Thursday, January 31, 2013

"I am Free"

(by Desperation Band) I Am Free (Live) - From the Rooftops

During devotional time at staff meeting this week, we got a little peek at what Neil will be preaching on this Sunday. We're currently going through the book of Romans & will be looking at a bit of Abraham's history, specifically where he believed what God had promised. Neil asked us what God has told us that we have a hard time believing. Wade answered first. Then after a somewhat awkward silence, Neil asked me why my eyebrows were raised...

I know what I struggle with & thought that the timing of his question was interesting since I had just mentioned this briefly on Saturday (the part at the end about identifying with the line about the cage). I was thinking about that when I realized that I was wearing the necklace that Marcie gave me. And apparently my eyebrows gave away the fact that I had an answer to his question.

For the record, this doesn't plague me in the sense that I mope around feeling chained or anything. Most of the time, I know and believe that I am free. But there are times when I doubt my freedom. There are times when I still battle those ugly lies from the enemy. And there's a part of me that's a little bit afraid of how I'll continue to handle things [mentally] now that I'm exercising again. I'm OK right now, but I know how my mind works. And the enemy knows how my mind works, too. And he also knows that if Jesus made me free, I am free indeed (my paraphrase of John 8:36). But he doesn't want me to know and believe that.

One thing that's great about God, though, is that He knows all of this, too. And He is more powerful than our enemy. He loves me and continues to remind me that I am free, and that I should believe what He says. In addition to the things I mentioned earlier, there have been at least a couple of other things...After staff meeting, I had to look over a document to prepare for a missions training that's coming up. The first words I saw on the page were, "You are free." ü And God repeated the whole mindset [of believing what He has promised] through a study I just started this week. Our reading this morning was most likely some of the same scripture that Neil will be preaching from on Sunday, yet this study is completely separate from my church; therefore, it was not intentionally placed before me by church staff in order for our church body to be thinking on these verses or anything like that (if that makes sense). Anyways, what I read today contained these words, "In hope against hope he believed...according to that which had been spoken..." (Romans 4:18)

So today I am thankful that God has spoken this to me so many times this week. I don't know if He is strengthening me for a battle later, or if He just wants to remind me now so I won't battle it later. Either way, I'm thankful! What about you? Is there something God has spoken to you that you have a hard time believing? I would be honored to pray with you about it. You can either leave me a comment below, or click "Email me" (under the header/to the right of the song) if it's more private than you care to share in the comments. May it be said of us what was said about Anna in Luke 1:45, "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” ♥


Saturday, January 26, 2013

"Disaster Road"

(by NEEDTOBREATHE) Disaster Road (B-Side) - Keep Your Eyes Open EP (Songs from the Reckoning Sessions)

Disaster Road (B-Side) by Needtobreathe on Grooveshark

This has been a good week, except for Mister Christopher ending up with the flu! :/ The good parts of my week consisted of...

...a school holiday that allowed me to sleep in a little {I needed that desperately!}

...winning a little giveaway & browsing through the artwork from Show Offs Art! :)

...finishing up my study with Laura {& enjoying a delicious breakfast casserole}

...worship practice with Laurien, Julie, and girl named Michelle {for a CR meeting at Michelle's church next week}

...MOPS {& yet another yummy breakfast!}

...dinner with a new friend that has recently joined our community group

...completing two days of the C25K {& I'm not gonna lie...there are times that I have to repeat, "This is for Kirby...This is for Kirby...This is for Kirby..." It feels good to get back out there, though!}

...a Sweet Sixteen party for one of our students {my first one is a super long time!}

...celebrating Marcie's birthday with my birthday girls!

...a lot of NTB {again!} Today's song is my favorite one from the Keep Your Eyes Open EP (Songs From The Reckoning Sessions). I'm not exactly sure what made it my favorite, but I can relate the part that says, "I'm in a cage I've chosen, 'cause it feels like home." That line jumped out at me the very first time I heard the song. That's where I was for a loooong time: in a cage of my own choosing, because it was what I was familiar with. But God wants so much more for us than that! And today's song reminds me that I'm no longer stuck in that cage, because He has set me free!

Alrighty, I better get to bed soon! I hope y'all are having a super great weekend! ♥


Thursday, January 24, 2013


(by Josh Garrels) Run - Love & War: B-Sides & Remixes EP

Run by Josh Garrels on Grooveshark

Well, y'all, I'm officially training for a 5K. I know it's not much compared to Brooke's much longer races, but it's a big deal for this girl who hasn't run a race in nearly 22 years. For the record, I was the first girl to cross the finish line in the last 5K that I ran. But in the interest of full disclosure, I only ran because Coach made me. And I only finished first in my gender because the rest of my cross country & track teams were at a basketball tournament or something. My running history consists of cross country & track during my freshman and sophomore years in high school, and that is all. I lettered in cross country my sophomore year in high school; and after running a couple of track meets in the spring, I pretty much quit running. Though I had the endurance to finish a distance race, it really wasn't something I excelled at or enjoyed.

But I have good reason to take up running again, however briefly this may cousins' college is hosting a wellness run, and the proceeds of the 5K benefit my amazing cousin Kirby! I've mentioned him numerous times, so I won't go into all of the details this time. But if you're new around here  or don't remember, he's the big brother of my beautiful cousin Kendra and my equally beautiful {ha ha!} & awesome cousin Kevin! And he has fought an incredibly tough battle with stupid cancer. I have supported him in prayer throughout his battle, and I know that many of you have as well. And now I am excited to be a part of this benefit for him! So I started a Couch to 5K training program yesterday, and I'm sore 'cuz I'm terribly out of shape! I could just walk the 5K, but I needed some motivation to get back into exercise. And if Kirby has what it takes to get back out there and run, then surely I can do it, too!

If you'd like to know just how amazing my sweet cousin Kirby is, you can read this beautiful article about him &/or watch this video for his story:

And if you have any tips &/or running essentials that I should know about, I'm open to any & all suggestions!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Save You"

(by Matthew Perryman Jones) Save You - Until the Dawn Appears

Once again, this isn't the song I listened to the most. That song would actually be MPJ's "Home", but I can't find it anywhere to post for you. I'm sorry! It's really good, though. {You can listen to a tiny bit of it on iTunes, if you'd like to hear it!} So I picked today's song for two reasons: 1) I like it, and 2) I took a CPR class this morning & could possibly save you, if necessary! ;) To be completely honest, I feel much more competent in my ability to save an infant, though. You have to push hard to save an adult, and I'm not very strong! The instructor said repeatedly that your adrenaline would kick in, and you'd be surprised at how much strength you'd have in the moment. I'm going to trust her on that & hope that I never have to find out for myself...

Anyways...this week has been pretty uneventful. I was under the weather for most of it. So if I wasn't working, I was chillin' at home. I even took a nap once or twice, which is very rare for me. One exciting thing was that I got to meet my friend Sarah's baby girl! No, I didn't hold her with my sick germs! I only peeked in on her while she was asleep. She is absolutely adorable, though, and I look forward to holding her when I am well!

The only other fun thing I did this week have coffee with Laurien after we searched all over the world county for the building where my kiddos' rodeo art was on display. I had received an invitation from the school district, but it only listed a building name without an address. When I searched online, there were two listings...neither of which showed up on a map. I called Elly's school & was told that it was across from the fairgrounds, but Laurien & I drove all over that area and couldn't find it. I met some nice ladies at the civic center, though, and they called the school district only to discover that it was clear across town...good times. We ended up making it on time, and all was well! Sigh.

Alrighty, I'm going to see if I can finish up a scarf while I watch a little TV with my sweet boy! I hope y'all are having a super great weekend! ♥


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Said Too Much"

(by NEEDTOBREATHE) Said Too Much (B Side) - The Outsiders (Deluxe Version)

Said Too Much (B Side) by Needtobreathe on Grooveshark

I hope y'all aren't disappointed in me, but today's song is one of NTB's older ones that I had never heard of until a few days ago. I really thought I was a fan. In my defense, it's a B-side song. It's on the Deluxe Version of The Outsiders. I bought the album at a store that only carried the regular one. I thought there were only acoustic versions of a couple of the songs from the album & somehow never realized that there was an additional song on there. I know. I'm ashamed of myself. Sadly, the song is only available with the album, so I don't really have a way to get it legally without buying the whole album again.

This discovery sparked a little investigation to see what else I may be missing. It appears as if I have all of their "official" stuff, but there were four albums from their early years {three self-released EPs & one they released at a festival or something: The FeatureSoulRock ReviewFire, and Turnaround} that aren't available online. One day I will find them...For now, I will listen what I can find on YouTube & such.

That's all I've got...I think I need a new series or something. I hope y'all are having a great week!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

"Through Smoke"

(by NEEDTOBREATHE) Through Smoke - The Outsiders (Deluxe Version)

I've been listening to NTB most of the week, but today's song isn't really the one I listened to the most (once again). I've already posted that one {twice, actually!} But I have valid reasons to post this one today, and I'll probably use more words than necessary to tell y'all about it {as usual}...I was sitting at a red light on my way to MOPS yesterday when I noticed some smoke coming from Silvie's engine. I turned around to take her to the car shop in front of my neighborhood, but she quit smoking once I started moving again. I tried to convince myself that the smoke had been from the car in front of me & decided that I really needed to get to MOPS, especially since I had a couple of items for breakfast, and it was my turn for the Mentor Moment...

Decision made, I headed back toward the church. It was then that I heard Bear singing the chorus of today's song & had to laugh! It reminded me of another time Silvie had some issues, and I heard The Reliques saying, "Mama warned me there'd be days like this..." {which, ironically, I mentioned in a post that I already referenced in the first paragraph!} Unfortunately, she started smoking again while I sat at the next red light {'cuz it's a rule that you have to hit every red light when you're running behind, right?!} At that point, I was over half way to the church. So I kept going, praying that I'd make it without Silvie exploding or something. {I kept an eye on the temperature gauge, in case you think I was being completely irresponsible!} Wade & Aaron looked under the hood later & discovered that I was out of coolant. Long story short: Silvie is all fixed up, and she shouldn't be exploding any time soon.

In other news...I've had a sore throat for two weeks, and now I'm siiiiiiick! :( It probably didn't help that I stayed up way too late at a sleepover at The Warehouse last night, huh? I'll take some Nyquil tonight & try to get to bed early. Maybe I'll feel like new in the morning?

Our friend Dave E. Crockett finally came over to see his namesake. I wish I could say that I was able to hide him away until next year's Christmas party, but it was not meant to be. Wheeler has procured more historical figures & is in the process of painting them for display at my home. Isn't that nice? We currently have an extra Davy (for Dave) and Sam Houston.

There are two more figures to complete what the guys in my home group affectionately refer to as The Mount Rushmore of Texas History. Oh joy! :/

The rest of my week consisted of work & a little bit of time with friends! Heather is visiting from Costa Rica, and we got together for coffee one morning! Jana & I got together that afternoon, and I watched her do laundry. {Did I even offer to help? Did I explain that I had a migraine?} I became aware of the fact that I owe y'all an apology for posting the video about Elly's Halloween costume & not warning you that there was absolutely no reason to watch the entire 3+ minutes of it. I'm sorry! Nothing exciting happens at any point. :/

As y'all probably saw, Cody turned 12 on Thursday! He wanted burgers for dinner, but Chris had a meeting. So I grilled burgers for the first time ever! They turned out alright, but I had to put them back on the grill after I had already brought them inside. I think I'll leave the grilling to Chris from now on. We also had ice cream cake, and I made that successfully! Alex came over last night, and we had pizza & yummy brownies! They didn't want to simply smile for a picture, so this is the best I got:


I guess that's all for now! I hope y'all are having a super great weekend! ♥


Thursday, January 10, 2013


(by Ben Rector) Hank - Songs That Duke Wrote

Hank by Ben Rector on Grooveshark

12 years ago today, this sweet boy was born:

He is smart, funny, wise, compassionate, and basically amazing. He is my absolute favorite boy, and I am so proud to be his mom! ♥

P.S. I know that: 1) Cody's name isn't Hank, and 2) this song is written from an uncle's point of view. But the words are still super words of advice for my sweet boy! ü

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"All the Faint Lights"

(by Steve Moakler) All the Faint Lights - All the Faint Lights

Once again, I have almost forgotten about my Saturday post. Considering the busyness this time of year & that nobody appears to have seen my last post, I don't suppose anyone would miss this one. But because the main reason I blog is for myself to have a fun little place to record some memories, I'll proceed! This week I...

...was called "pint-sized but dangerous" by my baby brother {ha ha! I'm a little bit bigger than pint-sized, but the dangerous part makes me laugh!}

...drove to the lake with my family to spend a few days with Uncle Dan & Aunt Sheryl!

...also got to spend a few days with these cute kids:

...was quite surprised at how well Pepper got along with Quincy!

...saw a female Cardinal!

{Jennifer, didn't I recently tell you that I had never seen one?!} to see our old pastor & his wife, as well as our good friend Erick before heading home :)

...ran some errands & enjoyed a delicious lunch with my baby girl

...spent a relaxing day at Amy's

...accomplished a lot of things at work {despite a mild meltdown ~ I hate when frustration leaks out as tears. In front of people. And especially in front of male people}

...had an impromptu date night with my mister after realizing that both kids would be at friends' houses!

...slept in {a few times!} Elizabeth a new phone for $1! {Her old one broke a long time ago, and she has been super great about using Freddy & Cara's old one all of this time. She was finally due for an upgrade, so we were able to get her new one for super cheap! Yay!}

...finally took down our Christmas decorations

...have no idea what I listened to the most, but I love this song! It's also on the October Baby soundtrack (like another Steve Moakler song that I've posted). My favorite part is:

So show me the way
I wanna be like that
I wanna hear You call my name and not look back

I hope y'all are having a super great weekend!! ♥


Thursday, January 3, 2013


(by Jenny & Tyler) Abide - Open Your Doors

I'm a little behind with my year end recap. With the whole Mayan calendar thing, I didn't think I needed to get one ready {just kidding!} Let's see...2012...

My sweet boy turned 11 in January! He participated in art in both the spring & fall. At church camp, he won the "I Am Third" award again! ♥ He started middle school this year & has really enjoyed being a part of the FCS (Fellowship of Christian Students) in his new school. He continues to be such a thoughtful boy, and he is always making us laugh with his witty humor! :)

Our spring was full of good times...we received a visit from Christopher's dad, baby girl & I went on a little mission trip over Spring Break, I went to New Orleans with Amy & Marcie, and the kids & I participated in goingLOCAL again!

The kids both went to camp & helped with VBS during the summer. We had several youth events that were super fun {minus a little tug-of-war back injury}, Chris & I celebrated our 16th anniversary, and I got to be in a couple of weddings! First was Jana's sister Julie's wedding in July, where I spent a few days decorating the church with their family. Then our family drove up to the panhandle for Kendra's wedding in August, where I was her Matron of Honor!

My baby girl turned 14 in October! She still loves writing, and had a wonderfully encouraging ELA teacher in 7th grade. Though she wasn't able to be in the journalism class in 8th grade, she is doing well in Spanish and is in the advanced art class at school this year. She continues to be involved in the youth group at church. I know this is so different from what many parents say, but I am so thoroughly happy with my teenager!

I got to lead a couple of Bible studies this year {the books of John & Luke}, finished up my list of 1,000 gifts, and decorated my laundry room! I started working at the church this fall, where I am a bit spoiled to be working with people that I love! A few highlights of my year include a couple of great concerts {Gungor & NTB}, my baby brother's release from prison, and being with all three of my brothers on the day after Christmas!

Mister Christopher had cataract surgery in January. Though his vision is currently just CF 1', his ocular oncologist can see into his eye better now. I suppose that makes it all worth it! He spoke at an OM conference in the spring, where he was able to meet many other OM patients and family members that we have come to "know" through our online OM community. He celebrated his 4th cancerversary and became an elder at our church this fall! And his scans have been clear all year, which is {obviously} super!

And because I kept forgetting to post our family pictures, I'll inundate y'all with them now...

I had made it my goal to abide in Christ this year, and it has been the most peaceful, restful year ever (despite busyness at times). Though I can't honestly say that I remained in Him every second of every day, I know that my intentional pursuit of Him and study of His Word has benefitted me greatly. I hope that abiding in Him and remaining in His love will continue to be my goal forever!