who would I be able to go shopping with if my Mom and my friend, Cindy, were in Florida and I was 800 miles away?!?  What about the kids at our church that we would be leaving behind?  Who would be there for them when they needed to talk, or cry, or anything else that came with being a kid?

I have never felt so scared in my life!  I just knew that we HAD to go.  God told us to move, He laid the groundwork for everything to fall into place for us.  We had no idea what we were getting into, but we knew we had to go.  
I can honestly say that I have not regretted moving.  I miss my family on a regular basis.  The pictures I get from my Mom and my brother make me yearn to be near the kids.  I know, though, that God has given me so much back for what I felt like I was leaving behind.  I have made wonderful friends here!  Claude was able to be here for his Mom when her husband died.  I never thought I'd ever have kids that I loved as much as the ones we left back in Florida.  I was so wrong (and very glad of it!)  We have a bunch of kids that God's allowed us to be with!  I've been blessed to be able to go back and see everyone on a fairly regular basis!  He's been so good to us!
So, on this anniversary, I am so glad that God moved us here!  
Jeremiah 29:11
"I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".  

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blessed Lady!

I am sitting in my living room blogging! ask?  Because my wonderful husband brought down ALL of my Christmas decorations yesterday and I finally finished decorating the house!  Claude put up the lights outside this morning (just before it started raining!  He's so wondeful!)

I am feeling very blessed this season.  We are both healthy, we are in ministry and love it, we have great friends (both here and around the country!), we work with a fantastic group of kids, the youth group is pretty terrific too, we have wonderful families, our bills are paid every month, and we have each other!   OK, I'll stop with the mushy stuff...for now!

Friday, November 28, 2008

More of the kids!

Here is a video of a song the children performed at the concert on Tuesday night! I can't even tell you how much these kids touched us. The video doesn't even scratch the surface of what they did!

One sad note...

This past week has been fabulous..with the exception of one thing.  Now, anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am a perfectionist!  I want to do things well and be the best at whatever I attempt to do.  Well...... I failed this week.  :(

I attempted, for the very first time by myself, to make a HOMEMADE banana pudding.  My mother-in-law taught me how and walked me through the first one.  This was my first attempt to do it on my own.  I was suppose to take it to the people's house that we were going to for Thanksgiving dinner.  However, I burned the meringue (obviously, by the picture!).  It was in our oven for less than a minute and this was the result.  I called my mother-in-law to see if there was any way to "save' it, she said to start over...the whole pudding?!?  NO WAY!!!  She told me that it was a good thing that I caught it before it CAUGHT ON FIRE!!!  Claude said he would eat it and just pick off the meringue!  That's why I love him!!!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What a thanksgiving week!!!

I know it's been a few days, but WOW...we have had one of the best thanksgivings EVER!!! We've been busy with a group of kids from Kenya. They have been so much fun and more blessings than I could begin to tell you! I am to the point where I'm envious of them and the PURE joy that they have in Christ. We are sad thinking that they have to leave us tomorrow, but I know I will never be the same after this! I have a completely different understanding of what my younger brother must've felt when they came back from their missions trip to Tanzania. He said he wanted to adopt the children from the orphanage and now I get why! They are so loving and precious. I am so thankful that God allowed us to have this opportunity. They keep telling us that we have been such a blessing to them, but it really it the other way around. The blessing has been on us.
I'm gonna miss you guys! "Nakupenda", Denzel, John, Anthony, and Moses." ("I love you" in Swahili!!!!)

From left to right
Anthony, Moses (chaperone), John, and Denzel
(Claude on the counter!)

Anthony was being crazy!  This was our "Kenyan"dinner night!
The children fixed a true Kenyan meal.  It was called chipati (don't know it that's spelled right!) and included beef stew, cabbage, rice, and a type of tortilla!  I liked it!!!

John had so much fun with Ella & Natalie ("Talie")!

No matter what was going on, when the kids started giggling, you couldn't help started giggling too!!!  Their laughter was so contagious!

The chaperone that stayed with us, Moses, was just as big a kid as the kids!!!!

On Thanksgiving, the kids got to have an American Thanksgiving dinner!  Some weren't too sure they wanted to try it, but most of them loved it!

Somehow, the local news heard about the kids.  They came out and interviewed some of them and then the kids sang a few songs for them!

The group!

Friday, November 21, 2008

This is what's it's all about!

This Thanksgiving holiday, we at Discovery Church get a rare opportunity to minister to a group of orphan children from Kenya.  Well, actually, after seeing them perform at Catalyst this year, I'd be more accurate to say they will minister to us!  
Check this out...this is a taste of what we got to see at Catalyst!  They were so precious and I cried through the whole performance.  I kept thinking, " I wish my little brother could see these kids!"  (He has such a heart and passion for Africa and the children there.) They was so awesome!

They will be doing a concert Tuesday night at a local church. If people don't walk away thinking what an AWESOME God we serve, they might want to check themselves spiritually.
In the meantime, check out this group! They are truly an amazing story!

BTW, their style of worship is different than what I grew up with, but I am so humbled when I watch them. They give everything when they worship! They are not afraid to raise their hands, stomp their feet, be joyful and praise God as the Holy Spirit moves them! Watch the video! My favorite part is when they sing "Jesus conquered the grave" and they stomp on the ground like Jesus was stomping on death and satan! It's truly awesome!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Never too old...

You know, when I was a kid I thought that when I became an adult I'd know enough to live a happy productive life!  Well, now that I'm "old" (as the teens would say!) I realize that you're never too old to learn something new!  
Laci and I have been teaching a class to 9 teenager girls about sexual & emotional integrity.  We've been using a book called Every Young Woman's Battle.  Let me tell you, these girls have been open and eager to learn and to understand why we are made the way we are!  They have been willing to ask questions (even embarrassing ones!) and have been just as willing to share struggles and issues they've had in their lives.  I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned about myself from listening to them!  They've taught me as much as I've taught them!  They've told Laci & me several times that they think the boys should go thru the same type of class!  
The one thing I have learned (or been reminded of) is how satan still uses the same lies and deceit on girls today that he used when I was a teenager.  Satan uses a young girl's desire to be accepted and loved.  He takes her insecurities about how she looks and fills her with lies about what she must do in order to be loved.  These are the very same lies I heard in my head when I was a teenager.  One thing is definitely different now...satan is running out of time and so he is working even harder nowadays than he did when I was young.  Teenage girls today have SO MUCH MORE peer pressure and so many more "acceptable" lies to deal with than I did.  What was considered immoral and wrong when I was a young girl is now totally the norm for girls today.  It's hard enough just existing as a teenage girl without having all these thoughts running thru your head about what you have to do to be accepted!  
All this to say, we are never to old to learn new things.  The things our kids are dealing with today may be the "same" things we dealt with, but SO MUCH BIGGER than when we were there.  So allow God to show you how to love your teenagers better by praying for them and truly listening to them when they need you to.  Don't cast judgement and don't threaten to lock them up when they start telling you things that would make your ears want to burn off.  Let them know that you can't believe what they have to deal with, but you know that our God is powerful enough to give strength to help them deal with it!  PRAY FOR YOUR KIDS!  If ever was a time for it, NOW is the time!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Been too long!

OK, first I must apologize that I haven't blogged in over a month!  
I have no other reason than it's just been a LONG month and alot going on!  It's not all been great things, but most of it has been great!

I was reading my devotions yesterday and a really great verse just jumped out and grabbed me.
1 Timothy 1:15-16
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.

In my life, I've found that I struggle with the same things on a regular basis...anger, jealousy, resentment, lack of compassion for others.  These things are so hard for me to control.  I get angry and resentful so quickly.  I am definitely not known for my compassion!  I am so quick to look at others and be jealous instead of content where God's placed me.  
This passage really gave me a small peak at how God's heart works.  He gets glory from me when His "unlimited patience" is put to work!!!  I don't know how He does it, or even why, but I'm in awe that He loves me that much!  I think about parents and their children and the love those parents have for them.  I've told Lora on numerous occasions that I don't know how my mother survived me!  The standing joke was that if I had been the first child, I would've been the ONLY child!  (Lora has a child like me and so she tells me things about this child!)  I sit back and think "Only a mom can love that way!"  But, in reality, God loved us so much more than even our moms.  
I am so thankful that in spite of my shortcomings He still loves me!

Thanks, Mom, for never giving up on me and for showing me Christ's love everyday in the way you loved us!  Thank you for the heritage of that!

In case anyone is wondering, my personality comes more from my Dad than my Mom!  I've seen this look from her MANY times!!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


We are here...sorta!
We arrived at the SunSuites hotel (where the group will be staying) @ 9:40PM.  What a LONG trip!  We went into our room (Lora, Kim, and me) and I went to take a shower.  When I tried to turn on the shower faucet, the whole thing came out of the wall!!!  I DID NOT BREAK IT!  It was already broken!  
Anyway, I will send a picture of it once Kim sends it to me!  
Gotta go to bed now!  Getting up at 6AM!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Catalyst Here We Come!!!


For 3 years, Claude & the staff have gone to a conference in GA called Catalyst.  They come back with so much to talk about and so many ideas and just overall encouragement!  I've been jealous!  Well, this year, I get to go!!!!!  I am so excited!  I've been looking forward to this for months!  I've listened to the speakers via Claude's iPOD several times!  Now, I get to go and be a part of this!  I am praying that God really uses this weekend to bring the people going from our church closer together.  I pray that He allows us to take things from the conference that we can use to do more for Discovery Church.  I pray that He allows us to learn more about ourselves and what we need to do/change in order to be more useful for Christ.

Pray for the people going!  Pray for the speakers!  Pray for all those traveling to the conference!


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Dead Church

A new Pastor in a small Georgia town spent the first four days making personal visits to each of the members, inviting them to come to his first services.

The following Sunday the church was all but empty. Accordingly, the Pastor placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that, because the church was dead, it was everyone's duty to give it a decent Christian burial. The funeral would be held the following Sunday afternoon, the notice said.

Morbidly curious, a large crowd turned out for the "funeral." In front of the pulpit, they saw a closed coffin, smothered in flowers. After the Pastor delivered the eulogy, he opened the coffin and invited his congregation to come forward and pay their final respects to their dead church.

Filled with curiosity as to what would represent the corpse of a "dead church," all the people eagerly lined up to look in the coffin. Each "mourner" peeped into the coffin then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look.

In the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror !

(thanks Mom, for the email!  It really hits home!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

God's grace

Well, if anyone who reads my blog reads Claude's or Jason's blogs, you'll have to bear with me (and them). It's been a very long and heartbreakingly difficult week for our church.  
I am so very thankful that God called us to ministry, no matter how hard it is at times.  He gives us so much grace and mercy.  All He asks in return is for us to love Him back.  With that type of love, we have to understand what it means.  If we are going to love Christ, we HAVE TO LOVE OTHERS.  It's not a choice, it's a command!  1 John talks about this clearly.  So, my question then is this...why do folks who claim to be Christians have a hard time loving and be merciful to other Christians who have let us down?  I am so frustrated with folks who want to "talk the talk", but not "walk the walk".  We have so much grace given to us EVERYDAY.  Why do we have such a hard time giving that grace out to those we claim to love as friends?  I am not saying that we have to forgive & forget.  In my opinion, we shouldn't be too quick to do either.  But when a person's heart is broken over their sin, we should love them enough to step in beside them and help pick them up.  I just want to see the action of grace more readily in those who claim Christ in their lives.   
Thank you so much Lord, for the daily ABUNDANCE!!! of grace and mercy You show me.  Please help me to do the same for those around me.  
Thank you for calling us to this privileged place of ministry.  I am so proud to be used in a small way to help others come to know You.
Thank you for the REAL LIFE that allows for us to have REAL OPPORTUNITIES!  
Please protect the leaders in our church.  Protect our church and keep satan from having a foot in any door of it. 
Please heal the broken hearts and restore the true joy that only You can give.  Guard those who've been hurt.  Keep them strong and safe from satan's attacks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Family Photo Day!

It was hard work to get 5 kids (all under the age of 10) and 7 adults (2 over the age of 60!) to cooperate for a family picture, but we did it!!!  The only person missing was my older brother's wife, Faith.  She is from Canada and didn't have her passport so she couldn't come down.  
Anyway, with a little bit of effort, we did get a few pictures that turned out decent!  My younger brother, Philip, is a great photographer.  He took the "official" pictures.  However, these are some photos I took.  (BTW, this is the first time in almost 3 years that we've ALL been together!  That's one whole child added to the family!!!!!)

This was the closest I could get to ALL of them looking at me and sitting still!!!
(l to r)
Rose -almost 3, David - almost 7, Patriot - 5, Daniel - almost 9, & Dahlia - 1

PawPaw & MeMaw love their grandkids!

The kids LOVE Uncle Murray!

This WOULD'VE BEEN a great picture of my parents if it weren't for my goofball husband!

Aunt Sheila LOVES her nephews & nieces!

Isn't my sister-in-law beautiful?!?  She's just as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Celebration of a life lived for Christ!

The funeral of my grandfather turned into a testimonial of his life and how he lived it for Christ.  I had a few tears I shed, but mostly loved the memories shared and the stories told about him!  I can honestly say that it was easier than I expected it to be!  thank you to everyone who prayed for us.  The Lord brought comfort and peace to myself and my family.
On a brighter note, I got to spend some time with my cousins that I haven't seen in years!  We grew up spending summers together and just lost touch as we became "busy" with life!  What a nice upside to an otherwise somber day!

My mom's younger sister and her family!
(l to r)
Danny, Jessia, Michael, Sherry, Uncle Dan, Aunt Sharon, Danetta, & Seth

Two of my grandpa's remaining siblings:
Aunt Ruth & Aunt Rose

My grandpa's "little" brother, Uncle Johnny
(tall folks run in my family!!!  He's 6'7")

My mom & her sisters:
(l to r)
Darlene, Warren, Mom, Dad, Sharon, & Dan

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What I learned today at church

Claude & I went with my brother to his church this morning and I have to say that I am so glad we did.  The pastor spoke on Luke 23:50 - 24:12.  Here's what I learned:

He said that God doesn't promise adventure without risk, success without sacrifice, and joy without pain.  
This last couple of weeks have been painful and there has been/will be sacrifices made.  But, I am so glad to know that joy will come and we will be successful over satan in the war.  He may win small battles, but if we are Christians, we have a guaranteed victory of the war!  I tend to forget that when things happen that hurt or when I don't see how something is going to turn out OK.  I am so glad that all I have to do is trust Him and know that He will remember me and bring me through.
Something else that the pastor did was used visual aids in his message!  I love this because it helps me remember the points!  
#1 TV - this represents our beliefs/lives.  We watch TV to "live vicariously" through something/someone else.  They may be doing something that we long to do and just don't want to make the effort to try.  We are robbing ourselves of the dreams/beliefs that we could have if we would allow Christ to write our script and follow it!  
#2 HOURGLASS - this represents our values/priorities.  We file things away in our memories that are important to us.  When we were younger, we would file away Bible verses and Bible stories because they were important.  As we got older, our values/priorities changed and we stop placing as much importance on knowing Christ.  Other things cloud our minds & memories.  That's why children have such simple faith.  There isn't as much to distract them from the simple truth of Christ.
#3 LIGHTSABER - this represents our mortality (or what we thought impossible that is actually possible!)  He used the movie "The Highlander" as his example.  Because of his immortality, he became more heroic throughout the movie.  The point, if we really thought about it, we ARE immortal!  We have the God of everything as our source of power.  When we really see ourselves as "immortal", we will become more bold/heroic in our efforts for Christ. 

I want to be more bold in my efforts for Christ.  God help me to believe in the source of my power.  YOU ARE OMNISCIENT!  

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Going shopping...and hating it

OK, anyone who knows me fairly well knows that I LOVE TO SHOP!  I don't have to have any money to do it!  I love to look and try clothes on.  I love to get ideas for gifts (especially ones that I can make myself and then give away!!!).  I was born to shop!  
NOT TODAY.  Today, my sister-in-law, Sarah, and I took the day to go and look for something to wear to our grandpa's funeral on Monday (everything we brought with us was "vacation clothes" -shorts, jeans, t-shirts, etc.).  While shopping with her, I realized something.  Anytime I've worn an outfit for a funeral, I end up never wearing it again.  I am not superstitious or anything like that.  I just associate the outfit with death so I don't wear it.  (I know that sounds weird, but hey, it's me.)  I've had this happen 3 times.  Sarah told me to try and look at the outfit as a "party" outfit!  She said that we are going to celebrate his homecoming so we will "party"!  So I think I am going to try this!  I know that my grandfather was a God-fearing man.  I know that he is in heaven.  I know that I will see him again someday.  I am going to wear what I bought and when I wear it again, I am going to try and remember it as a "party" outfit!

Thanks Sarah!  I couldn't have chosen a better sister than you!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Learning from our elders

I have had a really long week.  I know that our week in the mountains would be unforgettable, but I didn't certainly didn't expect what happened.
My grandfather has been sick with leukemia and because he was 89 years old, he was refusing any medical treatment to fight it.  He lost his wife 4 years ago.  He'd had a full life and was more than ready to "go home".  Thursday morning he did.  My grampa went to see his Saviour.  
I look back at the impressions he made on me and I have so many mixed emotions.  
He had always been a strong willed man (so I come by it genetically!).  When he believed in something or had an opinion, you might as well hang up trying to convince him differently.  He was solid.  He never swayed in his beliefs.   
He wasn't one to show his feelings.  He was never really emotional with any of his family.  His proof of his love for his family was portrayed in the way he worked hard during his life to take care of them.  The only time I ever saw him cry was when my grandmother passed away.  I realized that he really did love her and that he was going to miss her more than he could say.
He knew what the Bible says about money and debt.  He NEVER bought on credit.  Anything he needed, he would pay cash for it.  He was a good steward (some might say tight) of his money. He never bought frivolous things.  He lived very frugally.  
He taught me alot of things.  I love him and am jealous of the fact that he is home now.  We, the ones left behind, are the ones that are hurting and grieving.  He is at peace with his Father.  He got to see his wife and his parents.  He's gonna be waiting for us and someday we'll get to be with him again.  
Thank you Grampa, for your amazing love of God.  Thank you for the foundation you gave us by the way you loved God.  We will miss you, but we'll see you again.  Tell Grandma I love her.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Genetics is amazing!

My mother sent me an email with OLD pictures of me when I was 4 years old.  Neither one of us could get over the resemblence between me and my niece, Rose, who is not quite 3.  
Tell me what you think!
(excuse the photo, afterall, it IS over 30 years old!)

(I think she is way more beautiful than I was!)

I was Daddy's girl, and Rose is definitely Paw Paw's girl!

She has blonder hair than I did, and her eyes are the most amazing blue (mine are my mom's- a pretty green).  But, the personality and attitude is soooo much like me when I was younger!  She's much sweeter than I was though!  

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Growing up too fast!

I checked my mom's facebook yesterday and couldn't help but get teary-eyed at the pictures.  She had some of my nieces, Rose & Dahlia.  I can't believe how big they are getting and how fast they are growing up.  Rose will be 3 on December 1st.  Dahlia will turn 1 on Friday.  I must admit that it makes me sad to know that we won't be there for her first birthday.  She is the ONLY one that I haven't been able to celebrate this milestone with.  However, I know that my family will make sure she knows how much I love her and how much I want to be there with her.  
Here are some pictures of them:

She is such a ham!  (I wonder where she gets it from?!?!?)
BTW, she looks just like me when I was that age!

Rose is a beautiful and sweet girl!

Dahlia is such a sweet and happy baby girl.  Her brothers and sister adore her!
(Obviously, Pawpaw does too!)

I don't know how anyone could say no to a face like this!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Looking Back!

14 years ago today, I married the most amazing man on the planet!  I know that sounds so corny, but I truly believe it.  God gave me a very special gift on that Saturday!  At 11AM I walked down the aisle and saw this hansome young man waiting for me.  He looked at me like I was the most beautiful person he had ever laid eyes on!  I remember the preacher going thru all the "normal" vows.  I remember his mom & stepdad being there with us.  I remember my dad being so somber!  I remember thinking that my dreams were becoming reality.  You see, I met Claude 4 years earlier.  Now, it may have taken him 4 years to determine that we were meant to be together, but I told my mom 2 months after I met him that I was going to marry him someday!  Granted, he was engaged to someone else at the time (LONG STORY!).  I just knew that God would make all things perfect in His time.  Now, here we are, 14 years later, and it just keeps getting better!  Don't think that it's perfect all the time!  We have our moments!  BUT, I don't regret anything about our relationship.  He is my best friend!  He is the perfect man!  I love him more and more everyday.  I didn't think it was possible to do that!  I adore him.  I admire him.  He is my real life hero!  Anyone who knows Claude knows that he has some amazing qualities.  The most amazing is that he loves me unconditionally.  I am so thankful that I get to spend the rest of my days with my best friend.  The one that I would rather hang out with over anyone else.  So, to the love of my life, Happy Anniversary!  I love you more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.  I truly pray that you are as happy as I am~   Your adoring wife!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Be in prayer

I just got off of a phone call with my mom.  My sister-in-law in Canada, Faith, has been hospitalized.  Her blood pressure is too high and the doctors can't get it to drop and stay dropped.  She has been in the hospital for almost a week now.  They are running tests to try and find out why it's so high and why they can't get it to stay down.  Please pray for her and for my brother, Murray.  The hospital she's in is about 24 hours away from where they live.  She is in Toronto and he is at their home in Cape Breton (Nova Scotia).  The local hospital was not equipped to handle her needs, so they flew her to a bigger hospital.  My brother will be flying out to Toronto in the next couple days and then driving back.  Please pray for both of them at this time.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The most special day ever!

OK, so maybe 2nd after Christ's birth, but TODAY IS CLAUDE'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!  
I was talking to his mom last week and she had been reminising about her life.  She was a single mom since Claude was 6 months old and didn't remarry until he was 11-12 (not sure which).  She had made some comments about how rough the 1st marriage had been and I told her that I was grateful that she'd been married that first time.  Otherwise, there would not have been a CLAUDE!!!  He is the blessing that God gives me everyday and I am just at a loss for words on how much he means to me.  I am so thankful that God allows me to wake up with him and go to sleep with him everyday.  He is a Godly man who puts Christ 1st in his life.  He never gives anything but his best in ANYTHING he does.  He loves me unconditionally (THAT IS A MIRACLE IN ITSELF!!!!).  He's a true friend, a great leader, an exceptionally talented person, creative beyond reason... I could go on!  
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLAUDE!  You are loved by so many!  I know you are happy with where the Lord has called you and I am so proud to be your wife!  You are my hero! 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

God's blessings!

Ok, I've been looking back over the last month and we have had a blessed month personally!  
My family came for a visit, we got to help Davey & Janelle move to Tampa, childrens' church has been WAY cool and alot of fun, the list goes on!
So, my parents brought up a pool for Claude & me!  It's not real big, but it's perfect for us on days when it's just too hot to cool off!  We jump in and float around for a little while and we are set!
Yesterday, our neighbors came over and asked Claude & I if we would help them move a headboard out of a room for them.  We went over and moved it out.  The neighbor says "yea, it's a king size headboard and too big for my little room."  Claude asked them what they were going to do with it.  She said "get rid of it."  So, she gave it to us!!!!  I have ALWAYS wanted a headboard for our bed, but we have a king bed and they are expensive (even used ones).  So, we've just never bought one.  NOW I have one and it was given to us!!!!!

Today, Randy came over to help Claude build the props for the next series.  I believe they are calling it "Rest".  Anyway, I went out to take a couple pics of them.  I am so glad that God gave us a house with a work shed out back! 

The church is blessed everytime something is built out there!!!
Thank you Lord for the little blessings that are a BIG DEAL!

Change is in the air!

WOW!  It's been awhile since I've posted!  
for those of you who weren't at church Sunday, here's some pictures of my awesomely hot husband and his haircut!

Isn't he so adorable!?!?

We missed Greenville when we were down in Tampa!  It's funny, the saying is true that you can't go home again!  We met up with friends, had dinner at our FAVORITE restaurant, got to see some of our "kids" who are college students now, hung out with family, visited family, etc.  But, we both agreed that we were so happy to be back in NC!  THIS IS OUR HOME!

When we got home, we had a little "gift" from one of our small group couples!  They left us a card with a gift card in it!  I'm not sure what they "think" we did to deserve it, but it was such a treat and blessing!  To be able to do what God has called you to do and then have people thank you for it, WOW!  How cool is that!?!  Anyway, a big thank you to the couple!  We really do appreciate it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I've been thinking

I know it's a dangerous thing when I start thinking, but I've been doing it again.
I have certain things that I struggle with on a regular basis.  The apostle Paul would call them "weaknesses".  I hate the fact that I have these flaws/weaknesses.  I hate that I can't keep myself under control.  I hate that I hurt my relationship with Christ when I fall into the traps of my weaknesses.  It's DISGUSTING.  I mean, think about it...when we do things that we know are wrong, we sin.  So what?  Well, not just sinning, but we're breaking God's heart each time.  I put it into a perspective that I can understand.  It's like doing something that I know intentionally hurts Claude.  That thought cuts me to the core and that is how I'm looking at my sins.  I mean, how many of us intentionally want to break our loved one's hearts?  I think about how proud my parents are of me and sometimes I wonder if they'd be so proud if they knew my weaknesses and could see into my heart.  Don't get me wrong, I know they would love me anyway, but I am glad that only Christ can see into our hearts. 
So, I claim Romans 7:15-25NLT.  

v15 I really don't understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it.
v18b I want to do what is right, but I can't.  
v22 I love God's law with all my heart.
v23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind.  This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
v25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.  so you see how it is: in my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

THANK GOD INDEED!  I'm so glad He gives mercy to my weak, sinful nature.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Crazy week!

It's been awhile since I blogged, but my family has been here and I've been having too much fun with them to stop and blog!  
Family left Wednesday & Thursday mornings respectively.  I was a bit sad, but I am keeping in mind that I will be down there at the end of July and then a couple of friends are coming up to stay for a bit!!!  The hectic pace has been worth the time with family and friends!
My parents left Thursday morning and Randy's parents came in Thursday night (for Ella's upcoming 1 year birthday!)  We are so happy to have them with us (Randy's house is full due to his brother living with them!).  Paul and Theresa are sweet folks who always have wise words to share.  It's a treat for us to be able to spend a little time with them!  

We have our lock-in with our youth, Crosslink, tonight.  We are hooking up with another church, Wilson Community Church, for it and will be staying at the Boys & Girls' Club for the night.  I must say that I am NOT looking forward to sleeping there!!!!!  I've seen the bugs during the daylight hours, so I don't want to know what comes out at night.  Claude says I HAVE to stay because we need the female leaders there.  We will have lots of pics for it and for green springs tomorrow!  Until then, I'm outta here!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I'm so excited...I just can't hide it...!

My birthday present is on it's way to NC!  My Mom & Dad (along with my niece, Rose) are heading to NC today!  They should arrive sometime tomorrow!  OH I CAN'T WAIT!  Then, either tomorrow night or Thursday, my brother & sister-in-law (along with the rest of the crew!) should be here!  I've been searching for cheap/free things to do with the kids!  I know I'm gonna have a major withdrawal when they have to leave, but I won't think about that right now!