Wednesday, August 26, 2009


My small group girls are starting their Sophomore year of high school. Sunday night we kicked off the year with a broomball bash. It was hilarious to watch everyone out on the ice. And crazy that these wonderful girls are sophomores and that I only have three more years with them. I am so excited about what another year with these girls holds!

I was looking through my pictures this week and thought it would be fun to look at pictures of our years together, so here's a brief photo history of my crazy small group!

Progressive Riot - Maddie, me & Amanda

Connection in New Orlean - Amanda, me & Maddie

Pine Cove Retreat - Tori, Maddie, me, Amanda & Maddie

Progressive Riot - Maddie, Amanda, & me

Bowling for Compassion - me, Amanda, Tori, & Maddie

Pine Cove Retreat - Amanda, Maddie, Rachel, Maddie, Tori & me

Progressive Riot - our last one!

End of the year party - Maddie, Taylor, Amanda, Dunni, Rachel & Tori

Hideaway Retreat - Wow we've grown in size! (Maddie, Amanda, Taylor, Maddie, me, Jeanine, Meagan, Rachel & Tori)
Christmas Party - love these girls!


I am absolutely loving Selah's new CD...particularly the song Unredeemed. I have had it on repeat today. I particularly love these words from the chorus:

It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that's shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

I love the truth that when the Lord brings us through hard times, our lives might not look the same, things won't be like we expected them to be, but he will redeem it and use it for His glory if we let him by laying our lives at His feet. Such good words.


The cruelest world
The coldest heart
The deepest wound
The endless dark
The lonely ache
The burning tears
The bitter nights
The wasted years

Life breaks and falls apart
But we know these are
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that's shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke
And every lie that gave up hope
We live in the shadow of the fall
But the cross says these are all
Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But when anything that's shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But you never know the miracle the Father has in store
Just watch and see
It will not be
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On a More Lighthearted Note... posts have been a bit heavy lately...and life is not all bad...or tough.

This weekend I headed out of Dallas with all my fellow student ministries leaders for our yearly retreat. It was SO wonderful to take a study break, be out of the big city, and just enjoy time with friends. It was a wonderful time of worship, alone time with God, games of Catch Phrase so intense that they cause you to lose your voice, some very intense tubing on the lake, lots of laughter, good conversations with friends, and a three and a half hour Spades game where Amber & I came out victorious over Nick & Mike. It was a restful weekend and I came away feeling so revived and so thankful to be a part of this wonderful team of people with hearts to serve.

The ever-intense game of Catch Phrase. Some might have walked away a little scared of me...I kept getting words that involved death and killing people...I'm not sure what that means. (Around the circle L front to R front: Kyla, Sarah F, SarahBeth, Debra, Lindsey, Ann, me, & Shawn)

This would be the Spades game. The longest Spades game I have ever played. We attracted an audience. It was great fun! (L to R: Laura, me, Spencer, Nick, Julie, Amber - Mike was taking the picture)

Our wonderful team of leaders who encourage me, challenge me, and just plain entertain me!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I've been in a funk. I think it started about when this happened...I just haven't realized it. A lot has happened this summer. From failing a test, to my living situation becoming unsure, to losing Mama, I have just been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster. You just have to love how when you're already there - in the ditch of your emotions - that Satan knows how to take you even farther. He taunts you with struggles that you had thought you had conquered years ago. He convinces you to believe hundreds of lies about yourself...about your relationships...about your place in the world.

Needless to say, life has not been pretty lately, I dare say it's been ugly. But God, in his infinite wisdom and timing, is always there. When you think you can't go farther into the emotional pit, you find yourself reading Psalm 143 . From the very first verse, I could relate to the psalmist when he said to the Lord, "come to my relief." Through the words of this psalm and the Shane Bernard song that comes pretty much directly from its verses, I decided I needed a new mindset about the place where I had gotten emotionally. Yes, I had been spending time with the Lord. Yes, I had been asking him to pull me from the pit. But the reasons I was asking him for it were about me. I wanted to feel better...plain and simple.

I don't think anyone would blame me for asking to be pulled out of the funk I was in. But the more I sat with the God's Word, the more I realized that I wanted God to have the glory for getting me out. The chorus of the Shane Bernard song says, "Revive me, Revive me, Not for me, But for Your name." That became my prayer that day. Revive me, FOR YOUR NAME, Lord. Revive me so that I can focus on serving the people you've placed in my life. Revive me so that You can use me in the lives of my high school girls as school starts back up. Revive me so that YOU will be glorified...not me. That is my new prayer. Things are shifting. I can feel it. It's slow, it's gradual, and it's still not easy, but I know that if I keep praying for God to be glorified, then I am going to be in the best place I can possibly be, funk or not.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Remembering Mama

I wish that I could take the words that Deborah spoke at Mama's funeral and post them right here on this blog. She did an excellent job of portraying who she was and how much she will be missed in our lives.

My precious Mama was a woman who loved God and loved people. And she was a fighter. These are three things that were consistently heard in the hours we spent at the hospice reminiscing and hearing from people who loved her.

She loved her family. She spent more hours than you could count loving me and my sisters. Slumber parties at her house. Trips to Amarillo to shop for back to school clothes. More clothes than you were allowed to take back in the TJ Maxx dressing rooms. Taking me to Olive Garden - just the two of us - and me thinking it was the biggest deal. Converting Papa's old workshop into a playroom for us - complete with pool table and dress up clothes. Taking me with her when she volunteered at the hospital. Sewing the three of us matching Christmas & Easter dresses every single year. She showed her love with her time and the way she lavished gifts on us. I swear we could have had enough gifts for a small nation of children under the tree every Christmas.

She loved everyone placed in her life. I thought it was normal from a young age to sit with all of her and Papa's friends and dinner parties and to play dominoes. She was so very intentional with all her relationships. When she moved into the retirement community where she'd been for the last seven years, she got a roster of everyone's name before she even moved and started learning their names and when she would meet them, she would mark them off. Such a people person.

She loved her God. Countless hours at the prayer room, bible studies, teaching Sunday School. And her life was just lived in a way you knew the love of Christ was flowing through her.

She was a fighter. Mama had a stroke thirteen years ago that left her without feeling in her entire right side. She never, not for one day of that thirteen years, stopped fighting. There was one physical struggle after another, more surgeries than you could count, and she kept on going, striving to be independent, and attempting to live as though there was nothing wrong with her body!

She was also a ball of fire - to the end. Things were done the way Mama thought they should be. Whether it was teaching me to make dressing (which is my favorite food) and making me add more of one season after another until you almost wanted to scream. Or us rearranging the furniture in her apartment until it was just so. Or how she had relayed a message to her housekeeper her last week in the hospital stay from the staph infection that she was coming home, so she needed to "dust, dust, dust".

All these are great & wonderful memories, but more importantly, I learned from my Mama what it looks like to honor God with your life. To love people the way He did. And to fight like crazy to make every single day He gives you on this earth count. That's the legacy my Mama left me. It's hard to imagine life without her. Sometimes I don't think it's really hit that she's gone - it came so fast. But I am so thankful that she is in heaven with our Saviour, no longer confined to a scooter, no longer in pain, and reaping the rewards of a life well lived.

Me with Mama as a little bitty baby. I was her first grandchild...I think she was kind of crazy about me :)

Me with Mama (on the right) and my dad's parents after my Baylor graduation. Mama was also a Baylor Bear - Sic 'Em!

The whole family with Mama at her 75th surprise birthday party a couple of years ago.

And a couple of the many, many dresses she sewed for us! (Check out the hair!!!)

Friday, August 07, 2009

I have put my hope in Your Word.

So...needless to say...this time in my life is a little interesting. The last month or so of emotional downers have left me a little drained. My community group has been doing Beth Moore's Esther bible study this summer and it has been wonderful, but I found myself longing for some less structured time in the Word. I've been slowly reading through the Psalms when I'm on breaks from structured bible studies. I was reading in Psalm 119 the other day and was just really hit with what my love of God's Word should look like. All through the psalm it talks about his love for the Word and how it sustains him. Here's just a sampling:

- I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your Word. (vs 16)
- My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your Word. (vs 81)
- Your Word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. (vs 89)
- Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. (vs 97)
- How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (vs 103)
- Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (vs 105)
- Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. (vs 111)
- You are my refuge and my shield, I have put my hope in your Word. (vs 114)
- The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. (vs 130)

I long to feel that way about God's Word. I think there are times in life when studying it has been joyful for me, but it has never been the thing I would stake my hope on or the thing I never neglect. I tend to get in a box-checking rut of just opening it every day because I am supposed to and forget the kind of life that can be found there. It's my desire that I would move out of seeing the Bible as a text book and a requirement and seeing as God's words to me, a help in my time of trouble, the place where I can be replinished when I am run down after a month like I have just had, and the words in which I can put all of my hope in.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Two of my very special friends have birthdays today! Happy Birthday Emily & Lesley!!!

Me & Emily at Michelle's wedding reception. Em is one of my precious college friends. She lives in Nashville...we wish she was closer!! Roomie gatherings just aren't the same without her. Emily is one of the most fun friends I have, and also one of the most thoughtful. I can't wait to see you next month!!!! GAFIA here we come!!

Me & Lesley (on the right) with Darby at her bridal luncheon. Lesley and I have been friends since we were little. We grew up going to church together...and school of course...I mean, we're from Fritch, not somewhere were kids go to different schools! In high school we played on the golf team together. She is one of the few from high school who I still talk to, and I know it is because of her relentless pursuit of our friendship. She has always been someone who loves people...and I am so thankful that I can still call her my friend!