Monday, April 30, 2007

WATS Is Over - For Now.....

Whew! WATS is semi-completed! I'm a little disappointed to report that we were unable to paint our nice man's house. The rain came. Rain doesn't come very often to Abilene so we have to be thankful for every drop. Thank you, Father God, for every drop. We were able to throw away 5 pick-up trucks loads of trash and limbs and scrape lots of paint! The kids were out with a saw on a 10-foot pole attempting to saw some dead branches. It was lightening. I made them stop. They informed me that some daddy (I don't know which one) had told them to do it. Mommies, eternally the bad guys.

At 6:00 we had our Celebration Service - I think we were celebrating the fact that we were still standing. Some of weren't. We got to sing the new songs I had posted about and the song "Rising" that we sang several times yesterday. Our kids pictures were on the big screen. I looked over at Abbie (I was sitting with the Praise Team) and she was sleeping. Ahh. I wanted so badly to get up and pick her up. When I finally was able to, she was extra grumpy. She was ready for her own bed!

I'm looking forward to going back next week to finish the job! Sarah can even come since she isn't taking any pictures!

A Cautionary Tale

You know, I told yall to read The Handmaid's Tale and this story out of Iran sounds much like it. This book has been on my mind since I recommended it and when I read the article - there it was again. What would a fundamentalist government look like in the US? We want more Christians in the government but do we want just anybody telling us how to live? Which Christians do we want to follow? And, of course, calling yourself a Christian doesn't necessarily make you a one.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


WATS - We Are The Sermon Day! Amy asked me what WATS stood for and there you are. It's our chance to get out into Abilene and be a sermon. Instead of one man talking from the pulpit, it's hundreds of members working all over town. We been doing this for 3(?) years now and my family looks forward to it every year. Last year our team (which is mainly our Shepherding Group with friends added) worked at 2 houses. This year we will be at one house scrapping and painting. We are helping out a widower with 2 grown daughters and a grandson (I'm pretty sure) living with him. Things have gotten out of hand for this elderly gentleman.

Last year was great. Our kids (all of them in our group) loved working for these people. Of course, our kids don't understand why anyone would live without taking out their trash but they worked without comment. We did talk to Kenny and Abbie about civic responsibility and that not everyone has the same kind of upbringing that they do. It's eye-opening for them.

If you're on our team this year, wear closed toe shoes and try to bring some gloves. Maybe even some to throw out when we're done. (Target Dollar Spot) Another video for you that we will be singing on Sunday night - I don't think we'll be this rocking.....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

WATS Day 2007

WATS Day is coming up on Sunday! We are going to go out into our community and be a sermon to our neighbors. Are you ready?! WooHoo! Jim and our family went to look at the house we'll be working on last night and it needs some work. We will definitely be working. We will not be playing, people. Wear your Git Er Done clothes..... They had a dog and 2 cats so Abbie was thrilled to be there! That girl will pet any animal someone puts in front of her!

I'm hoping to sing on Sunday night at our evening Celebration Gathering - after seeing that house I may still be working. I'm including this video - it's a song we'll be singing on Sunday night. Sam (our worship intern) has written our arrangement so our "ooooos" are a little different but it's a wonderful song. May it be stuck in your head all day!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Coffee Group On The Road!

Yep, The Coffee Group has returned from our Central Texas tour! I saw things I ain't never seen before! There was a large prison where the baddies are housed and the women's prison was next door. Did you know that women prisoners wear capris? Yes, they are white and match their shirts. Yes, we saw them walking around a square the size of two tennis courts in them. Wouldn't that be boring to do all day? Walk. Turn. Walk. Turn. Etc. It made me feel sad for those ladies.

We also drove past Ft. Hood! We saw Army guys out with their tents and their weapons. They seemed to be doing some kind of training. Judy (I Almost Had a Blog Once) wanted to jump out and get our pictures made with them. I think we all wanted to but we were afraid of what they would do if we just "jumped out." They did look pre-occupied.

The retreat was very nice. The site and facilities were good and the ladies appeared interested (for the most part.) We had good questions at the end which made me think that someone was listening. We prayed for them that the Lord would lead them where He wanted them. Sweet women. They also had a Sweet/Salty Snack Contest and we got to eat all different kinds of snacks. Nice. The Coffee Group did what we do best - laughed and laughed. Thanks for praying for us while we were gone. I can't wait to do it again!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Let's Read Some More!

I've decided to begin another reading challenge. I know, I know - when do I ever have the time to read? Or blog? Or clean my house? Reading is one of those things that I need to do. I helps me to relax and opens up my mind to enter into someone else's world
This is the Utopoia/Dystopia Challenge and it hopes to encourage us to read books from the Utopia/Dystopia genre. Lisa at Books. Lists. Life. has come up with idea and I love this kind of book! I remember the first time I read Brave New World - so wonderfully fatalistic. So emotionally gripping - or leave your emotions in the Feely Chair.

So here's my list:

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley I can't wait to re-read it.
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang - Kate Wilhelm This one sounds good. A book about a society of clones - love it!
The Road - Cormac McCarthy Orpahs's new choice for her Book Club. I bought it last week at the Evil Empire.
I would also like to get to The Giver. Several of the books listed were for pre-teens and teens. This is (apparently) rather popular. I can see Kenny wanting to read it soon. I thought I should keep ahead of him.

Join up friends! Summer's almost upon us and this would give you something for beside the pool. (I recommend The Handmaid's Tale. It's great, too!)

Friday, April 20, 2007

"I Believe in the Sun"

I got this off another blog - he had written about a high school concert choir and I loved these words....

“I Believe in the Sun”. The music is by Jonathan Adams but the lyrics are based on a poem written on the wall of a French cellar by Jews hiding from the Nazis during World War II:

I believe in the sun, even when it isn’t shining
believe in love, even when I am lonely
I believe in love, even when feeling it not
I believe in God, even when He is silent
The Coffee Group is leaving this morning for a Ladies Retreat in central Texas. We would love for all of you to pray for us - that God's Word may be spoken and He may be glorified. That whatever God wants said will be said. That we may be only instruments of Him. Pray for our families while we're away. Thanks in advance for your prayers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Traveling Mercies - Review

I finished my first book in the Spring Reading Thing! I'm so happy to check something off my to-do list! I read Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. I've mentioned before that I've been wanting to read this one - she's very popular. Yall know I love popular. The blurb on the front of the book says "Anne Lamott is walking proof that a person can be both reverent and irreverent in the same lifetime. Sometimes even in the same breath." (San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle) I feel like that so often - how could I not pick this book up? That about sums it up. This book is both - at the same time. It's funny and it made me cry and it made me think.

She's not your "traditional" Christian writer. She may not even be someone that I want my children to emulate but she's real. Real counts for something. The book is filled with essays that chronicle her walk with God and some of the truths she's learning on the way. I loved that she didn't have it all together when she became a Christian. I love it that she didn't have it all together by the end of the book. Isn't that what the Christian life is about? Aren't we all just walking (or crawling) towards the goal? Can't some of us be at different places on the path?

One of the passages I marked:

It's funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults has some kind of
inner toolbox, full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of
wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that
life handed you these rusty bent old tools - friendships, prayer, conscience,
honesty-and said, Do the best you can with these, they will have to do.
And mostly, against all odds, they're enough.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Growing Older

Okay, so it's Tuesday and, I'm pretty sure, it's the last day of my birthday celebration. Who knew? I was pretty sure after my trip to Ft. Worth on Thursday - I'd have to call it over. But no. I had a pedicure appointment with the lady who does fantastic nail art on Friday. Now, I had scheduled it over a month ago but I felt that that expense should be called "birthday." (My toes are so cute and I'm scheduled again in 6 weeks.)

Then when I got to school today - it was birthday luncheon day! I had a free lunch and a bag of gifts! Sweet. But it's over now, right? I'm officially ____. No more partying - just reality.


My baby getting older, too. She lost her first tooth last Thursday. She swallowed it while eating lunch at school. I have to say I almost cried that she didn't have it. So when she came yesterday with another one - I had to pull it. I'm super queasy about teeth (it's true, Tammy) but I've found a way to pull them. It came right out and now it's under her pillow waiting for the Tooth Fairy.
Sorry, this picture is from Monday so only 1 tooth is gone. She's much cuter than this, too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

One More Down

Yep, it was my birthday. I tried to find some funny picture but nothing was appealing to me. When I googled, "old lady," she was 87 years old. Or she was a biker chick. I'm not quite there yet. Then there was the standard "birthday cake" - it didn't work for me either. So I didn't post and just went out to eat instead. There was delicious Carino's the night of my birthday and Jim took me for Abuleo's last night. It was really good, too.

Tomorrow is the last official day of my birthday celebration. I'm going to Ft. Worth to get 25% off at the fabric store (for my birthday.) It will be well worth the trip cause I love me some fabric!

Me: Jim got me a MP-3 player for my birthday.
MawMaw: What's that?
Me: An I-Pod.
MawMaw: What's an I-Pod?
Me: It's a thing you can download music into.
MawMaw: Oh.

I leave you thinking on this: what will Abbie be trying to explain to me in 40 years?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Dark Side of Easter

6:30 - I notice Abbie running around in circles. Jim said, "Sugar high." She couldn't seem to stop.

9:00 - On the way back from Mimi's, Abbie fell asleep.

9:10 - Abbie runs into the house crying and carrying on because I'm reading to Kenny (usually Jim's job.) She wants me to quit. Jim takes over and comments that she's coming off her sugar high.

I try to get her to calm down and get ready for bed. She wants me to sleep with her - I've assured her I will stay with her until she falls asleep. I mean, I put kids to sleep for a living, ya know? She gets wound up again at the thought that I will leave her room.

9:34 - I leave. She cries and I cry. Finally she sleeps.

It's Finally Sunday

Yep, it's Sunday. Finally. After 3 days of wondering what was gonna happen next. After being still for the Sabbath. After aching and crying and huddling together in a room. After hurriedly putting Jesus in a tomb. After the insult of having guards posted on a dead man's body. After that horrible scene of our dead son, friend, teacher, leader - it's Finally Sunday.

I learned about the women late. I just wasn't much into Bible reading and when I read about Mary seeing the gardener - it just broke my heart. She begged for the "gardener" to tell her where Jesus was. She would take care of it - if she could just find Him. Oh, how relieved she must have felt when Jesus revealed Himself to her. It was those women first - Jesus revealed how much he loved them by showing Himself to them first. He treated them as more than just some man's property - they were His sisters (or brothers, if you will.)

Thank you, Father, for Sunday. Thank you that Jesus reveals Himself to us every day. We praise You that You didn't forget about the women who lives were in disarray. We thank you that You care for us as much as You did for them. We love you even more because You were able to hold back the angels who would have taken Jesus down. Father, we can never know how horrible it was for You to turn Your back on Jesus while He died but we praise You that You did.

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's Friday....

I love this video! It's the one we all need for today to remember what and who is important.

Celebrate that Sunday's Coming.....

Thursday, April 05, 2007

New and Improved

I've started something new.......Go check it out!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Little Known Facts

How cool is this? My blog is worth $6209.94! Now if I could sell it and use that money to pay off my credit card, I'm sure I'd get the Dave Ramsey award!

Lisa finished reading her first Spring Reading Thing book. CS Lewis wrote sci-fi? Maybe I should read one of his one of these days.

I finished Walk in the Woods. Yoohoo! I'll leave you with this quote from the author, Bill Bryson. (Liked the book, by the way. This guy writes funny.)

I had come to realize that I didn't have any feelings towards the AT that
weren't confused and contradictory. I was weary of the trail, but still
strangely in its thrall; found the endless slog tedious but irresistible;
grew tired if the boundless woods but admired their boundlessness; enjoyed
the escape from civilization and ached for its comforts. I wanted to quit
and to do this forever, sleep in a bed and in a tent, see what was over the next
hill and never see a hill again. All of this at once, every moment, on the
trail or off.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What, Me Encourage?

So many time in my life I've been called a Barnabas - an Encourager. I've never felt that to be true. Aren't Encouragers supposed to encourage? Aren't Encouragers supposed to make you feel better? Don't Encouragers lift you up? Don't Encouragers teach you to be better people?

I've always thought I had a big mouth. I've realized though the years that sometimes my big mouth is funny and sometimes it's cutting. Biting. Digging. Slicing to the core. Sometimes that's needed but not usually. The only people in Jesus's life that he used harsh words with were the Pharisees and the Religious Leaders of His time. I haven't met any Pharisees lately.

One of these days I'll get it. I figure I'll be old and infirm by then. I'll finally quit putting my foot in my mouth. I'll finally say nice, forgiving things about people. I'll finally learn to cut all us sinners some slack. Until then I ask your forgiveness for the stuff I say and write. I know I don't deserve it but I hope you'll give it. I'll try to be funny without hurting some one's feelings.

All of us do many wrong things. But if you can control your tongue, you are mature and able to control your whole body.
James 3:2