Just for today…

Woman

 

What is stopping you from being happy and carefree?  What is blocking you from finding joy in all things?  Will you allow yourself to be happy and joyful?  Just for today?  Try it!  It may be contagious!

=) Be Blessed!

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Division To Friendship

Division.  The act, process, or an instance of separating or keeping apart.  The condition or an instance of being divided in opinion or interest.

Something that has been on my mind lately is how divided we are as a people.  In the world, our country, our families, and even the church.  What is so wrong with actually TRYING to be friends?  Why do we have to search for the similarities and differences in each other?  Why can’t we just see them for people who God has given us as a gift to love?  There is beauty in everybody if we would just actually look for it.  Let’s attempt to move from division to friendship.  We will all benefit from it.

So, as the song below says, will you take my hand and be friends with me?  =)  Be Blessed!

 

Hello. Who Are You Again?

Hi!  I feel like I should reintroduce myself since I manged to fall off the face of the earth.  Actually, after my last post (of being on the mend), I ended up getting more sick.  The pneumonia came back full force, only this time in both lungs.  Needless to say, I was dead to the world and writing was the farthest thing from my mind.  So, I have no new update for you except that I did continue to lose.  I just don’t know exactly how much since I’m still coming off of the steroid that the doctor had me on.

Life still continued to go on while I was busy making sure the couch didn’t float away.  We were really worried about that happening, so I felt like it was my duty to prevent it.  I am happy to report that the couch is in fact still sitting in my living room.  While, I was securing it to the floor, Tevis (being the wonderful man that he is) painted the living room.  Finally, we are starting to update the house.  It was going to be “our” project, but I offered moral support (from the couch, of course).

A couple days ago was our 17th wedding anniversary.  It’s so funny to sit and stare at him and think about us.  We have this joke about how I stalked him.  In high school, I worked at Taco Bell.  So did a friend of mine (Derrick) who wasn’t allowed to work on Wednesdays or Sundays because of church.  One Wednesday night, after church, Derrick and a friend came in to get something to eat.  He asked me if he could bum a couple cigarettes and while he was filling his drink, I went to the break-room to get my cigarette pack.  When I came back, Derrick’s friend was standing there at the counter.  I handed him the cigarettes, he turned and walked away, saying nothing at all to me.  (We have long since quit smoking.)

The next day, Derrick and I were sitting in the break-room, getting ready to clock-in.  I said, “Derrick, I don’t know who that guy is that you brought in with you last night, but I’m going to marry him!”  He said, “Who?  Tevis?” “Is that the guy with the long hair and ripped jeans?  Yes!  Him.”  Derrick just laughed at me.  That’s when I made sure that I was wherever Tevis was.  I started going to his youth group.  Started drinking Dr. Pepper (YUCK!).  Started going with the crew after youth to wherever it was that they went to eat.  Yet, he would never talk.  Or I would only get one word answers (he’s an introvert).  This went on for months.

Spring Break came and for some strange reason we had 3 feet of snow…IN MARCH!  I got the nerve up to call him and see if I could come over. Southern Indiana doesn’t do well with a lot of snow, but I was willing to risk it to be able to pursue the man I was going to marry.  Whatever it took! I made it to his house, his parents were gone to the grocery and I had to park at the end of the driveway because of all the snow.  I made it into the house and for 3 hours all we did was sit and watch TV…in silence.  Not one word was said….oh and I had to pee.  Really?  Now?  There is NO WAY that I’m going to let him know that!  Finally, I gave in and asked where the bathroom was.

His parents came home and were shocked that he had a girl over.  I was the only one he had ever had over.  I stayed a little while longer and then headed home, feeling like this was a complete disaster.  Especially since the only talking done was me asking for a potty!

After that, we started talking every night on the phone.  I forgot to mention that he lived in a different county and went to a different school, so it took effort to stalk him.  We learned a lot about each other and in May (22nd to be exact) while I was getting ready for Youth and talking to him on the phone, I finally mustered the courage to ask him to go out with me.  He said yes.  Though years later, I asked him why he said yes, and he told me that it was because he hadn’t had a girlfriend in a while…sure whatever.  It didn’t matter, because 3 years later (almost exactly), I married him!  Who’s laughing now!  HA!

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Yep, I love him!

We are buddies.  I like him.  He’s fun.  Sure we fight, but we can cut up and hang out and just have fun together like 2 friends…but we have benefits.  I laugh at people who say love at first sight isn’t real.  Was it love?  No.  Was I twitterpated?  Yes!  Real love changes and evolves and deepens with time.  But, I knew.  I knew the minute I saw him.  I knew he was the one and nobody was going to tell me any different.

Every time Destiny has talked to me about a crush she has had, I have always asked her 3 questions.

  1. Can you see yourself married to him?
  2. Can you see the man that he is?
  3. Can you see the man that he can/will be (with age and maturity)?

She has never been able to answer those questions until last year.  Its been awesome to watch her and Sam’s relationship develop and to see the foundation that they are building.  They’re relationship has mirrored our relationship so much (timeline-wise) it’s scary.  But, she knew.  She knew he was it and nobody was going to tell her any different, either…wonder why she’s so headstrong?!?

Anyway,  Tevis is amazing and sexy and loving.  We’ve been to hell and back together.  Still, he stood there.  Strong and tall.  I adore him.  He’s became the man that I saw in him 20 years ago.  He is my Mr. Steady.  He loves me.  All of me.  Even the ugly side of me.  That takes courage on his part, because I can be pretty mean when I’m upset.  He keeps me grounded, yet lets me fly.  He’s my rocker…even though he won’t grow his hair back out.  I.Love.Him.  And nothing is going to change that.  =)  Be Blessed!

The Bucket List – it keeps growing…

I have started a bucket list.  I have come to realize that it might be slightly important to have one.  Mainly just to keep me on track with a goal.  Crazy as it sounds, I think that Tevis and I would enjoy having one together, but I figured I would start my own first.  So what is it that I would like to do???

1) My first one would be to take piano up again and refresh my skills at it.  I miss playing.  If I would be honest with myself about it, I really did have a great time playing.  I loved it when I competed in the IMTA (Indian Music Teacher’s Association) competition.  I also feel like I could then be of some use to my wonderful husband.  Why I have been avoiding it is beyond me, but I love the piano.  What a beautiful instrument.

2) Travel to several different countries.  Mainly: Ireland, England, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy.  I’m sure I will come up with more as time goes by, but these are ones that i would love to see.

3) To learn at least 2 other languages.  I’ve already started this one with Korean.

4) Lose a lot of weight.  Stupid for a bucket list, but hey, I’m the one making the list.  It needs to be on here.

5) Take a 10 second (or faster) car down the track.  I love speed!  The faster the car the better.  I WILL get this done at some point in my life.

6) Adopt 2 kids (possibly 3 if we are unable to have another of our own).

7) Speak before a large crowd of people.

8) Record an album with Tevis.

9) Publish my book.  haven’t decided on which one but I want to make sure at least of them gets published.

10) See my son perform on stage in a play at least once.  I honestly believe that he would be great at Theater.  He is so animated.

11) See my daughter publish her first manga.  I know she is more than capable of doing this.  I just wish that she would believe in herself enough.

12) See my husband record his first album.

13) To fulfill my purpose according to God’s plan.  This is a lifelong thing.

14) To walk more in the confidence that I should have.

15) To write my first screenplay.  Whether anything happens with it or not, I want to at least get it written down.

16) Have the songs I’ve written recorded.

17) Publish my poetry.

18) Start a restaurant.

19) Send Destiny to study abroad for a short time.

20) Build a hot rod.

21) Live abroad for an extended period of time.

I think that is a decent start.  I would like to get to 50.  Not suer what my deal is with my lists having to consist of 50 things, but it feels like a good number.  So, what are some things on your bucket list?  I would love to hear about them.  =)  Be Blessed

A Beautiful Choir of Autism

I came across this the other night and it brought tears to my eyes.  Yes, I understand that they are on the higher functioning end of the spectrum, but too often we do not give these kiddos a chance to develop the giftings that God blessed them with.  These kids HAVE a purpose just like everybody else.  God blessed them (yes I said blessed) with these different abilities.  I am thankful that to see someone taking the time to develop these children’s gifts.  I love the quote at the end of the video.  “The only limits to what they can do are the ones we put on them.”  So true and that can even go for others as well.  Let’s not limit these children.  Let’s help them soar!  How amazing!

The Fun of Conspiracy (aka Birthday Dinner)

Today is my birthday.  Well, not actually.  This is the day that my dad says that I was born.  He has always teased me about it.  Mainly because he missed me, his first-born, emerge into the world because he went and got coffee since it was taking so long.  So, he calls me on Groundhogs Day every year and sings me happy birthday…and to aggravate my mother (who reminded me this week how close to 40 I was), since every year she tries to correct him about the date.  I love it!  It’s our thing.  My father is quirky.  He has a lot of little things that he does or says that make him special.  Like, I am his “Number 1 Daughter” as so he calls me and Ruthie, my beautifully blonde sister, is “Number 2 Daughter”.  Anyway, I digressed.

Truthfully though, yesterday was my real birthday.  Oh what a wonderful time we had last night!  Mind you, I had no idea that there was conspiring going on behind my back.  I had a “plan”.  I had coupons!  Birthday coupons!  So, I went on about my day, being none the wiser, until I was informed that there was to be a dinner and game playing later.  I have to be honest about something here.  Those that know me well will be shaking their heads in agreement.  I struggle with having nice things done for me.  You can ask my husband, I don’t like for him to get me stuff for Christmas, because I fear his disappointment in my reaction.  Same thing goes for compliments.  Maybe that’s the underlying thing with all of it.  Fear.  Who knows.

Anyway, It was great!  Brad & Connie (our Lead Pastors), Cody & Stephanie (our Youth & Children’s Pastors) and all our chitlins (definition:children).  Merriment abounded!

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Clockwise: Cody, Stephanie, Brady (on Steph’s lap), Brad, Connie, Myself & Hurley the Dog


I have come to realize that memories are, most of the time, made unexpectedly and for the most absurd reasons.  I think sleep deprivation is the cause of a lot of it since 2 of our 3 families have babies and we are sleepless over making a decision about a house to buy.

We played Logo after dinner.  It’s like a trivia game.  I don’t think that I have ever laughed so hard or so much in my entire life.  There was tears shed by nearly all of us.  Tevis and I had a headache by the time we left.  One time in particular, we were laughing so much we couldn’t laugh anymore or breathe.  It made poor Hurley the Dog so nervous, he started eating my pants legs.  NO KIDDING!  He just laid beside me chewing on the bottom of my pants.  Reminded me of the mini-dach we used to have that would suck on his tail to go to sleep.  You can’t make this stuff up!

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Stephanie serving said delicious cake.

Then we had cake.  Wonderful, delicious, scrumptious chocolate cake.  It was really, really good!  Too bad the kids didn’t have any.  Okay, well, maybe two of the kids had cake.  They had more important things going on, like Minecraft (whatever that is).

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Tevis devouring said delicious cake.

Overall, I am so thankful with who God has placed in my life.  I still become awestricken when I really think about it.  We have only been here 2 months and to me it seems like we’ve been here forever.  The way we’ve all just melded together and fit like a glove.  It’s been effortless in one sense.  We’re family and I am so thankful to have them in my life!  Home.  What more can I say!  =)  Be Blessed!

What Fruit Do You Produce?

Fruit.  I love fruit.  I know a fruit when I see one.  Apple, orange, pear.  You know it when you see it.  It’s unmistakable.  Not because of how they are displayed in the grocery store, but because of what you know to look for.  In the culinary sense of these words, a fruit is usually any sweet-tasting plant product, especially those associated with seeds (Wikipedia).

 

Our walk with Christ should be the same way. We cannot produce fruit if we are not connected to the source of life.  Just like an apple tree cannot produce apples if it is not connected to the root.  Jesus addressed this when He was talking to his disciples in John 15:1-8.  He said, “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.  “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”

 

If we are true believers and are walking in obedience we will produce sweet fruit and it will be recognizable to those around us.  Jesus was very clear about this.  In Matthew 7:15-20, He said, 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”  To me the false prophet could be compared to a tomato.  A tomato is a fruit but is unrecognizable as such.  Holding it up to what we know make a fruit a fruit, a tomato falls short.  But it is indeed a fruit masquerading around as a vegetable.

 

So, how do we know if we are producing good fruit?  We take an inventory.  I came across this quote the other day and thought is was a great way to break things down.

A Partial Inventory of Spiritual Fruit.

A desire and ability to:
1. Pursue God’s glory (1 Cor. 10:31).
2. Mature in Christlikeness (1 Pet. 2:2).
3. Be kind to others (Eph. 4:32).
4. Restore relationships (Mt. 5:9).
5. Rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4).
6. Persevere through trials (Jas. 1:2-3).
7. Suffer persecution for Christ (2 Tim. 3:10-11).
8. Delight in God’s commandments (Psm. 119:47).
9. Read, study, memorize, listen to and meditate on the Bible (Jos. 1:8).
10. Share your faith (2 Tim. 4:5).
11. Be patient with others (1 Thes. 5:14).
12. Contribute to church unity (Eph. 4:3).
13. Desire goodness (2 Thes. 1:11).
14. Pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17).
15. Faithfully prioritize church (Heb. 10:23-25).
16. Prefer others (Rom. 12:10).
17. Surrender fully to Christ (Lk. 9:23).
18. Act faithfully (Gal. 5:22).
19. Serve in the church (1 Cor. 12:7).
20. Experience true peace (Gal. 5:22).
21. Be a committed marriage partner (Col. 3:18-19).
22. Love God and others (Mt. 22:37-39).
23. Guard your heart (Pr. 4:23).
24. Manifest a tempered spirit (Tit. 2:2).
25. Exercise self-control (Gal. 5:23).
26. Grow in the knowledge of God (2 Pet. 3:18).
27. Repent of known sin (Lk. 13:5).
28. Develop biblical wisdom (Eph. 5:15).
29. Examine yourself (1 Cor. 13:5).
30. Practice hospitality (Rom. 12:13).
31. Be humble (1 Pet. 5:6).
32. Work hard with integrity (Col. 3:23-24).
33. Act with gentleness (Gal. 5:23).
34. Manage your home (1 Tim. 3:4).
35. Instruct and discipline your children biblically (Eph. 6:4).
36. Listen more than you speak (Jas. 1:19).
37. Want Christian fellowship (Ac. 2:42).
38. Speak wholesome words (Col. 4:6).
39. Encourage others (1 Thes. 5:11).
40. Be an example for others (1 Tim. 4:12).
41. Forgive others (Mt. 6:12).
42. Fast (Mt. 6:16).
43. Hate evil (Rom. 12:9).
44. Be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
45. Support missionaries (3 Jn. 1:7-8).
46. Engage in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:13).
47. Sacrifice with your finances (2 Cor. 8:3-5).
48. Experience hope (Heb. 6:11).
49. Sing spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19).
50. Develop biblical convictions (Jas. 4:17).
51. Commit to pure doctrine (Tit. 2:1).
52. Desire God’s will (Jn. 4:34).
53. Be thankful (Col. 3:15).
54. Submit wherever necessary (Eph. 5:21).
55. Prioritize spiritual things (Col. 3:1-2).
56. Long for our Lord’s return (Rev. 22:20).

Note: Our hearts must always be examined as much of this can be produced in the flesh.  -Randy Smith

 

We could spend days talking about this subject.  My whole point is to get us thinking.  In this day and age we have lost touch with what actual spiritual fruit is.  I don’t think we know how to recognize it anymore because of our lack of strong connection to the true Vine.  Just because someone is a good person doesn’t mean they are producing good fruit.  Hold what you know up to God’s standard.  Ultimately we need to make sure we are holding ourselves up to the standard first.  So, how is your fruit?  Something to think about.  =)  Be Blessed!