Day 207

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart.  I put my contacts in, wrapped myself up in my robe and headed to my quiet time chair.  I sat down and began to pray, but I didn’t really feel like getting into what was weighing on me… I didn’t want God to think my faith was weak.  I didn’t want Him to think that I didn’t trust Him.  I didn’t want him to be disappointed that I was letting my emotions get the best of me.  So I did what a good Christian girl is supposed to do, I spoke faith.  But right in the middle of spouting off some scriptures that I believed would make me feel better, God stopped me.  He reminded me that nothing is hidden from Him… He’s searched me and knows all my heart, so I might as well be honest with Him.

I don’t know why I was trying to put on a happy face for God, He can’t be fooled.  I thought about David and some of the Psalms that he wrote where he just laid it all out there- the good, the bad, and the ugly and decided to try that for myself.  I was sincere with the Lord.  I talked through what I was facing and He listened… so I talked some more and He kept listening and when I was finished talking He flooded me with peace.  I felt a real exchange take place.  I was open and honest and gave Him my concerns and in return He gave me exactly what I needed.  I LOVE Him!

Gideon was a guy who believed that honesty is the best policy.  In Judges 6 an angel appears to him and tells him that the Lord is with him and that he is a mighty man of valor.  Check out his response.

Judges 6:13 “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

The angel didn’t get offended and leave to look for someone else who wouldn’t ask questions, instead he reassured Gideon that he was mighty and that he would save Israel from the Midianites… and he did.  God used Him just like He said He would.  I think when we get honest with God and give him our worry and concern it’s an invitation for Him to work in our situation.  It’s a way of surrendering all of our insufficiencies to His sufficiency.

There’s something so freeing about being completely honest with the Lord, to get in His presence and let Him know that without Him you are nothing.  To know that He already knows every thought that has gone through our minds and every emotion that we have experienced without us having to say a word.  To know that he knows the depths of our hearts, every doubt, every fear, everything about us and He still loves us with a love that never gives up.  I’m so thankful that God gave me permission to be honest this morning and that He took all of my concerns and replaced them with HIS peace.

  1. God prefers honesty over flattery.
  2. Psalm 139:1 O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me.
  3. Psalm 139:4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
  4. The peace He left me with after our good, honest conversation.
  5. He is in control and totally sufficient.
  6. Kept Gus home from school today just to be sure he was all the way better and we had a nice day together.
  7. Got the kids out of the house for a fun morning at the mall.
  8. Barnes & Noble.
  9. The Disney Store.
  10. Carousel rides.
  11. Gus remembered to bring quarters so he could play his arcade game at the video game store.
  12. Found some great little pants for Gus’ Easter outfit.
  13. Tried the chicken salad sandwich at Chic Fil A and it was a nice change of pace.
  14. Our pillow top topper came today!  I can’t wait to sleep on it!
  15. Movie night with Beau… she is becoming quite a fan of The Little Mermaid.
  16. Invented a new game that gets Gus to practice writing all of his letters and he loved it so much he didn’t even realize he was having to do “school work.”
  17. PB&J dinner night.
  18. Gus and I had an official game night.  Snacks, Sodas, and his first time to ever play Monopoly Jr.
  19. Bunch A Crunch.  Nice snack choice by Gussy!
  20. Gus is old enough to participate in family game nights.  I used to love game nights with my mom, dad, and little brother.
  21. One on one time with my sweet boy.  I caught myself getting teary eyed a few times watching him and realizing how big he is getting.
  22. Our street is getting a major face lift.  I love the new fences and all the new trees!
  23. Bills paid.
  24. The pleasure I get when I get to bless the kids with new toys for no reason.
  25. Gus’ blue eyes showing through his orange Ninja Turtle mask.
  26. I found the sticker I was sure that Beau had got stuck up her nose!
  27. Our couch may not be as comfy as the pillow top topper but since Josh is still really sick and I ain’t got time for that it’s not a bad place to spend the night.

Day 206

After about 370 days confined in an enormous floating shoe box with animals of every size and smell, Noah finally got the go ahead from God to leave the ark and set foot into the new world.

I’m sure Noah wanted to start exploring, or take a long walk and breath in the fresh air, or start working on the plans for the house he would have to build for his family, but before he did any of those things he built an altar, took of every clean animal and offered burnt offerings to the Lord.

Noah didn’t have a lot to offer.  To give up one of his sheep and one of his cows was a true sacrifice for a guy who knew that these were some of the only animals of their kind left on earth.  He could have waited until the animals had time to breed and build up his stock before he sacrificed one of them, but he wanted to begin his new journey by letting God know that he was putting him first, no matter how great the sacrifice.

Genesis 8:21 When the Lord smelled the pleasing odor [a scent of satisfaction to His heart], the Lord said to Himself, I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination (the strong desire) of man’s heart is evil and wicked from his youth; neither will I ever again smite and destroy every living thing, as I have done.

The smell of Noah’s sacrifice pleased the Lord but in a different way than the smell of burgers on the grill please my nose.  It wasn’t God’s nose that was satisfied it was his heart… his heart was satisfied with Noah’s heart, his willingness to sacrifice something that meant so much to him.  Why is it that when we offer a sacrifice to God, when he give him something that’s of great worth to us or something that’s not easy to give,  does it satisfy His heart?

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Jesus offered the most costly sacrifice of all, His own life, so when we offer costly sacrifices to God it’s a way of showing him that we are being transformed into the image of His son.  I imagine nothing makes God happier than that!

What can you offer to God today that will send of scent of satisfaction to his heart?  Maybe you really value your sleep.  I know I do, but every morning I choose to sacrifice an hour of it to spend time with God and in the word.  Maybe you just got a nice tax return and you were planning on using it all to take a mini vacation, but felt led to give it as an offering, that’s a costly sacrifice.  Maybe you would rather spend your Sunday afternoon hanging out and watching football or nascar, but instead you stay and serve in one of the kid’s classes for second service.  God loves the smell of you back there corralling kids and sharing Jesus with them.  Maybe everyone in your home has a bug of some sort and you spent the night cleaning up throw up, but instead of complaining you woke up and decided God is still worthy and you send up a sacrifice of praise.

There are so many ways that we can offer sacrifices to God that please Him in the same way that Noah’s sacrifice pleased him and thankfully none of them involve killing animals.  What can you give today to the one who gave it all for you?  How can you be like Him?

  1. Jesus gave Himself for me.
  2. Oh to be like you!  To give all I have just to know You! – Scandal of Grace, Hillsong United.  Love this song.  Love those lyrics.
  3. We can send sweet smelling sacrifices up to God just like Noah did.
  4. Extra time to study this morning.
  5. The AMAZING story of Noah and the Ark.  I learned some really interesting stuff today that I have never seen before while reading it.
  6. Last night Gus woke us up to let us know his stomach hurt and Josh told me to stay in bed and he would take care of him.
  7. Josh spent all night holding a trash can next to Gus’ bed.
  8. Josh cleaned up messes, started laundry, and took care of my boy all while I was sleeping.
  9. I needed that rest.  Feeling much better today!
  10. Gus woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed.  Praise God!
  11. Gus sent in a video clip wishing Jake from Disney’s Jake & The Neverland Pirate a happy birthday and we saw a clip from his video on the Disney channel today!!
  12. We NEVER watch live TV but Beau was having a hard time waking up so I turned the TV on upstairs for her and a few minutes later there was Gussy… on TV!
  13. The ability to rewind live television so Gus could see himself.
  14. There were over 1,000 entries of kids wishing Jake a happy birthday so COOL that they picked Gus!
  15. Little Mermaid movie afternoon.
  16. “See ya later aligator” – Me   “I NOT aligator, I BEAU!” – Beau
  17. Chicken noodle soup.
  18. Sierra Mist.
  19. Wheat Thins.
  20. Gus likes to watch “Gospel Bills” when he’s having a stay in bed and get better kind of a day.
  21. I REALLY enjoyed getting out of the house even if it was just a short trip to Kroger.
  22. More of Zion today in the car and cranked up.  So good!
  23. Put a few purses on ebay that my sister gave me and they are already tearing it up!  Dream purse hear I come!
  24. Kids in bed by 7:20!  They needed it.  I needed it.
  25. AI night with my sweet husband.
  26. Heard this awesome song at Kroger.  Reminds me of dating Josh.  Kroger has an awesome playlist.
  27. Jesus is healer!  I’m thanking Him in advance that all of us are completely healed and ready to have a great weekend together starting tomorrow!

Day 205

Have you ever had a friend tell you that one of their loved ones passed away?  I have, and I usually respond with something like this, “Oh, I’m so sorry friend.  Did he know the Lord?”  When my grandpa passed away a few years ago I would always make sure people knew that he “knew” the Lord.  It made them feel better knowing that I was certain he was in heaven.

But after reading this verse last night I think I need to clarify my answer.

Romans 1:21 (AMP) Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

It is possible to know and recognize Jesus as God and still have a foolish, darkened heart.  Countless people claim that Jesus is Lord, but they don’t honor him, glorify him, or give Him thanks and that’s a dangerous place to be.  It’s better to not know Jesus as Lord at all than it is to know Him and not a live a life that brings Him glory and honor.

Ever wonder why our country is increasing in darkness daily?  It’s because it’s filled with people who are godless in their thinking… people who say they “know” God, some even go to church and pray at the dinner table, but their hearts have “never adored the living God with living love.” (Spurgeon)  Is your love for the living God alive… or does it need to resuscitated?

Maybe instead of asking did he know the Lord when someone passes away, we should be asking did he honor and glorify the Lord… did he give Him thanks.

My grandfather did.  He lived a life that honored and glorified God.  He was not ashamed to praise God and give Him all the credit for all the many good things in his life.

You can read your Bible all the way through every year, pray at every meal, never miss a church service, and claim to know Jesus, but with out giving Him the honor, glory, and thanksgiving that he deserves, he’ll claim he never knew you.

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

My marriage could not survive  if my husband just knew that I existed and recognized me as his wife.  It’s not enough that he knows my favorite color, favorite perfume, favorite candy bar, favorite show, and the entire history of my life.  Our relationship has to be based on more than what he knows about me and what I know about Him.  Our relationship is alive because he loves me with a living love.  He honors and glorifies me, he appreciates me and the good things I bring to his life.

Your relationship with Jesus will not survive unless you love Him with a living love… it’s not hard, it’s not a chore, “Praise is no more a burden to a true heart than song to a bird, or perfume to a flower, or twinkling to star.” (Spurgeon)  Honor, Glorify, and thank God today it’s what you were designed to do.

  1. I know God, but I also try to live my life to honor and glorify him and of course give Him thanks!
  2. The fantastic sermon my Charles Spurgeon on Romans 1:21.  Full of so many awesome truths.
  3. My husband doesn’t just know me, he loves me with a living love.
  4. God loves me with a living love!
  5. My grandfather honored, glorified, and gave thanks to God with his life.
  6. Praise is not a burden.
  7. God created me with such an awesome purpose.
  8. Gus brought his new Bible downstairs so he could have Bible time with me.
  9. Zion.  The new Hillsong United album.
  10. Relentless.  Loving this song and so is Gus.  He asked to here “Rewentwess” when I picked him up from school.
  11. Josh took advantage of a “teachable moment” with Gus on the way to school and taught him what it means to be loved with the relentless love of Jesus.
  12. Gus remembered all that Josh talked to him about and told me about it on the drive home.  It was so sweet it made me cry!
  13. Gus had an all green day!
  14. Beautiful afternoon.  Nice to get out even if it was only for a few minutes.
  15. The kids let me sleep while they watched The Tigger Movie.
  16. Making pizza commercials for Gus’ pizza parlor.  He’s hilarious and a ham!
  17. Cereal for dinner.
  18. Josh took over for me when he got home from work and let me get some more rest.  Ready to kick this cold to the curb.
  19. Thin Mints.
  20. Do Si Dos.
  21. Realized I bought two window panels for Beau’s room and only need one.  That means I get to take one back and buy something else for her cute little room.
  22. Josh made the cutest invitation for Beau’s party.
  23. Having a husband with design skills!
  24. A friend was able to share my blog with a lady who suffered a late miscarriage.
  25. My niece and nephew got an offer on their house!  Answer to prayer!
  26. Clean hair.  Feels so good!
  27. Gus drew a picture of me and him in a car and told me “this is me taking you on a date night.”

Day 204

I am a big believer in the power of names.  The Bible says that life and death are the in the power of the tongue so when looking for our children’s names if we came across one that we liked we would check out the meaning before getting too attached to it.  We chose the name Joseph Augustus for our first born.  Joseph meaning “God will add” and Augustus meaning “great”.  Which is exactly what Gus has been, a great addition to our family from God!  We named our daughter Celia Beau.  Celia meaning heavenly and Beau meaning beautiful.  She is most certainly a beautiful little girl on the outside, but I know as she gets older we will begin to see her spiritual beauty, her heavenly beauty shine as well.

Leah was the not so good looking sister of the really good looking Rachel who found herself in a very awkward dilemma.  Leah’s husband Jacob was also married to her sister and he made it very obvious that Rachel was his favorite. Jacob was only married to Leah because her father had tricked him into it.  Leah was unloved and God took notice.  He opened her womb and blessed her with four sons in Genesis 29 and she gave them all names with very specific meanings.

Reuben – The Lord has looked upon my affliction.

Simeon – The Lord has heard that I am unloved.

Levi – I hope my husband will be attached to me now.

Judah – Now, I will praise the Lord.

The first three names she chose for her first three sons were all kind of pity party names.  She gave them names that reflected her pain and suffering.  She did acknowledge that the Lord had seen and heard her, but she still seems defeated, she is still looking for that approval from Jacob, instead of realizing that God approves her and loves her and that’s all that matters!

Finally, baby boy number four comes along and something clicks.  Her affliction, her feelings of being unloved, and her terrible marriage didn’t matter anymore, she was going to praise God even if her circumstances were not ideal.  She was going to praise God even though she wasn’t the pretty sister.  She was going to praise God even if she was having a hard time caring for 3 boys on her own and now she had a new born to look after.  She was over the pity party and she could say, “NOW, I will praise the Lord.”

I find it so very interesting that out of these four sons, Judah was the son in whose line and from whose tribe that our savior, Jesus Christ, would come from.

“Jesus descended after the flesh from him whose name was praise.”  – Matthew Henry

Praise is important to our father.  Praise is what we were created to do.  Praise is the reason that Lucifer fell.  Praise is how we enter into His courts.  Praise is literally part of how He entered the world.

Leah made a decision to praise God the day her son Judah was born and every time she said his name after that she reminded herself that God was worthy to be praised and worthy to be praised NOW.  Can you praise him now?  Can you praise him before everything is exactly how you want it to be?  Can you praise him even if you feel like throwing a pity party instead?

You may be feeling like an ugly sister that no one loves today but instead of naming your day according to how you feel name it Judah, NOW, I will praise the Lord!

  1. We have the power of life in death in our tongues.
  2. Jesus descended from the one who was named praise… that’s so cool.
  3. God chose to use the ugly, unloved sister.
  4. I am not married to the same guy as one of my sister’s.
  5. God did greatly add to our family with Joseph Augustus.
  6. My heavenly and beautiful daughter Celia Beau.
  7. Our “fortunate” Felix who I will meet one day in heaven. Eccl 4:3 But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun.
  8. My name means princess… perfect for a daughter of the King.
  9. 39 years ago today my brother in law Scott was born!
  10. Slept like a rock last night.
  11. Ordered my own pillow top mattress topper.
  12. Free shipping at!
  13. Got a bonus from Ken Blount Ministries.
  14. Beau took an almost 3 hour nap.
  15. Her sweaty little head after she wakes up from a good nap.
  16. She’s doing so good about staying put in her big girl bed.
  17. I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store today and neither did the kids, but we put on a little “I Believe In Jesus” and it put us all in a better mood.
  18. Fridge and pantry are full as opposed to very, very bare like they were this morning.
  19. House smelled wonderful all day thanks to the slow cooker cooking italian beef for sandwiches.
  20. Yummy dinner!
  21. Papa showed me a way to help me make the battery on my phone last longer.
  22. Got Beau’s new dresser all organized and did some more room staging.
  23. Gus entertained himself all day… made some messes along the way, but he helped me pick them all up.
  24. Got to see Josh for a few hours before he had to go back to work tonight.
  25. “Beautiful Scars” a great post by my friend Teresa.  A must read for any mothers who have ever looked in the mirror and wondered what happened to their body.
  26. I have one good looking’ husband!
  27. A few hours to get some extra writing done tonight.

Day 203

Last weekend I played in my family’s 8th Annual Monopoly Tournament.  I drove all the way to Tulsa to defend my back to back titles, unfortunately I didn’t even advance past the first round.  I actually came in dead last.  What the heck happened?  I’ll tell ya.  NO ONE would land on my properties, my completely decked out properties.  I owned a whole block with houses on each property, but every time someone got close to me they would roll the perfect roll and end up on community chest, chance, or a railroad… instead of having to pay me!  I on the other hand was not having such great luck with the dice.  If there was a property coming up that I didn’t want to land on, I did.  A viscous cycle had started.  I would pass go and get my $200 and start to feel better and then as I made my way back around the board I would lose that $200 and be back where I was before.  I was literally living paycheck to paycheck and it was not fun.

On my way back to Texas today I streamed our church service and heard an awesome message by my Pastor, Robert Morris.  He talked about how important it is to have daily encounters with Jesus.  It made me think of life as a board game.  So many believers start their week on Sunday by attending church, that’s kind of like them getting to pass go and collect $200.  They are feeling good, they’ve spent some time with Jesus and they let their pastor deposit some good stuff into their spiritual account, but as the week goes on they spend their money, never making any deposits of their own and never making anytime to encounter Jesus.  Stress weighs on them, they make decisions based on fear instead of faith and they find themselves in a vicious weekly cycle.  Just barely making it through the week, passing go, and then making their way around the board again.  Living paycheck to paycheck.

That is not the way it has to be!  Jesus wants us to encounter Him daily.

When you make time to encounter Jesus daily it’s like you get to pass go daily.  You won’t have a perfect game, never landing on something you don’t want to land on, but when you do, it won’t bankrupt you and knock you out of the game.  It’s not enough to pass go once a week, we have to daily encounter Jesus.

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation!

  1. ‎”If you will CONTINUE to have face-to-face encounters with Jesus, you will have the greatest revelation of Him you could imagine … AND you will see who you are in Him!” – Pastor Robert
  2. The Lord wants to daily load me with benefits… Daily!
  3. Beau woke up way too early, but she let me lay her in bed with me so I got to cuddle with her and it was so sweet.
  4. Safe drive home.
  5. Beau slept for a good hour on the drive.
  6. Papa got up early and helped me load up my car and insisted on topping off my gas tank.
  7. Got to experience the whole Gateway weekend in my car.
  8. The great message on the inspiring life of John.
  9. I am the disciple that Jesus loves!
  10. I love my pastor.
  11. My jambox!
  12. Corn nuts.
  13. Beau came home to a new big girl room thanks to her wonderful dad!
  14. Josh did a great job painting, hanging curtains, putting together furniture, and getting her bedding all fixed up.
  15. She was so excited she decided to skip lunch and take a nap first.
  16. She took a looong nap!
  17. Her sweet little brown head of hair and her little body fast asleep in her big bed.  So tiny and so grown up all at the same time.
  18. I took a much needed long nap.
  19. Fun night in bed watching the Oscars with Joshua!
  20. “Paperman” won the Oscar for best animated short film.  One of the best things I watched last year.
  21. Josh came home from a full day at church and unloaded the car and unpacked my suitcases.
  22. I was not feeling very good today and Josh let me lay around while he entertained the kids.
  23. Kleenex!
  24. I was able to share the blog I wrote yesterday about choosing to put on the garment of praise with a 2 ladies that both said they needed to read that very thing at that very moment.  So cool!
  25. Very few people get to experience all of Beau’s awesomeness… I’m glad I’m one of them.
  26. Josh was so happy to see me and the kids when he got home.
  27. There’s no place like home!

Day 202

When I was growing up the lady next door who was completely obsessed with Elvis, living room covered in wall paper with his face on it obsessed, would always check the mail in her pajamas and a robe… long past the pajama wearing time of day.  Me and my friends would have already been on a bike ride, made up a cheer routine, played hide and seek, had hotdogs for lunch, and watched a few episodes of “Salute Your Shorts” when she finally decided to get out and look to see what the mail man had brought her.  I have to admit that there are days when I stay in my pajamas long past the pajama wearing time of day, but they are few and far between, most everyday I go to my closet and pick out something to wear.  I think it’s safe to say most of you reading this do the same thing.  I never see people leave their house with out any clothes on, thank the Lord.  Everyone I know gets dressed physically every single day, they don’t have a problem with that, but I do run into a lot of people who forget to get dressed spiritually.

Isaiah 61:3 is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible.

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Jesus came to the earth and gave his life for us and in the process gave us beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, but for some reason people would rather lay around in their ashes, mourning, and heaviness instead of receiving what Jesus has so graciously provided for them.

A garment is something you have to choose to put on.  I was not born with jeans on, I have to choose to put them on every morning.  Likewise, you don’t wake up everyday and automatically have the garment of praise on, you have to choose to put it on!  It should be vital to you!

We all have days where we wake up on the wrong side of bed, that spirit of heaviness is really weighing us down, but we don’t have to go through the rest of our day like that.  We can lift that spirit of heaviness by putting on the garment of praise.

We delivered our son still born at 6:06 a.m. and the days following I would wake up to do my quiet time around that same time of day and I could get to feeling pretty heavy, but I was determined not to stay in a dark place, I was determined to take that spirit off and replace it with a garment of praise.  The time that the devil intended to get me feeling depressed was instead turned into a time of worshipping the one who was sent to heal the broken hearted.  6:00 a.m. is now one of my favorite times of day, it’s when I get dressed, it’s when I decide that no matter what the day may hold, I’m putting on my garment of praise.

Get dressed today!  I promise, a garment of praise will look fantastic on you!

  1. God gives beauty for ashes!
  2. God gives the oil of joy for mourning!
  3. God gives the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness!
  4. Jesus was sent to heal the broken hearted.
  5. 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m., what a sweet time of day!
  6. I had a fun childhood.
  7. Lilia & Crystal… my childhood best friends who lived right across the street from us.
  8. My niece Ryan was over this morning and helping with the kids while I was getting ready.  She’s so good with them.
  9. My family held it’s 8th annual Monopoly Tournament today!  I love having a special tradition that no one else I know has.
  10. Gus gave me a lecture in the car on the way over to play to remind me that even if I lost I had to have a good attitude and be nice to everyone.
  11. I lost!  I hate losing especially when I was going for a 3-peat, but I had a fun table and was able to keep my good attitude and be nice to everyone.
  12. $10 consolation prize!
  13. Yummy frito chili pie and hot dogs for lunch.
  14. Got to see almost all of my siblings and almost all of my nieces and nephews!
  15. Laughed so hard today I had to take a knee.
  16. Beau took a pretty good nap even with all the noise.
  17. Got to celebrate my niece Afton’s birthday with her.
  18. Yum Yum Cake!
  19. My sister Mindy brought 4 bags full of purses and let all the girls pick out whichever ones we wanted!
  20. My nephew Tate’s awesome dance moves.
  21. 94.1 my old favorite radio station.
  22. Your Smiling Face by James Taylor.  One of my favorites!!
  23. Bueno round two, Grammy and Grampy’s treat.
  24. Ran into my sweet friend J.J. tonight and give her a good hug!  What a fun surprise!
  25. Josh!  These trips to Tulsa are much more tiring without him.
  26. Josh finished Beau’s room and sent me a pic.  Looks so cute!  Can’t wait for her to see it tomorrow!
  27. In bed by 9:30!

Day 201

It seems like we are shoe shopping for my four year old son Gus every couple of months.  His feet seem to grow overnight.  One day his shoes fit fine and the next they feel too small.  When my husband Josh was a little boy every time he got a new pair of shoes his dad would tell him, “I bet you can run faster in those” and then he would look down at his watch and pretend to time Josh as he ran around as fast as he could while really believing his new shoes were improving his speed.  The tradition lives on.  Gus loves getting a new pair of shoes and running around while Josh times him.  New shoes just make you feel good.

In Luke 15 when the prodigal son returns home his father gives him a robe, a ring, and shoes.  Yesterday I wrote about the significance of the ring, today I want to share about the shoes.  When the son left home I’m sure he left in a nice pair of shoes.  His father seems like the kind of guy that would have provided his son with whatever kind of shoes he desired, but somewhere between partying and sleeping with pigs the son lost his shoes.  He returned barefoot.  If you went around barefoot in those days it meant that you were a slave… someone owned you, but didn’t care enough about you to buy you a pair of shoes.  His father did not allow him to stay barefoot, he put shoes on him right away, he gave him back his freedom.

Jesus did the same thing for me.  Without Him I would be walking around barefoot, a slave to sin.  But instead I’m wearing a priceless pair of shoes… shoes that actually make me run better.

Psalm 18:29 For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall.

For by Jesus and the freedom that we now live in we can run against a troop and leap over the highest walls!  We are no longer walking around barefoot and chained to death, but we are free to run, free to dance, and free to live for Him!  He has called us all to run a race and running a race with no shoes on our feet and chains around our ankles would be impossible. Thank God we don’t fall into the “no shoes, no shirt, no service” category.  We can run our race in the best possible running shoes available because Jesus has set us free!

John 8:36 (AMP) So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.

  1. I’m not a barefoot slave to sin!
  2. Jesus made me free and I am free indeed!
  3. I can run against a troop and leap over a wall!
  4. I Am Free To Run by Deperation Band.
  5. The tradition of getting new shoes, running, and being timed to see if they really make you faster.
  6. I am the proud mom of a healthy four year old boy that is growing like crazy.
  7. My newest nephew Gabriel David was born this morning!  8 pounds, 5 oz and already has little rolls.
  8. Josh got our car all set for travel… installed DVD players, filled us up with Gas, and loaded all of our luggage.
  9. Gateway Worship kept me company for most of my drive to Tulsa.
  10. Safe trip with no accidents or car trouble.
  11. Twizzlers.
  12. Beau came down with something that made her feel awful on the drive up.   I was so glad Nana was home and let me drop her off and rest while I dropped Gus off at my mom and dads.
  13. We prayed for Beau and believed for healing and she woke up from a nap visibly better and had a fun night hanging out with Nana, Papa, and her cousin Ryan.
  14. Gus had a blast hanging out with Grammy, Grampy, Norah and some of his cousins.
  15. Papa unloaded all of my bags and took them upstairs for me.
  16. Papa got us Taco Bueno for dinner.
  17. Papa knew I was exhausted and put Gus to bed for me tonight.
  18. Beau slept on me for a while tonight.  So sweet.
  19. Pillowtop mattress.  Seriously, I gotta get me one of these.
  20. Josh stayed in Texas and worked hard all day on Beau’s big girl room.  She’s going to be so surprised when she gets back home!
  21.  Big dirty work trucks with bumper stickers like “Vote the Bible.”  Gotta love being right in the middle of the Bible Belt.
  22. Nana let us borrow her humidifier.
  23. My mom had a thermometer so I didn’t have to buy one… happy to find out Beau wasn’t running a temp!
  24. Got to see the finished Bows my mom made for Beau’s Minnie party and they are awesome!
  25. Grammy also got her a Minnie suitcase to store her Bows in and a cash register so she can really play Minnie’s Bow-tique!
  26. Woke up to the sweetest note from the sweetest husband.
  27. After a long day of driving and taking Gus to and from my parents house he put his little hand on my shoulder and said, “you know I love you, right?”  Made me feel so appreciated.  Love that little boy.

Day 200

10 years ago today I got my very favorite piece of jewelry… my engagement ring.  After a surprise wake up call from some of my friends, a 4 hour drive from Tulsa to Dallas, a shopping spree at the Galleria, my first massage, manicure and pedicure and a day full of anticipation to see my boyfriend who was responsible for all of the adventure… I ended up at Papa Brothers on Lombardy Lane.  I walked in and there he was.  Long shaggy hair complete with suit and tie.  We had an amazing dinner… I think… I don’t really remember the food because I knew that at any minute he was going to ask me to marry him.  We ordered dessert, the waiter wiped the crumbs off of our table with his fancy crumb blade, and a few minutes later a tray of chocolate covered strawberries came out and sitting in the center was my ring.  Josh got down one on knee and asked me to marry him.  I of course said yes and he slid a beautiful round cut diamond ring onto my finger.  I don’t have the dress I wore that night, or the heels, my nail polish from the manicure eventually chipped, I don’t have a picture of the strawberries, or a receipt from our dinner, but I still have my ring.

I was excited to find out this week that God has placed a ring on my finger too.  In Luke 15 Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son and in verse 22 when he has returned, the father rejoicing tells his servants to bring him three things for his son.  A robe, a ring, and sandals.  Each item has a spiritual meaning, but today I just want to focus on that ring.

Why a ring?  A ring in scripture represents authority.

Esther 8:8 You yourselves (Mordecai & Esther) write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.

Mordecai had no authority on his own, but because the king gave him his ring he now operated in the same authority that the king himself operated in.  Whatever was written and sealed with that ring could not be revoked.  That’s some pretty serious authority.

The prodigal son received a ring from his father so everyone would know that he was not coming back as a servant, but as a son who operated in the same authority that his father did.  When we made the decision to live for God and obey His word He put a ring on our finger enabling us to walk in the same authority that Jesus walked in when He was on the earth.

He also gave us a something that was written in His name and when sealed with our ring can not be revoked.  You probably own a copy of it… it’s called the Holy Bible, the written word of God!

Have you used your ring of authority today?   Have you taken the promises found in God’s word and sealed them with it?  It’s not a bad idea, because whatever you seal in the name of Jesus can not be revoked!

Matthew 18:18 Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

We have been given authority to trample over all the power of the enemy, let’s walk in it!  Let’s take the priceless ring that God has placed on our finger and get to sealin’!

  1. The ring of authority God has placed on my finger.
  2. We have the power to trample over all the power of the enemy.
  3. Whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
  4. The written Word of God when sealed with my ring can not be revoked!
  5. My engagement ring.
  6. Pastor Richard & Nancy Salazar for taking Josh shopping at the diamond district in LA and helping him find my ring.
  7. Chris & Lisa Munch who drove me to Dallas and all around Dallas to help Josh accomplish his mission.
  8. Josh has always gone above and beyond for me.
  9. Found the perfect black dress and shoes to buy for that very special night.
  10. Papa Bros.  I’ve been back since and was able to focus on the food… it’s amazing.
  11. Josh asked me to marry him!!!  I can still see him down on one knee in his suit and long hair.
  12. We planned most of our wedding on the drive back to Tulsa that night and got married 4 months later!  Yay for short engagements!
  13. Beau kept telling me I was “pity” this morning… even though I didn’t feel “pretty” in my robe and glasses.
  14. Josh took the girls out to lunch!
  15. 5th St Cafe.  Always a treat!!
  16. Beau shared some of her raspberry cupcake with me.  I’m not a big fan of cupcakes but this was no ordinary cupcake.  It was divine.
  17. Got 2 blogs written this afternoon so I’ll be able to take some time off of writing while in Tulsa.
  18. Gus had an all green, tooth fairy meeting day at school!  He said she was beautiful.
  19. The cold, gloomy morning turned into a bright, beautiful afternoon.
  20. Gussy got his hair cut!  Nice being able to see his eyes for a change.
  21. Splitting a banana split from Double Dip with my 3 favorite people in all of the world.
  22. The nuts on the banana splits at Double Dip are SO good… it’s nuts.
  23. The credit card machine was down as we got our ice cream for free!
  24. I Only Have Eyes For You.  Good song Josh used to woo me with back in the day.
  25. Yummy dinner!
  26. Josh filled my car up with gas and the gift card my mom sent was enough to cover it all and to buy road trip snacks for tomorrow.
  27. Josh & Beau making me and Gus laugh so hard tonight we almost spit out our ice cream.

Day 199

The other day I was talking with a friend who is going through an intense time of transition and she said something that just totally stood out to me.  “Just when you think you trust Him and you have faith, He calls you to go deeper still.”

I know, I have some pretty profound friends right?  I went to bed thinking about that statement and when I woke up I read a story in my Bible that went along so perfectly with it.  A story we all know and have read and heard countless times, but just because we’ve read and heard it countless times doesn’t mean that we have learned everything we can from it.

In Genesis 21 Abraham and Sarah welcome Isaac, the baby boy God had promised them, into the world.  Finally, after learning to trust God and walk by faith they were able to see, hear, and touch the faithfulness of God… it was no longer just a promise it was a reality.  I’m sure they were feeling pretty good about their walk with God and maybe even thinking they had reached the ultimate place of faith in Him, but they had no idea that God would call Abraham to go even deeper, and to trust God even more in the very next chapter.

Genesis 22: 1-2 Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called.  “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”  “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”

Some time later… I’m not exactly sure how much later, but many scholars think Isaac was a grown 30 something year old man at this point.  Now, after all of these years God tells Abraham to kill his son.  This makes absolutely no sense!  None whatsoever!  Why would God make such a big deal out of Abraham and Sarah having a son and tell them that their descendants would be uncountable and then ask Abraham to kill his son, who had yet to have any children?  Why would God say something that was so against the previous promises He had made to Abraham?  I think it’s because He was calling Abraham to go deeper.  He knew Abraham had great faith, Isaac was LIVING PROOF, but He knew there was more in Him and He wanted Abraham to see it.

Abraham obeyed.  Just like that.  He did not stall.  He did not ask questions.  He got up the next morning, packed his knife and started toward the mountain where God had told him to go.  I imagine he didn’t sleep great the night before, but I think that as he tossed and turned he convinced himself  that there was no way God would take Isaac’s life and with it the promise God had made him.  He put all of his trust in the fact that God would raise Isaac from the dead.

He went through with it, trusting God the entire time and right before he was about to take the life of his beloved son, God stopped Him and provided a ram to take the place of Isaac.  If Abraham’s story had ended in Genesis 21 we would have been pretty impressed that he and his 99 year old wife were able to have a baby, but I think he gets the title “The Father Of Our Faith” because of Genesis 22.

He was at a great place of trust and faith in God after having Isaac, but he was willing to go deeper.  I think many of us get to that place where we think we are doing good and we’re trusting God and we are content to stay there and then when God asks us to go deeper we don’t.  We just stay put in our happy place… happy is good, but growing is better.

When a challenge arises or when you feel God wants you to do something that makes absolutely no sense to you, don’t be afraid.  He wants to show you just how much faith you really have and just how mighty He really is.  If He is calling you to go deeper still, go deeper!

  1. Such great wisdom from such a great friend.
  2. When God calls us to go deeper we realize how much faith we have in Him and how faithful He really is.
  3. God will never lead us to go so deep we are in over our heads.  He only calls us to do things that He knows we can do!
  4. Me, Josh, & Gus all happened to be reading the same story about Abraham & Isaac this week.
  5. Gus & Beau had a great time at their friend Alex’s house.
  6. I enjoyed spending the morning with my sweet friend Sayra.
  7. Sayra made me lunch.
  8. Beau took a nice long rainy day nap this afternoon.
  9. I got a lot done at work this afternoon.  My desk is almost clear, my inbox is empty, and I have no voicemails I need to check!
  10. My family and friends got to enjoy a beautiful snow in Tulsa this morning.
  11. The roads should be nice and clear before Friday so I won’t have to miss the Monopoly Tournament.
  12. I went camping, fishing, and to the beach with Gus and Beau all without having to leave the house.
  13. My White Noise App.  The kids loved using it to set the sounds for wherever we were pretending to be.
  14. 18 years ago today my sweet niece Afton was born!!
  15. The time we got to spend with Afton every Wednesday night before church when we lived in Tulsa.  Miss that!
  16. Afton was the star in one of the best Thanksgiving memories ever.
  17. God is not done with Afton!  I know He’s got good plans for her life… plans to prosper her and to give her a hope and a future.
  18. The adorable conversation that took place between Josh & Beau when he got home from work.  She was so serious talking about the Baby Goofy she saw on Micky Mouse Clubhouse.
  19. Left overs for dinner night.
  20. Watching Josh, Gus, & Beau play follow the leader dance party style.
  21. Knock knock jokes with Gussy.
  22. Took some time to read through my whole Real Simple magazine!
  23. Nice relaxing bath.
  24. AI night!
  25. Gus’ friend Alex sent him a video message to remind him to have a great day tomorrow.  Gus is going to love it.
  26. I woke up last night and looked at my phone thinking it was almost time to get up… it was 11:30 p.m.!  What a nice surprise… it wasn’t time to wake up I still I had 6.5 hours left to sleep!
  27. We were planning on driving out to North Park tomorrow and when I was praying about something else I felt like we weren’t supposed to go.  I believe it was the Holy Spirit protecting us.  God is good!

Day 198

Every time I go to Babies R Us and see the signs in the parking lot that read “this spot is reserved for expectant mothers” I’m always tempted to park in those spots.  Not because I’m always pregnant, but because I am always expecting!

Everyone is expectant if you really stop and think about it.  My daughter Beau was expecting to get to ride the Elmo firetruck when we pulled in to the parking lot.  I was expecting to find a gift for my sister in law.  A grandpa was expecting to find a toy for his grandson.  The new mom was expecting to find the perfect rocking chair for her nursery.  Everyone who entered the store today was expecting… weather they were aware of it or not.

Philippians 1:20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but will all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 

I love this verse.  Paul is in chains, yet he is earnestly expecting a move from God.  The Greek expresses to earnestly expect as “expectation with uplifted head and outstretched neck.”  Paul is not just sitting around waiting for something to happen he is eagerly desiring God to do something amazing like a baby bird eagerly desires its mother to drop some food its mouth.  His head is lifted up and his neck is stretched toward heaven in earnest expectation.

I think sometimes we are afraid to expect things of God or maybe we think it’s rude… I mean after all, He did already send His one and only son to die for us, isn’t that enough?  Of course Jesus is enough, but there is nothing wrong with expecting God to work in your life.  He wants us to expect great things from Him because He loves to show us how great He is!

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.  This lets us know that it’s okay to ask and think and expect things from God, because if we aren’t asking or thinking about the things we would like to see Him do then how will it be possible for him to go exceedingly abundantly above those things?

If I want to do something just completely over the top for my son, I need him to have an expectation first.  If I take him to Braum’s and he’s expecting an ice cream cone and I get him a banana split with extra cherries on top he will know that I have gone exceedingly abundantly above what he was expecting.

God wants us to wake up everyday earnestly expecting, to get out of bed with an uplifted head and an outstretched neck, in hopes that He is going to go beyond our wildest dreams.  Ask, think, and expect great things of God so he can show you greater things!

  1. God wants to go above and beyond all that we ask or think.
  2. He’s able to go above and beyond all that we ask or think!
  3. We can wake up earnestly expecting God to do great things in our lives.
  4. Babies R Us for being so thoughtful to offer close spots to all the “expecting” mammas.
  5. I got what I was expecting… a gift for my little nephew who will make his entrance into the world on Friday!
  6. Sweet little fluffy haired Gus climbing into my chair and resting on me while I finished my quiet time.
  7. Beau’s goal at lunch was making everyone who laid eyes on her smile… she achieved it.
  8. She never gets her feelings hurt when someone mistakes her for a boy.  Crazy people!  She’s way too pretty to be a boy!
  9. In N Out!  Seriously, it’s so awesome I can just go there for lunch whenever I want to.
  10. Clean house!
  11. Beau was so happy to get a $1 thing of new bubbles.
  12. Beau picked out her outfit today and she looked adorable.  Who says it has to be raining to wear your favorite green rain boots?
  13. Another beautiful afternoon!
  14. Gus told me they talked about how much God loved them at school today.
  15. Gus got a pretty bad black eye today when he ran into something at recess, but his actual eye was protected.
  16. Beau comes in the kitchen every night while I’m making dinner and asks me “whatcha makin?”  She was excited when I answered with egg rolls.
  17. Everyone enjoyed their dinner and both kids cleaned their plates.
  18. Josh brought home surprise ice cream sandwiches and totally made the kids night!
  19. We found Gus’ bat mobile that has been missing for months!
  20. Pushing my big girl on the swing.
  21. My last few nights reading to Beau in the nursery rocking chair.
  22. I had 2 great showers when I was pregnant with Beau and she had such a pretty nursery thanks to all of our family and friends.
  23. New Elephant & Piggie Book “Let’s Go For A Drive.”
  24. The bubbles only cost $1.  Gus spilled them after about 30 seconds of them being opened.
  25. Very relaxing night in bed watching one of my favorite shows with my favorite person.
  26. Josh got out of bed to check on the kids and set the alarm when neither of us felt like doing it.
  27. Got Beau laughing so hard tonight she could barely breath.