Thursday, April 30, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Last weekend when we left for Chattanooga I noticed that my iris were just about ready to explode. I thought about them several times over the weekend and hoped that they would wait on me to get home before they bloomed. (I REALLY wanted to be home when they opened up...I transplanted these from my mom's flower bed last year..quite frankly I'm surprised I didn't kill them!)

When we got home Sunday afternoon, I noticed that you could see a little color. They were just starting to bloom. Today, I had to take some pictures since a few have opened up. Who would have thought some transplanted iris would make me this excited?

Love this one.

Last night one of my Freedom's Call partners handed me a thank you note and gift for filling in for her on the piano the last couple of weeks...she's been reading the Simple Pleasures entries and look what she brought me from the beach!

How cute is that???

This week has been so full. Our church hosted Angela Thomas on Tuesday evening and wow...what a night. So many of the things she said go right along with some things God has been putting in front of me. I am not kidding. Down to the scripture passage she read. That's a week of blog posts right there! I love it when God thrills my heart like that.

The entire evening was beautiful. I can't say enough about our women's ministry director or her team. They are incredible and I'm so blessed to be part of this church. Way to go girls...each one of you made our Jesus smile.

Okay...I'm doing laundry and packing for another trip. Just me this time, Chad and the girls will be staying home. I may post on Friday if I get all my stuff done but
at the rate I'm going I'm not going to be done! It's taking everything in me to take care of my house right now. Do you know how bad I want to throw on some shorts and go sit in the sun?!!? In fact, after I fold this basket of laundry that has been sitting next to me for an hour...that's where you'll find me!!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One Last Thing to Share about Chad's Triathlon

I had hoped to share this video with you last night or earlier today...but there is a story.

Chad spent a good 2 hours on this last night editing my less than stellar video skills. (I have some mad skillz I tell you.) Anyway, he was done with it and we went to tuck the girls in. When we returned, the computer had been possessed by demons and was "locked up". Yes locked up...we live in the south.

Go on and guess what came out of his mouth next..

"I guess I'll save my work next time."

Well, I started praying that God would restore that video. We went to bed and he had pretty much given up and turned the computer off. Frustrated isn't a strong enough word to describe the man last night. (I hate to confess that I was praying he had taken a Lunesta so he would least sleep soundly. BTW-that stuff makes you dream and say some crazy things in your sleep.)

We had a women's event tonight, and when I got home Chad said..."You want to see the video?"

God answered my prayers and when Chad turned the computer back on was there. In it's entirety...SO I HAVE TO share it with you!!!

Please overlook my 5:00 AM look and crazy eyes...I was trying to keep it quiet! Not an easy thing for me. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Race Pictures

We had so much fun this weekend watching Chad participate in his first triathlon. I am so proud of him. Truth be told, I am really at a loss for words when it comes to how I feel about him doing this! It was an incredible thing to watch.

I am still recovering from our 4:00 wake up call on Sunday morning so I'm not going to even try and formulate a thought!! Instead, I'm going to share some of the pictures from the race.

Getting ready for the swim.

Finishing up the bike ride.

Coming around the last corner towards the finish line.


I thought I was going to up-load the video, but....we've had issues. Maybe sometime this week I'll add it. :)

Thanks blogging world for your prayers and support! I am crazy about you!

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's a Big Weekend Around Here!!!

I love this picture of Chad because it is so him. Ever the joker that man of mine. We call him the "Spandex Sensation" when he is in his running stuff. :)

Sunday morning, he is participating in his first Sprint Triathlon. We are so excited that his first will be in our hometown AND to make it even better it will be just a few minutes from the church we served at before moving to Georgia. Making that EARLY drive on Sunday morning will bring back memories of the very long very early Sunday morning drive we made for several years. :)

The girls have worked diligently this morning to finish their schoolwork, pack their bags and help me finish up some laundry. We are fixing to pack the car and wait on Chad to get home.(Please pray that God will part the sea of traffic that Atlanta is famous for on Friday afternoons/evenings!)

Praying that your weekend is blessed....

One more watching next week for another give-away...I'm very excited and can't wait to share it with you!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You HAVE to get this little book

About a month ago, one of my Freedom's Call sisters gave me a book. I knew that it had greatly impacted her life, because I had heard her mention it several times. I was thrilled when she handed me a copy one night in rehearsal. :)

The title is "The Red Sea Rules" 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times.

I knew the moment I flipped it open to the preface and read the following Spurgeon quote, that this book would be huge in my life.

"The Lord will make a way for you where no foot has been before. That which, like a sea, threatens to drown you, shall be a highway for your escape."

It is a small book, and reads easy...BUT....

I have taken my time with this. Often times, I will read a section twice before moving on because I need to read it again so that it sinks in deeper. I'm just slow like that!!

The thing that has been so thrilling to me is that almost each one of the verses God has led me to memorize for our LPM Siesta Memory verse challenge, ARE MENTIONED IN THIS BOOK. I would be running through my index cards of verses and then pick up this book and one of them would be in the text. Seriously, holy cold chills more than one time.

For example...I have shared that God had me memorize the verse "What is impossible for man is possible with God." and the month before that verse I was to memorize Isaiah 59:1 which says God's arm is not too short to save and that His ear is NOT dull...well...

Last weekend I was on the verge of finishing when the author of this powerful book included this quote by Cameron Thompson:

"We have a God who begins with the impossible and goes on from there."

Right above this paragraph in the book he references Is. 59:1. I have to include the paragraph because I LOVE the way it reads and flows into the Thompson quote.

"God can jam zippers, grow mushrooms, evict flies and carve pathways through the sea whenever He wishes. His arm is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. Cameron Thompson said, 'We have a God who begins with the impossible and goes on from there.'"

If you want to know about jammed zippers and mushrooms popping up in a time of need then you need to go to Amazon and spend $10 to get this book!!

I have read the book once and have decided to go back and start with Rule #1 and break it down over a week. To really spend time absorbing what God has to say to me. I may share some of that each week as God leads.

Would you do me a favor? If you purchase the book let me know what you think about it. I would love to hear what God impresses on your heart. :)

Have a blessed Wednesday!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


So I bought the Jillian Michaels "The Shred" DVD last week. It arrived on Wednesday afternoon so I started the torture I mean workout, on Thursday morning.

Sweet Mercy. I have not experienced this type of pain since childbirth.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it because it moves fast and is only 20 minutes. The girls laughed at me because I kept saying, it's only 20 minutes...I can do anything for 20 minutes!

It's been forever since I've done anything other than WALK, so I really am a beginner when it comes to this. My girls on the other hand...well...they are barely winded by the end of our workout and have asked to go on to level 2. They can go on, but I'll be on level 1 for the next oh...year!

Ya'll...Friday morning after we got done, I attempted to walk up the stairs to do school with the girls and I honestly sat down half-way up. WRONG THING TO DO. Getting up was harder than I thought it would be. Needless to say, I did not come downstairs for my second cup of coffee.

Chad had arranged for a babysitter on Friday night and told me to pick what we were doing...I had planned to do a picnic and walk at a local park. Can I just tell you the thought of walking up and down those hills made me light headed, so we went out to eat and then that boy made me walk through Target. He told me I would feel better if I kept moving. As much as I hate to say it, he was right. :)

We hit LifeWay and then he offered Starbucks. Sit down for this...I turned him down. I was SO tired and just wanted to get home and into my comfy pj's and take some Motrin! This getting old thing is hard!

So anyway...our sweet babysitter had taken the girls to a play and we beat them home!! Can you believe that???

I'm joining one of my favorite authors Vicki on this journey to Shred...I'm looking forward to seeing some results!! If I live through it. ;)

I posted over at the Freedoms Call blog today...I would love for you to go check it out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Simple Pleasure

I have had such a heavy week. This morning I was praying and thinking about all the different people on my heart right now. I just began to thank God for them and for the way He was working and moving. Even though we don't see it in some situations He is working things out...thank you Lord.

So as I began to get up and start school with the girls, I glanced at my breakfast room table. For whatever reason, God brought back the memory of the weekend when Fran, Patty and Georgia were here. (Back in January) It was the sweetest thing. I then began to reminisce about all the Siestas that we spent time with that weekend. I am so thankful for each one. There is some serious prayer support and love among us and I can't tell you what that means to me.

But the memory that popped in my mind was not of a deep spiritual conversation, or the time we spent in my living room praying. Oh no. God knew that I needed something different today. So He reminded me of this.

Go on and laugh...hard. It's okay...we do too! It totally cracked me up and I laughed all the way upstairs. (It took me a few minutes to make it to the top, I started Jillian Michaels "The Shred" this morning and it kicked my backside!)

This memory was my simple pleasure this week. I have had the best time with God today thanking Him for times like this one. He has made me glad...I needed to be reminded that it is okay to have a belly laugh. :) Especially when it happens with people who are crazy about Him. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

God knows.

You probably know by now that my man has Crohn's disease. He was diagnosed in our first year of marriage. Those first few years were a fight for his life. He was sick and as if that was not hard enough, he looked sick. There was no hiding it.

It was during this time, when I would get so stinking mad at people who felt the need to point that out to me just how bad he looked. I can still remember some of the most outrageous comments. I would walk away sure got the gift of encouragement. (and these were Christians) I slowly got to a point where I dreaded walking through the door of church each week because someone was going to have something really crazy to say.

Right or wrong I eventually became a very guarded person, sharing very little of this struggle with anyone. I really didn't want to hear the typical "church chatter" and I sure didn't want to have to explain the entire disease again.

During this time, my mom said something to me like this..."God knows this isn't easy."

I had not thought about that until earlier this week when Beth Moore shared pretty much the same thing on her blog. Her daughter had said these words to her:

"He knows it's scary to be us."

We have been praying, pleading, pouring our heart out for over a week on behalf of a precious baby boy born to Sunday School classmates. Baby R. is with Jesus today. His heart is healed and whole.

Now his family begins a process they didn't plan. And we keep praying, pleading, pouring out our hearts for them.

I don't want to waste my breath with church chatter. This is hard. So I'm going to just have you listen to the song that God keeps bringing to my mind. It says everything I feel.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How are you doing?

Really, how are you doing? Did you have storms over the weekend where you live?
How was your Easter Sunday? We had a great service and spent Sunday just resting and concentrating on our Jesus. We are still praying for our friends and their Baby R. Please join us in praying for a complete healing for this little boy who is about 10 days old right now.

We were in Chattanooga Friday and Saturday and had some pretty intense thunderstorms on Friday afternoon, but Saturday was pretty okay. A little cool for April but a pretty good day. Saturday morning Chad was able to go and do the bike portion of a triathlon he'll be doing later this month. I know he was glad to ride the course before race day. :) I still can't believe he is physically able to do this stuff. It is a testimony that God does heal and restore life. Seriously, one day when Chad gives me permission, I'm going to post a picture of him about 15 years ago when we were first married. You will see what I'm talking about. Until then, know that when I say I believe God heals, I'm speaking from first hand experience.

Once he got back from his 15 mile ride, our nephew Colin was just waiting for another "bike lesson". Colin wanted to learn how to ride a real two-wheel bike. Mom and Dad keep a few of our old bikes in the basement for the grandkids, so Chad pulled one out and they got started. Bless his heart his legs were already tired, but he ran up and down the street with Colin for another hour or so.

I had to get out the camera to document it for my sister so here are a few photos of our little man learning to ride.

I think Chad was giving him a pep talk...

From the look on Chad's face, I think they were trying to take Aunt Steffie down!

Here are Chloe and Emma on Easter the outfits THEY picked out WITHOUT MY HELP.

As much as we loved Spring Break, we were very ready to get back into our school routine this morning. Since we played all weekend, this house is a mess! I'm off to try and catch up on laundry!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Just thinking this morning.

2Chron 20:12 - "We do not know what to do but our eyes are on our God."

One of my friends has this verse on her facebook status right now. She was just diagnosed with breast cancer. My heart is so heavy for her, but I want you to know that even now, she is honoring God with each breath. I so want to be like her.

I don't remember reading this verse before. Maybe I have and it just wasn't real to me. Today it is real. So many close to us and in our circle of friends are facing some serious life changing situations. This verse sums up how I feel when I pray for these families.

However, as a Christian I have the incredible gift of hope. The gift of peace, the gift of comfort...all from one person. Jesus. He can do immeasurably more than I can imagine.

Jesus who walked on water.

Jesus who calmed a sea.

Jesus who loved the unlovely.

Jesus who healed over and over again.

Jesus who put on my sin and died for me.

Jesus who didn't stay in a dark grave, but LIVES.

The One who took my nothing and made something.

He deserves so much more than I give Him and yet He still wants a relationship with me.

My Jesus.

I'm entering this Easter weekend asking God for some pretty big miracles. In fact, I am anticipating His strong hand to reach down and meet the physical and emotional needs of so many around us who are hurting right now. So many need their own Resurrection.

Hmmm, I wonder what would happen if I lived each day anticipating God the way I am anticipating Him right now?

I'm going to unplug for a few days and concentrate on my Jesus, the One and the Only.

See you Monday!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Powerful Words

I received the e-mail with the time, the place and the urgent need for prayer. A beautiful baby boy born over the weekend is in serious need for healing and his parents need strength, wisdom and peace. Since I could not get to the location in time, the girls and I grabbed our Bibles and began to read.

Emma started in Psalm 131, we prayed that God would quiet and still their hearts.

Chloe went to Psalm 139 and read and then she prayed that those Doctors would know just what to do and that the parents would have the strength to take the next step. She also thanked God for R.'s life and how it was already bringing glory to God.

Seriously, these girls absolutely poured their hearts out for this family they do not know, I am humbled that they are mine. Thank you God.

After a few minutes they went upstairs and I grabbed my scripture index cards. These index cards are precious to me...all verses that I'm memorizing this year, along with 1300 other siesta's. Let me testify that the Word....once it is in your heart, it just comes out. That is what happened tonight. I found myself praying these verses:

"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders." Deut. 33:12

"Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened that it can not save, or His ear dull that it can not hear." Isaiah 59:1

"What is impossible for man is POSSIBLE with God!"

My verse for the first two weeks of April is Jer. 32:27

"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?"

No God. Nothing is too hard for you.

I ask you to pray for Baby R. tonight. NOTHING is too hard for our God. We have seen Him heal sweet Harper and so many other babies here in blogland...I ask you to pray for this sweet little one tonight.

The longer I have meditated and prayed these verses over this family...the more I sense Him. Seriously cold chills. There is power in the Word. Lifechanging, healing power. Would you pray that this family experiences it like never before?


Friday, April 3, 2009

Simple Pleasures 2

WARNING: Due to the severe throbbing going on in my head at this moment, this post may or may not be very interesting. I'm putting in pictures to try and make up for my lack of creativity this morning. A coherent post may come later in the weekend after my sinus cavities have returned to normal.

My simple pleasure over the last week was celebrating Emma's 8th Birthday. Her actual day was last Thursday. Chad took the afternoon off and we had lunch at Emma's favorite place and then saw "Race to Witch Mountain".

This picture of my girls is my simple pleasure. They think they are 25. :)

Late Thursday night my parents arrived. They haven't been here since November!

Friday evening after dinner we took mom and dad to their very first hockey game. Emma got her precious pretzel, or as she said "The pretzel of my dreams!"

Chloe and Emma with Grams and Daddy Mack.

I do believe Chloe gave Emma the "gift of the year". A snuggie.

She is in love. And LOOK! It came with a book light for FREE!!!

It was a great weekend and we had so much fun celebrating Emma with the family that was able to be here.

This weekend, we have no plans! I'm looking forward to staying in my pj's and drinking coffee at noon.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Are you Serious?

So I shared with you in my previous post that the speaker I was sitting under had us take out a piece of paper and ask God to show us who we needed to forgive.

I had my paper and asked God "the question" and oh boy. The names that came...some I had not thought about in YEARS. After a few minutes we were then told to rank those names from most severe hurt to least severe.

After that he had us move to the bottom of the page, write the name that we had ranked number 1 and then we were instructed to list every offense. After the offenses had been listed we were then to start saying "I forgive you for....." Getting specific and saying those things out loud moves it from the head to the heart.

Over the next few minutes that is what was going on this room. It was somewhat quiet, you could hear a few crying but mostly it was very still and quiet.

Until one lady asked a question. She was stuck and wasn't sure she could forgive herself. Our wise teacher knew that the reason she was giving wasn't the root of the problem.

We sat for what seemed like hours as this gentle teacher followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and walked her through the steps to forgive her mother, and herself.

I want you to know that we heard the walls coming down around her heart. We felt those chains coming off of her as she experienced the freedom that forgiving brings.

It was absolutely the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced.

As we left later that afternoon, I knew that my list was not complete. I knew that God was going to have me do more work. And we have. A lot of work.

For the last 8 years I have been desperate to know God more. I want it more than anything else. He has changed my tastes, my attitude, my desires, BUT...I am still in need of so much more.

I could not believe the amount of unforgiveness I was holding on to. I am ashamed of it. But oh the freedom that has come with letting so much of that junk go.

Was it easy? No way. Especially when some of it went back to high school!

Did it hurt? Yes. But the alternative of leaving that infected wound in my heart would have been worse.

Yesterday I began my post with this quote: "Purified hearts are worth the risk of a few harsh realities."

Over the last two weeks, I have faced some harsh realities about myself. I will not even pretend that I am anywhere near done with this...however.

I want you to know that the more I forgive, the more I hear Him speak. It is a precious thing that I want more of.

Right now, as I'm typing this I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit to stop and go back to the list. So that is where I am headed. I know that I am going to do some hard work in the next few minutes but you know what?

I agree that a purified heart is worth the risk of a few harsh realities. If this is what it takes to have a purified, clean, uninfected heart...then let's do it.