Friday, December 31, 2010

The New Year

I am doing something different on this New Year's Eve….NO RESOLUTIONS! Every year I have great intentions...I'll exercise regularly, lose weight, eat right, etc.

There is so much I need to do to better myself physically and spiritually, but I refuse to put a timeline on it this year. I "resolve" to take one day at a time and make each day the best I can make it. I mean, the truth is, each day we get is one more than we deserve! I am going to live each day with intention.

I am going to pay extra attention to my husband and children. I am going to look in their eyes each day and treasure the time I have with them.

I am looking forward to today. To spend it with my guys doing a bit of shopping and maybe a movie and then spending the evening with friends.

I am so blessed. I am going to spend my day counting my blessings and enjoying each and every minute of today.

Blessings to you, this New Year's Eve.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Hot chocolate
2. Cards to be mailed
3. Truly cold weather
4. An unplanned day
5. friends

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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Christmas Spirit

I will admit, I had not been in the Christmas spirit … until Christmas Eve. It's like Christmas just snuck up on me! I went through the motions by decorating and listening to holiday music, wearing my Santa pin...but it just didn't feel like Christmas. But then, it hit me in a huge way.

We had a beautiful Christmas Eve service at church and my husband asked me to help serve communion, like I've done many times before. But it was different this time. As I looked into each person's eyes and said, "The blood of Christ shed for you," I was overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed at how fortunate I was to take part in such a meaningful act. To offer communion to fellow believers. To celebrate the birth of Christ on this special night. To come together as a body of believers united.

It blessed me beyond belief.

The evening continued at home with our traditional homemade meatballs and my "secret sauce" and opening a present of Christmas jammies for the evening. After the kids were in bed, my husband and I began the wrapping! We look forward to this night every year.

The morning was filled with joy! Smiles and laughter filled our house.

That afternoon we were invited to have Christmas lunch with our dear friends B and T and their family. It meant the world to us to be included as part of their family for the day.

I couldn't have asked for anything more.

I hope you and your families had a fantastic Christmas!

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Broken ornaments
2. Music to be learned
3. Boxes on the porch
4. Doggie doors
5. Envelopes to be stuffed

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Best Friend

Eighteen years ago today I became Mrs. Joe MacDonald. I had no idea how much my life would change when I became a married woman. I'll be the first to admit that those first few years of marriage were no picnic. We had dated for four years before and you would think that by the time we were married we would have had a lot of things figured out...not even close!

When our oldest son was born in 1996, I knew life would change and never be the same for us, but when "Lance" was diagnosed with Severe Hemophilia, my world fell apart. Five weeks after he was born my mother died. I did not think I would survive. But my husband held me up. We became closer through the hemophilia, through the deaths of both of my parents, career changes, moving and so many other things that have happened in our lives.

I can't begin to even think what I would do without him.

He's truly my best friend and the most amazing father any child could ever have. Our days are filled with laughter because he is around. He makes me and our sons happier than any people could ever dream of being.

Joe, I adore you. I am so glad you asked me out over 21 years ago on our first date (lunch at Xochitil) and that we continued to find each other after the numerous break ups we encountered.

God had an amazing future laid out for us...I'm glad we listened to Him.

I love you, with all of my heart.

Or, put another way, and 'borrowed' from Pittman:
Why is it that people get married?
Because we need a witness to our lives.
There’s a billion people on the planet.
What does any one life really mean?
But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything…
The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things,
All of it… all the time, every day.
You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.
Your life will not go unwitnessed - because I will be your witness.”
Wife in the movie, "Shall We Dance?" 2004

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Last minute power shopping
2. Waiting to wrap presents until Christmas Eve
3. Holiday movies on DVD (remember having to wait for them to come on television once a year)
4. The magic of Santa
5. Beads on the Christmas tree

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sweet Bux

Back in July, a sweet mutt entered our lives. He wandered into our yard and refused to leave. Bux became part of our family. He was just a puppy and could not have been more than a few months old. Sadly, we woke up this morning and he died in the night. He had been sick and just never recovered.

My oldest is having a hard time losing Bux. They were buddies. Seeing the heart of my son break is so sad. You want to take away the pain, but it is something he has to endure on his own. It is nice to see that he has such a loving spirit. I just hate that he hurts.

It's funny how animals become part of our lives. Part of our families. They bring so much to our every day. They love us without judgement. Without an agenda. Their little hearts are completely open to us. They love us just the way we are. Like God. Despite the junk in our lives, despite the mess we get ourselves into, He loves us like no other.

God loves you.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. a compassionate veterinarian
2. cold floors
3. handmade ornaments
4. shopping
5. holiday specials on television

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Friday, December 10, 2010

The past few months have been very challenging.

It started with me not feeling well. Then the big bullying incident happened at my oldest son's school which prompted us to remove him from public school. And lots of things changed at my work...change is always hard no matter how positive a move it may be.

The one thing I am most grateful for through all of these issues is the happiness which my son is showing. He is starting to be his old self. Funny, outgoing, and being his teenage, goofy self again. I just had no idea how unhappy he was in public school. He is still finding his way in the world of online education, and is doing well. The greatest perk of his school situation is that I get to spend a lot of quality time with him. He shares my office at the church during the day. At 11:15 everyday we leave to pick up my little one from school and take him to daycare, then go home for lunch. Then it's back to finish the day at the office. Then on Tuesday evenings his Dad and I take turns driving him to Albuquerque for boy choir rehearsal. That's a 2 hour, one way drive. And it's always fun!

I never dreamed I would live in a small town and have a son in a school situation other than public school. And that we would drive hours away for his musical enrichment. It's funny how our lives turn out. They may not be what we "signed up for," but when you look at everything you have, do you see how much better some things are?

Yes, I do struggle quite a bit with my depression and health issues, and I wish things in this area were different for me, but when I look into the eyes of my little "Christian" when he grabs my face and starts to kiss me or tickle me, I see God staring right back at me. I know He is present in my life and that I am blessed beyond belief.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. French fries
2. outlets
3. Returned phone calls
4. A good hair day
5. UPS packages

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Living Intentionally

Twenty three days from now we will usher in a New Year (I haven't even bought a single Christmas present and I'm talking about the New Year)!

I remember writing about there being 100 days until the New Year. I had so many plans….losing 10 pounds, having Christmas presents bought and wrapped, reading my Bible on a regular basis, watching less television. So much for well laid out plans.

One thing I find myself doing at this time of year is not focusing on the day I have. I am not living intentionally. I am so looking forward to the promise of a New Year with a fresh start that I don't truly live and celebrate what remains in front of me . Enjoying the cold weather, a tree to decorate, the promise of presents yet to be bought, the meals to prepare, the music to hear. I need to focus on what is happening right now. The joys in my life. My husband and sons, and the laughter they bring to me every day.

The truth is, every day we have is one more than we deserve.

What are you doing to make the most of your days?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Steak sauce
2. A dry scalp
3. Re-arranging furniture
4. Ornaments from years past
5. Friday's off the rest of the year!

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


A Facebook friend posted this verse on her wall. I fell in love with it.

"The LORD your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, "but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

I can picture God as a Mighty Warrior, one who has come back from battle, for me. He has saved me. Despite the influences of the world and Satan working on me, God has defeated them all and saved me.

He is delighted in all that I do. My work, the way I care for my family, even when I am talking that negative self talk I tend to spout out about myself, He is delighted in everything about me...He loves me at my current weight, when I eat something I shouldn't be eating and even during my dark times.

Just as I rejoiced over my children as they were newborns lying in their cribs, God rejoices over me with the same love, the same longing. (Our parents did the same thing...we tend to forget we were their babies too). But the amazing thing is that God loves us despite the garbage we bring into our lives. Despite the broken relationships, the ugly words that come out of our mouths, the comparisons, the bad choices. We are loved unconditionally.

What have you done lately to strengthen your relationship with God?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Scrambled eggs
2. Pre-lit Christmas trees
3. Visits from family
4. New books
5. warm pants

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for Moments

I had an amazing experience yesterday.

I picked up my little Christian from the babysitter, and as I walked into her house, I was completely overwhelmed. "Ma", as the children call her, was cooking dinner and the smell from her oven wrapped itself around me. It was one of those smells that you could not pinpoint. What was the ingredient? It was my mom. When I asked "Ma" what she was cooking I found out it was meatloaf. My mother never made meatloaf but that smell was completely hers.

I haven't experienced that smell in over 14 years.

The hairs on my arms were standing up and a warmth enveloped my entire being. Tears started to roll down my cheeks. My mother was with me in that moment.

It was an unexpected moment. A moment I needed. A moment I am thankful for.

I love how the holiday season starts in such a profound way. We start by giving thanks. We take time to focus on the things that we often take for, friendships, the people we work with, the food we have in our pantry, the freedom we experience every day, the moments that come and go in a flash.

I am just thankful God has given me another day to enjoy the blessings in my life.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Special deliveries
2. Cucumbers
3. Winter clothes
4. Family pictures
5. A busy concert schedule

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Better Days

My days have been better (I thank you for your kind comments and prayers.)

I have made an "A" in my first online class for my Master's degree, a very special high school friend reached out to me, I had a productive week at work, went to my first Zumba class and loved it, and spent time with friends last night.

Doing the next right thing is paying off. That is one of the ways I battle my depression. I move slowly but surely by doing what is next on the list. Sometimes it's as basic as getting out of bed and getting dressed and then it moves to bigger things like actually thinking about what tomorrow may bring.

There is a verse that keeps surfacing for me. It's times like this that I am so glad that I have committed some verses to memory. They appear in my heart when I need them the most.

I shared this verse from 2 Corinthians earlier this week. Here is the version from "The Message."

My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. 2 Corinthians 12:9

When I really look at my struggles with depression I know this verse is true.

Christ's strength appears during my depression. It's not my power that pulls me out of my depression it's Christ! I am never alone. When I am talking to myself, I am actually talking with God. When I am debating on whether or not to get out of bed, I am conversing with God and He is there encouraging me to do the next, right thing. His power is evident when I am feeling my worst.

God never leaves us.

Despite the mess we may get ourselves into, despite the ugly things we may say and do to others (and to ourselves), despite the lowest moments in our lives...God never leaves us.

He loves us just the way we are and He loves us like no one else ever will.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. cold floors
2. trips to the airport
3. call forwarding
4. a credit on a bill
5. the smell of firewood burning in the neighborhood

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Monday, November 15, 2010

"Thinking" to Walk

I've not been around for a bit.

No desire.

No energy.

No spirit.

No words to share.

It's as if life has been sucked out of me.

Nothing in particular set it off...sometimes it just happens.

Depression has just reared its ugly head.

Over the past few days I have literally had to "think" to walk. I know that is hard to understand if you don't suffer from depression, but often the simplest of things become huge challenges.

"Get up Cazandra!"
"Walk to the bathroom!"
"Brush your teeth."
"Comb your hair."

I wish I was exaggerating, but that is what I have had to do for several days.

I did have a recent victory...I went to church Sunday morning.

I know, I am a pastor's wife, why shouldn't I be in church? The absolute last thing I wanted to do was put a smile on my face and be present that morning. How could I possible have anything to give when I could hardly function?

It was truly by the grace of God that I was in church.

I hugged the neck of a woman who just lost her words were exchanged, but I was there for her. Another woman just received word that her daughter was dying, thousands of miles away. Another hug needed and given.

God used me despite how I was feeling. He used the part of me that I was able to give. I had no idea that I would show up as a minister that morning, but the amazing part is that those two grieving women ministered to me in a very profound way. I felt God's presence through them and their grief.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
Today I Am Thankful For:

1. fleece jackets
2. Sugar free cookies
3. Positive test results
4. Curly hair
5. Windy days

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Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Last Thing I Wanted To Do...

Getting up at 6 am on a Saturday morning is not something that top's my list of favorite things to do.

But that is what I did today.

I was asked to come speak to a group of women in Cloudcroft, New Mexico about Celebration Ministries (I served as President of the Deming Celebration Chapter for three years). They were wanting information and had questions, so I accepted their invitation several weeks ago.

I had been trying to talk myself out of going for days...mainly because I have just not been feeling well. Truth be told, I've not been feeling well since September.

My heart has been empty. I just feel like my faith is weak and my relationship with God is stagnant because of lack of work on my part.

My husband encouraged me to keep my commitment. He tells me that when our faith is weak and when we feel like God is not present in our lives that it is often the most important time to continue our ministry.

I think he is right.

During the three hour drive to Cloudcroft I was doubting myself. "What can I possible give these women? What if they see through me and see that I am a big phony? What if my words are not what they need?"

These women blessed my socks off! They shared their hearts and desires and were just lovely. I shared some of my story and helped to give them direction for their women's group.

The three hour drive home was quite different. I felt so blessed. Blessed that I was invited to share in the lives of these amazing women. Blessed that God led me on this little journey through my feeling crummy about everything. Blessed that I "showed up" and shared a part of myself and what God is doing through me.

I am so far from perfect. I drop the ball, I slack off, I don't believe in myself, but through all of that craziness, God loves me just the way I am.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. A brisk morning
2. A New Mexico sunrise
3. aromatherapy sleep mist
4. Google images
5. Pizza Night at the local deli

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010


For the first time in a long time...
I am going to take my little one to see a doctor in Albuquerque. For a while it was a weekly thing, but thanks to the goodness of God, my sweet boy's hemophilia has been under control. He is doing great! He has definitely deserved it after a long summer of being in and out of the hospital.
We are going to see a neurologist to check out the nerve damage that happened during a "routine" procedure back in July. I am thinking we are going to get a good report :)

For the first time in a month...
I have not felt physically sick.

For the first time...
my oldest son moved into my office at the church and set up for his online school.

For the first time in recent weeks...
I feel like me and my husband really made a great decision by moving our son into a different learning environment.

Any first's for you lately?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. a Monday night soak at the hot springs
2. a new video camera
3. bedtime laughter
4. wet hair
5. a kind veterinarian

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Never Say Never

"My kids will never act that way!"

"I'll never vote a straight ticket!"

"I'll never homeschool."

Do you have any "never's" that have found their way into your life?

Our family has just had a major life change...a "never" has come to fruition.

Yesterday, we withdrew our oldest son from high school. He is now attending the Alpha Omega Academy, which is an online school.

You may have read previously that he has been a victim of some pretty severe bullying this year. The problem is that the verbal bullying has gone on for a few years, and it's taking a toll on him.

Some might say that I am giving in to the bullies, but how can I let my son go to school for 8 hours a day, trying to keep a low profile and stifle his personality, hoping no one will "notice" him or physically hurt him?

My high school years were wonderful! I wouldn't trade them for the world. I had great friends and fantastic experiences. Marching band, clubs, friends... That's just not a reality for my son. I've had to come to a realization. My experiences are going to be different than my son's. We are in a different world.

He is so amazingly talented, and the school system in our town has absolutely nothing for him. There is nothing driving him to even "want" to be there.

We prayed, researched and decided this was the best option.

I would really appreciate your prayers for my son. He already seems happier.

What "never's" are you living with in your life?

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. peaches
2. internet
3. liquid paper
4. squeaks
5. freedom

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Some good news...

Ever since the bullying incident a few weeks ago, things have not been "normal". Everything is just off kilter. But, we do the best we can and just go along and do the next right thing. We'll get back to normal soon.

Sometimes you just need some good news...and we received the best email ever on Sunday afternoon.

My oldest son, who is a freshman in high school, made the New Mexico All-State Choir!

I am so excited and proud of him! My husband and I encourage his musical abilities and praise him often. We were both music educators in Texas, so we know good when we hear it, but when it's your own child you wonder if you are truly "hearing" right.

Sounds like we were :)

This accomplishment could not have come at a better time for my son. He really needed this encouragement (especially from someone other than his parents).

I'm so overcome with emotions that I can't begin to put in words how I am feeling.

But what I do know is that God is good, all the time.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Music
2. Ginger ale
3. Nice hotel rooms
4. Homework
5. appointments

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Friday, October 22, 2010

A Written Card

In our world of email, texts, Facebook, instant messaging, etc. we tend to forget the beauty of a written note. A card that someone took the time to pick for you and write a sweet note in.

I received a belated birthday card yesterday from one of my dearest friends, Minnie. She was my mother's best friend and is like a mother to me. She took the time to pick out just the right card and wrote the sweetest words. It made my day.

A couple of weeks ago my mother-in-law sent my oldest son a beautiful card. After his bullying incident, she was so worried and upset. And living long distance makes it even harder because she can't reach out to give him a hug. She picked out a special card and put a lot of thought into her words. It was very meaningful.

When's the last time you sent a handwritten note to someone? Has someone been on your heart lately? Why not drop them a line. It may be just what they need to hear.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. almost being done with my homework before the weekend
2. Oreos
3. Halloween decorations (spookies)
4. my wireless mouse
5. iTunes

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Am Able

Our Monday night Bible Study group is studying Lysa TerKurst's book, "Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl." The reading is really good and her insights on the DVD are very enjoyable.

Last night she talked about "having" to do things. "I have to do the laundry, I have to pick up after my kids, I have to wash dishes, etc." Those are entirely the wrong words to use! How about "I am able to do the laundry, I am able to pick up after my kids, I am able to praise God in all things."

Those words, and attitude adjustment, really hit home for all of us last night.

What a gift we have if we are able to wash clothes...that means we have a house filled with family. If we have to run around and drop the kids off and pick them up, then they are able to participate in many things and are happy and healthy.

I thought it was a great adjustment in how we tend to view our daily goings and comings. So often we get wrapped up in the dailyness of life, that we forget how truly blessed we are. How blessed we are to have family, friends and a God who loves us more than any of us can even begin to imagine.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. chilly mornings
2. new perspectives
3. Psalm 103:1-5
4. an organized linen closet
5. curtains

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Monday, October 18, 2010

What Do You Do?

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to tell someone how to fix their problems? You know, when it seemed so obvious to you what was wrong and how they could fix everything?

But you just can't do that. That person has to come to their own realization of the problem before they can start to make any kind of change. They have to decide what it is that makes them happy and dig deep into their souls to make it happen. It sounds so simple, but is often not that easy.

My heart is breaking for a friend of mine. I don't know what to say or do...all I can do is be there for her and have a shoulder when she needs it.

And, I can pray.

If you have a spouse who is your best friend, who helps in the raising of your children, who helps around the house and is just an overall wonderful man/woman, be sure you tell them you love him every day.

Please lift my friend "T" up in prayer. I adore her and she needs to feel the presence of God around her.

Thank you my friends.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. My seminary work
2. Piles of clean clothes
3. The zoo in Albuquerque
4. Broken computers
5. tortillas

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Surrounds You?

Last week was really hard.

My business meetings took everything I had out of me, and my son was assaulted at school. Not a great week. I took Friday off and slept until noon! I never do that! The weekend turned out great and so far the week has been okay. I'm still trying to get myself together.

I was about to throw myself a pity party (with hats and streamers) and I looked around me. My little one was outside playing choo choo's in the dirt with his dogs. Happy as a clam! Then I listened and heard my oldest practicing his sight singing with his Dad (for state auditions) sounding like an angel. Those are the things I should be focusing on!

So last week was bad! I've got to move on and look at the things that surround me! My family, my friends and my God!

What are you surrounded with that brings you joy?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. music
2. dirt
3. smelly, little socks
4. messages on my voicemail from a dear friend
5. my husband washing the dishes

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Friday, October 08, 2010


While I was out of town this week something happened at Lance's school.

He was assaulted by two boys. Lance was sitting on a railing in front of the band hall and these two boys, who had been verbally harrasing him the week before, shoved him off the rail and he fell about 6 feet.

Lance has hemophilia. It was not a good scene. He called my husband and told him to bring his factor to school immediately because he was hurt. My husband did not tell me about his injuries in detail.

I walked in the door from my trip last night and asked my son to show me his injuries. I just wanted to scream! He has bruises and scratches on his body.

Someone hurt my child! I am so glad I was not here, because I know I would have gone absolutely crazy at school!

The school did handle the situation and the boys are expelled. We have filed charges and it is at the District Attorney's office.

I can't believe this is happening to my son.

He had to infuse two extra infusions because of this incident...each infusion costs approximately $3,000.

As a pastor's wife, in a small town, am I supposed to just "forgive" and let these boys off the hook? I want to press charges and make sure they pay for what they did! I want to sue them for the costs of the extra infusions! This should not happen to our children in school!

Just because my son is not a sports fan and he enjoys music, he is labeled "gay". And even if he was gay, how does that give anyone the right to assault him? The names they called him I cannot even begin to share with you.

My heart hurts for all the children in our society that are suffering at the hands of bullies. It has to stop!

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

My Dad

Today is a special day, yes, it's my birthday, but it's also the anniversary of the day my Dad went home to the Lord. It's bittersweet. So many things happened to my Dad in his last years with his health. He wasn't the same person. And seeing him deteriorate was very hard.

Everything in me said it was a blessing when he passed. He was in a better place. He was with my Mom who he missed terribly. He was no longer in pain. But none of those words ever made it "okay" that he was gone.

I adored my Dad. I was his little girl.

I would go with him on Saturday's to the school where he was principal and keep him company while he worked. Then we would go out for a burger at the local hamburger stand. And it was really cool because they had poppyseeds on their buns. We would drive in his 67' Mustang and he would speed up as we raced over the train tracks on our way home! And we would buy bags of Fritos and he would have one between the seats of the car with a hole cut into the top of the bag so he could eat them while he was driving.

And on some Saturday's he would take me to the local stables to watch the girls ride their horses and race barrels! See I didn't play with dolls when I was a kid, I played with horses! He encouraged my love for horses by taking me to watch them on the weekends and see the races on television. It was our special thing.

No one could love me like my Dad. He never expressed his love by hugging and kissing, but he would reach out to me and pat me on the shoulders or on the back when I hugged him.

I'm not anyone's little girl anymore. No one could ever love me like my Dad ever did.

I miss him.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. horses
2. laughter
3. 67' Mustangs
4. Fritos
5. Saturday's

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

It's All About Passion

I am out of town in meetings for work in Dallas.

I work for a company that cares for people with bleeding disorders, like hemophilia. I never dreamed I would not teach band for a living, as that is what my Bachelor's degree is in, but the opportunity to work to educate people with bleeding disorders was just too wonderful to pass up, so almost 8 years ago, I took a risk to work in the healthcare field and it has been a great far.

Our team is undergoing many changes...and change is hard. It's not comfortable.

My passion on the team shines through when I speak about patient care. About what a person living with a bleeding disorder deals with on a daily basis. How we need to care for the entire family, etc.

I have felt so overwhelmed in this meeting. Almost like no one hears me because my language is so different. I don't speak the corporate lingo that is laced with numbers, I speak from my heart. I speak from the love I have for my children and what I have learned from them. It's where my heart is and I feel like it is breaking.

One of my colleagues pulled me aside tonight and told me she was in the business for the same reason I was...the patients and their care. I totally broke down. She saw my heart and heard what I was saying in my presentation that morning. It did me so good to hear that my message was clear. That my passion was shining through. God sent her to me tonight. I needed that little bit of encouragement to know that I am doing the right things for a community of people that I love.

God shows up in the most unexpected places and through unexpected people. I had felt so alone until my friend caught my eye across the room and invited me in the house for coffee. She listened to God's nudge on her heart to call out to me when I needed it the most.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. a cool, Texas evening
2. comfy beds
3. a cold Diet Coke
4. sneakers
5. phone calls from my boys

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Next Right Thing

I am in my second class of seminary and it's my first online class. (I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Denver this summer and take my first class "in person" and it was a fantastic experience).

But now I am entering the world of online education.

It's amazing how a class can be structured online. Forums, chats, email,'s a new world! Quite different than my last class 20 years ago at Houston Baptist University :)

I will admit, I was beyond overwhelmed last night. I was to the point where I thought, "What was I thinking? I can't do this! Who was I kidding? I'm too old to go back to school!"

But, my wonderful husband said something to me...

"Do the next right thing."

He was right.

I did the next right thing. I took my assignment step by step, I didn't worry about the whole picture, and now I am where I need to be for the week!

It's so easy to get overwhelmed. Maybe it's school, a project at work, a house to clean before company arrives, a PTA meeting at the same time as soccer practice, and let's not forget the laundry!

Sometimes we get in such a hurry to get things done. I find that if I take a breath and think about the next right thing to do, my day is better and the end result is exactly what I was looking for.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. wise words
2. an empty email inbox
3. boxes
4. my new laptop
5. my upcoming trip to Dallas

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Monday, September 27, 2010


Congratulations to Pam for winning my first giveaway ($25 iTunes card)! Pam, email me at with your mailing information :)

I preached yesterday morning! I love when I have the opportunity to study and share God's word. It was the most comfortable I have ever been in the pulpit. The words just came to me and the message was truly on my heart. I preached on Matthew 5:13-16....being the salt of the earth and light of the world. I truly felt God's arms around me as I delivered the message. I just feel transformed when I preach.

This sermon helped me come to a realization. Something I hadn't been able to "admit" out loud. Now that I've started Seminary, I feel like I am being called to become a Deacon in the church. I want to serve a community and especially be involved in the ministry of women. There. I've said it.

I never dreamed my life would be what it is right now. Being the wife of a preacher in a small town, working for the healthcare industry, and being a seminary student. I was "supposed" to teach middle school band until I retired! So I thought!

When we make plans God just gets a great belly laugh, don't you think?

I'm so glad my "plans" have changed.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Dinner in Santa Fe
2. Seeing old friends
3. a ripe peach
4. our congregation
5. salt and light

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

100 Days (and a giveaway)!

Do you realize that when midnight strikes, there will be 100 days until the New Year?

I'm not kidding....100 Days!

Why should we wait for January 1st to make those crazy resolutions that we make?

Why not make a sensible resolution right now and follow through for the next 100 days?

What can we do in 100 days?

Read 100 chapters in the Bible (or 50), lose 10 pounds, make amends to a friend, make a plan to sit with your family several times a week to dinner, watch less television, journal daily, have a devotional time with God......

What can you do with these 100 days?

I want to hear from you! In honor of the "Final 100 Days of 2010," I am going to have a giveaway! My first ever!

Post a comment by midnight, Saturday the 25th and let us know what you will be doing with your 100 Days.

I will randomly select a winner of a $25 iTunes gift card and announce the winner Monday the 27th.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. shampoo
2. Tuesday night pizza
3. preaching this coming Sunday
4. Mason jars
5. a good day at work

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Monday, September 20, 2010


I'm so tired! I flew up to Cedar Rapids on Friday and back Saturday night to speak at a local Hemophilia Chapter Event. It went great! The room was full and great discussion took place throughout the session.

I've been preparing a sermon for 9/26 and I have some great things to share with you.

I'll be back with more tomorrow. I just need more coffee right now :)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Coffee!
2. great travel
3. morning meetings
4. getting to know a colleague better this weekend
5. Coffee!

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Opening Doors

When you live in a small town, there are not tons of opportunities in the performing arts. Band and choir programs are teeny tiny, drama is something that comes together, hopefully yearly to put on a musical.

And for a young man, gifted in music, it's hard to meet peers who "get him."

We found something….The Albuquerque Boys Choir! Lance auditioned, made the group and is fitting in with this group of boys as if he'd known them all their lives. It's where he needs to be.

My husband drives him to Albuquerque once a week (4 hr round trip) for a two hour rehearsal and they get home at 11 pm . But Lance comes home pumped up and wired! This is after singing classical music!

I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity that we can give our Lance. We are in this as a family and it is going to take all of us committing to getting him there when he needs to be.

But when passion drives you to excel at something you are meant to do, finding a way is that much easier.

If an opportunity is not knocking at your door, sometimes you have to open the door and start looking for new ones.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. A fulfilling day of work
2. Pretty hand towels
3. Frozen grapes
4. An upcoming speaking engagement in Iowa
5. Chipped toenail polish

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Monday, September 13, 2010

New Things

I tried something completely new and out of my box this weekend…I made fresh red, chile sauce. It is a very "New Mexican" thing to do! It's a long process, but if you have the right music playing, it goes by fast :)

I have struggled for many years because of what someone said to me…that the only reason I could cook was because "she" gave me the recipe. It was never because I actually did something on my own well.

I've been finding my stride over the past few years, not just in the kitchen, but in life in general and I've been trying to rid my thoughts of what others think.

When someone plants a seed of doubt, it is hard to shake it loose from your brain. You can easily get lost in what someone else thinks of you instead of what God thinks of you.

That you are indeed his Beloved.

That everything you do is a gift.

That you are precious in His sight.

That you are forgiven.

"Father, God, I pray that we all remember whose we really are. We don't belong to the world, but to You. In all that we do, we do it for your glory. Amen"

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Fresh enchiladas
2. Stained hands from chile
3. Christian recovering from his ankle bleed
4. Our new computer
5. clumsy dogs

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Speak to Me Sunday

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." Matthew 5:13 (NIV)

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Twenty Two Years Ago

In high school I was not the girl with boyfriends. I longed to be her. I had the occasional crush and high school "love", but was never part of a couple. I desperately wanted to be part of a couple. I heard time and time again, "Just wait, the man you do fall in love with will be special. He may even be 'the one'."

Sure enough, I met him in college and twenty two years ago today we went on our first date.

We had a four year courtship before we married and broke up more times than I can remember, but we always came back together. I absolutely adore him. Here are a few reasons why I love him:

The Top 22 Reasons I Love Joe

1. The moccasins he wears until they have holes in the soles
2. His computer expertise
3. The crazy lyrics he makes up to a favorite song
4. The music he sings as he walks through the house (at any hour of the day)
5. Insisting we have "date night" at the hot springs every Sunday
6. The way he assembles things
7. His determination to make it through Seminary
8. The passion he has for preaching
9. Accepting hemophilia in our lives from the very beginning
10. His cold toes and fingers
11. His love for trivia (Jeopardy)
12. The way he puts our little one to bed with a "tickle fest"
13. He always wears a sweatshirt at the first hint of cool weather (even if it warms up to 90)!
14. For committing to driving 4 hours round trip, once a week to get our oldest to boys choir
15. never complaining when I need him to go get a gallon of milk late at night
16. For his "Wild at Heart" sense of adventure
17. His courage to change careers and follow his heart's desire
18. The way he plays the piano
19. The love he showed to my parents
20. Because he loves our sons more than life itself
21. His faith and belief in God
22. Because he loves me, just the way I am

Joe Keith MacDonald, I adore you, and thank God for you. You have changed my life into something so completely different and better than I ever dreamed it would be. Here's to another 22 years.

love Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, September 06, 2010

Fried Chicken and God

My morning started in the quiet of my house while everyone was still sleeping....making fried chicken! We planned a picnic in the mountains and the guys always expect my fried chicken so there I was at 6 am, frying chicken. But something very unexpected happened while I was frying up our "mess of chicken." I had a wonderful conversation with God. I didn't have a Bible in front of me or my prayer journal, but I just let loose and started talking.

It was great! It was the best "devotional" I've had in quite some time.

I have been so wrapped up in the how's of devotional time that my relationship with God has been suffering. I've let Satan take over my thoughts when those thoughts in my head should always be directed to God.

Instead of that negative self talk that permeates my thoughts, I need to turn those thoughts, not just into positive thoughts, but into a conversation with God.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. wildflowers
2. winding roads
3. river rocks
4. deer
5. fried chicken

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Speak to Me Sunday

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Time With God - part 3

For the longest time I would get up around 5:30 am, get dressed and ready for the day and would spend time alone in the quiet of the house before everyone got up. I would write in my journal my prayers to God and read scripture.

Why did I stop? Did I really think I could "do life" on my own?

As it is I am struggling.

My eating habits are out of control right now, my overall focus is off kilter, and the self talk in my head is taking me places I should not even go. I am even on the cusp of trying to talk myself out of taking the class I am signed up for in Seminary.

I'm just scared.

Scared that I am off track....and it's proving harder to find my way back than I ever thought.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. being honest
2. the Food Network
3. a stack of clean t-shirts
4. half empty bottles of water
5. my 300th post!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Time With God - part 2

Growing up a good Catholic girl was filled with rules.

Clasp your hands a certain way to pray, sit down, kneel, stand, make the sign of the cross, light a candle, pray to the was all very confusing, especially since none of it was explained in my home.

I've always felt as if you have to do things a certain way.

I like lists and rules and knowing exactly what is expected of me, but the one area in my life that is still not settled is my daily time with God.

I tried reading the One Year Bible, but then I would miss a day here and there and, well, I never picked it back up. I was too far behind and hadn't "done it right."

I started writing my prayers to God in a journal on January 1st. Some days have gone by, and I failed, yet again.

I got up early everyday to spend quiet time with God, then I started staying up later and 5:30 am would come and go.

What works best for you?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. old sitcoms
2. gift cards
3. piles of folded clothes
4. frayed blankets
5. my Crocs flip flops

Monday, August 30, 2010

Time With God - part 1

"When you forego your time with God each morning, you act on the belief that you can do life by yourself - self centeredness instead of God centeredness."

First Place for Health Daily Calendar

Today I Am Thankful For:
1. ground beef
2. hearing from old friends
3. occupational therapy
4. a good day of work
5. smell good candles

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Being Stuck

I am stuck.

My job as a member of a national healthcare team (we care for folks with bleeding disorders) is great. Hours are flexible, I can work in my jammies if I want to (I never do), and the traveling is minimal. I work from my home office, but 90% of the time I work from my office at the church. It allows me to be around people and have a "place to go."

It can be a lonely place….working from home. You also have to be a self starter and a self motivator. Satan can sure play with me on this one.

My team has a daily, morning, conference call and we tell each other what our "top three" for the day will be. It keeps us accountable and we know where everyone is physically at, since most of the team travels quite a bit.

It's just hard to feel connected sometimes.

I am finding that I need to rely on God and the Word more, but Satan has other plans. He gets hold of me and keeps God at bay. I hear things such as, "You could be doing more, You are not performing to the best of your potential, etc."

I just need to be stronger.

When Satan gets in my head and starts speaking those untruths, I find myself saying out loud, "Get away, Satan! Stop it!"

It's amazing how that helps :)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. The sounds of video games
2. Building bridges and forts out of blankets in the living room
3. Empty air fresheners
4. Apple juice
5. Crushed ice

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Luxury of Babysitting

When you live a life in ministry, far away from family, the luxury of calling for a babysitter is gone. That help with the kids that you always relied on is hard to come by, and I find it difficult to ask for help. Does that make sense?

My husband and I wanted to volunteer at the hemophilia golf tournament in Albuquerque (2 hrs away) last Friday, but I knew picking up my littlest one would be an issue. Never fear, my friends "B" and "T" agreed to help us out. They picked up Christian, made sure he ate, and let him play. They watched him for about three hours on Friday evening.

They don't realize how much of a gift they gave us by offering that act of kindness to us. Simply put, they were the "hands and feet of Christ" to us.

I find it very easy to offer help. To cook a meal, to watch someone's kids or pets, to put up the bulletin boards at church, etc. but when it comes to asking for help….it is so incredibly difficult for me. It's like buying presents at Christmas. I love giving, but receiving is almost embarrassing for me.

Perhaps the greatest gift we have received is God sending his only Son. Christ came for all of us. Not just a select few. I believe He came for every living, breathing person on the planet.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17 (NIV)

Thank you, to all of you who help out your pastor's family. It's the little things that mean so much.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Good friends
2. A sleeping puppy
3. A desk piled with papers
4. Maria…who cleans every other Monday :)
5. tape

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stepping Out in Faith

I had heard of people "stepping out in faith" or being encouraged to and never understood what it really meant until we packed up everything we owned and moved from Houston, Texas to Deming, New Mexico. We left Houston without even knowing where we were going to live, but God provided for us like I had never seen during that time four years ago.

We left Deming a year ago for my husband's first appointment as pastor at the Methodist church in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. It's been a good year. A year of transition, a year of new things and new faces and friendships and a year of listening to God.

Sometimes I wonder if we made the right move. Did we move too early? Are we where we are supposed to be in the grand scheme of it all according to God?

We went to Deming Saturday and I attended a ladies event. It was so good to see my old friends! But I knew I was not "home" anymore. Not in a bad way, but I knew that I was there for a visit. That our time there had passed. It was a tug on my heart telling me that we indeed were where we needed to be.

Stepping out in faith is scary, but when you do it….when you truly do what God is leading you to do and go where He wants you to go, it's absolutely amazing.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Iced tea
2. Sunday afternoons (no electronics!)
3. Hat boxes
4. nails
5. buzzers

Monday, August 16, 2010

The "Fish"

Lance started his freshman year of High School today! I can't believe I have a child in High School (am I really getting older?). He won't admit it, but he's pretty nervous. I am thankful that his first period class is band…so hopefully this will put him at ease by seeing some friends right at the beginning of the day.

Yesterday in church we celebrated the "Blessing of the Backpacks." It was a great liturgy that was put together to bless our children as they start a new school year.

My hope and prayer is that all of our children have a school year filled with blessings and not bullies. Filled with learning and no doubt. Filled with excitement and no despair.

It's rough being a kid. Let's remember the struggles we each had in school and be sensitive and open to our children. Let's remember to talk openly and not ignore their feelings. Their problems and concerns are equally as important in the realm of their lives as our problems are in ours.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. The first day of school
2. Fat, spiral notebooks
3. Tower fans
4. A barking puppy
5. Washing clothes

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Big Year

This is a big year for our family. One son starts High School and the other Pre-K! To say that the range of our parenting issues is vast is an understatement!

I am watching my oldest turn into a man. He is one of the best things I ever did in my life. I do worry about him and his fears of high school, but it takes me back to my first day of high school. I was scared to death! But after first period was over, all was well. I just pray that he has a great year. That he makes friends, enjoys his classes and finds his place.

Isn't that what it's all about? Finding your place.

Then there's my little one. He is so excited about school (especially about riding the bus)! I want him to have fun and fit in with his little friends. To play like he's never played before and hopefully learn a few things while he's at it. And I especially pray that his hemophilia does not keep him from too many things.

Sometimes I feel like I'm still trying to "find my place." To fit in as the wife of a pastor in a small town, to fit in at Iliff as a new student (whose husband was very well known), to fit into the corporate world in a position I was not "trained" in school to do. Am I really qualified to be where I am?

But the truth is that God has put us in many different places in our lives. To play different parts, even when we didn't feel qualified. And when we are in those uncomfortable places, is when we especially need to have the heart of an "oozer." To exude the light of Christ in every thing we do and every word we speak. That's not easy.

Are you in a comfortable place right now?

Remember, "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called."

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. hangers
2. too many sandals
3. the smell of new school supplies
4. incense
5. power shopping

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Today I've been at the bedside of my little one as he has undergone, yet, another surgery. All is well! He is doing great.

I've been present to him. Even when there was nothing I could do, but comfort him and pray for him and all else was out of my hands, I was present for him.

"Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence." Ephesians 3:12 (NLT)

God is always present in my life. Even when God is not making himself "known" to me in a huge way, I know He is always there. It's like holding the hand of my spouse on a quiet walk. Feeling the warmth of his hand in mine and knowing he is always there, someone I can always count on.

That's how it is with God. He is ever present. But when we are in times that are "crisis free"....we tend to forget and go along our merry way without thinking about His presence in our lives.

Are you present for someone in your life? Have you acknowledged God's presence in your life lately?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. special blankets
2. text messages of praise
3. skillful doctors
4. plums
5. the sounds of hospital monitors whirring

Monday, August 02, 2010

I'm Going to Start Monday

Have you ever said that?

I'm going to start my diet on Monday!

I'm going to start exercising, on Monday!

I'm going to start my devotional time...on Monday!

I'm going to...........on Monday!

But what looks different in our week? What are we doing differently throughout our week compared to the previous weeks that will help us not say the old saying...I'm going to start on Monday?

I always have great plans. Plans to eat well, to cook meals every night of the week, to walk the track and so on. But those plans go awry pretty early in the week.

Why is it that once we "mess up" we figure the week is wasted and we'll just wait till Monday to start again?

I am battling this craziness. Yes, I have good excuses as my summer has been filled with hospitalizations with Christian and traveling to school, but enough is enough! This is going to be a great week....Christian's surgery and all!

Let's not get to the point where we await Monday with a bit of dread. Let's rejoice that we have yet another day and make it our best :)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. beautiful notecards
2. little boys
3. boiling chicken for our puppy (Yes, I actually did this....)
4. short fingernails
5. getting caught up

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Can Hardly Wait for Tomorrow!

Tomorrow me and my men will be together again!

My oldest, Lance, went to Houston 2 weeks ago to go to hemophilia camp and my little one and husband went to Houston to visit and pick up Lance from the camp bus 8 days ago.

It's been too long.

Yes, I've enjoyed the retreat and being in school this week, but being away from the loves of my life is very difficult (thank goodness for Skype).

By the time my class ends at noon tomorrow, they will be here on campus to meet me for lunch!

I've learned so much this week. Not just from the books, but about myself. I'm looking forward to sharing with you soon.

Blessings to you all!

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. new spiral notebooks
2. colored pens
3. new friends
4. bookstores
5. poetry

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Being Silent

I had the most amazing weekend.

I attended a retreat lead by Dr. Jane Vennard from Iliff Seminary at the Sacred Heart Retreat House in Sedalia, Colorado.

It was a contemplative retreat filled with tons of silence. It was so refreshing. To not "have" to talk. To be able to go deeper inside of yourself and actually listen to what your heart was trying to tell you. To just "be". And to be in community with others, in silence. One of my favorite times was lying on a hammock for about two hours (yes, a luxury indeed :)

Our sharing times were pretty powerful. One of the questions asked was "Have you experience silence as a gift?"

I thought of my Dad. He was always a quiet man, but when he got sick and suffered from dementia, towards the end of his life, he didn't speak anymore. One of the times that I will never forget is when we were sitting in silence, just being and he raised his arm up and patted me on the shoulder. That action was worth more than any words he could have spoken to me.

I am looking forward to this coming week (I write this as I sit in an apartment at Iliff) as our retreat moves to the classroom where we will work on developing retreats.

My first "academic" experience in twenty years! I'm so glad I didn't chicken out.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. grapes
2. air conditioning
3. comfortable pillows
4. things left behind
5. new friends

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Soooo Quiet

You ever been in the kind of quiet that is deafening? You know, it's almost too..."loud"?

That is what I am experiencing right now and for this upcoming weekend. A retreat in "Being Still."

As a mom, it's so hard to be still. There's always something to do and I will admit that when I am still, I'm watching television most of the time, just vegging out.

Isn't that awful? All of the other things I could be doing other than watching television....see, there I go...not being still.

This weekend is all about me being a little selfish and taking time for myself and my relationship with God.

I can't figure out what is making me more nervous, not knowing people, or the quiet that surrounds me?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Skype
2. new headphones
3. parachutes
4. the camera on my phone
5. my iPod

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Journey Begins

I am really stepping out of the box this week.

I am going to a retreat in Sedalia, Colorado Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. It is part of the class I am taking in Seminary.

I don't know what I am getting into.

I am all alone right now. My oldest is at hemophilia camp in Texas, and my husband and little one are in Houston visiting family. It's just bizarre being alone.

No one tugging at my shirt, no meals to cook, no laundry to wash....sounds like heaven don't you think?

Not even close.

I miss my "men" terribly. But, I am going to take advantage of this time to rest, reflect and hopefully connect with God.

How many people have this opportunity? I am definitely going to take advantage of the time.

What would you do with a week alone?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. reading glasses
2. salads
3. clean clothes
4. loose change
5. playlists

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Know the Problem

Since early June, my life has been pretty crazy with my four year old, Christian, beingin and out of the hospital.

I've just not "felt" right for several weeks.

My weight loss has been up and down, my sleep has been very deprived, our schedules at home have not been steady and I just don't feel good.

I figured it out. I've let my morning quiet time go.

Sleepless nights, getting up at all hours to infuse medication, I can come up with all the excuses in the world, but the bottom line is I let go of my lifeboat.

The one thing that keeps me quiet time. The time I sit with Jesus in my living room to say hello and talk about what's on my heart...I've let it go.

Not intentionally, but it has slipped away.

But wouldn't you think I would be praying more than ever right now with my Christian's medical issues? That's what I don't understand. The time in my life that I need to be on my knees the most, and I have been absolutely complacent in my prayer life.

I opened my Bible yesterday to Psalm 42,

"As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God? (NIV)"

I think God is telling me something.

Wednesday evening we went out on the lake with friends and what did I see? A deer drinking water.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. decent Mexican food
2. a new blouse
3. phone chargers
4. house slippers
5. puppy breath

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Yesterday I posted about being a bit selfish. How I wish my "normal" was a bit like everyone else's.

Then came Bux.

As I was getting ready to leave yesterday morning, a little puppy wandered up. He would not leave me alone.

Now he has a bowl, a chew toy and has been given a name...Bux (short for Buxtehude...don't ask:)

At first I didn't want anything to do with him. We already have two Shelties, another dog would be just too much! More vet bills, more food, bathing, caring for...the list goes on. But I think the Lord had something else in mind. Not just for him, but for all of us.

You can't just shut out a life in need. We may only have Bux for a short time (if we find an owner) or he may be a permanent fixture in our already busy household.

It's funny how God works.

Sometimes it's in a huge way. A big answer to prayer, a check in the mail, a positive diagnosis....and sometimes the innocent eyes of a hungry puppy.

(Any ideas on what kind of dog he is?)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. noodles
2. Jeopardy
3. puppies
4. dirty hands
5. coban

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Normal

Sometimes my "normal" just makes me a little angry.

Why does my normal have to ever look like this?

Why can't my normal be that I am living in the home I will retire in with weekends to the lake? Or that my boys wouldn't be covered in bruises.

What is "normal?"

I know the Lord has led me and my family on this path of Nomadic living, I know that the Lord blessed us with two wonderful children that just happen to have medical issues.

I guess I just get selfish sometimes.

Don't we often wish for what others have? Is their life and lifestyle really all that it seems to be? Is the grass really greener on the other side?

We all have problems and situations that test us. We just have to deal with what has been put on our plate to the best of our ability.

I think I am just tired and want my little one to heal.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Sharpie's
2. stinky tennis shoes
3. the puppy that found his way to our home
4. the rain
5. our nurse, J that came out Saturday evening to help us

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ministry from the Young

Our church is pretty small. One adult Sunday school class on Sunday mornings, a few children in the congregation, and many snowbirds make up our congregants.

A fellow Methodist church in Las Cruces has come on a mission trip to lead Vacation Bible School in our little town.

About 15 youth and chaperones have decided to take a few days, come and sleep in our church, and lead Bible Study for our children.

What hearts they have!

I mean, how many kids choose to take time away from their comfortable beds to sleep on the floor of a church?

They have decorated our church like you could not even imagine! They have memorized their lines, prepared great music, and have wonderful hearts for our little ones.

It has truly touched me. That others, especially youth, have heard God's call on their hearts to be with others. To give of themselves selflessly.

I appreciate what they are doing. My Christian is having the time of his life tonight with his friends. The people working with him are so loving and gentle.

I love seeing God work.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Stouffers lasagna
2. hearing rain!
3. lemonade
4. not being in Kansas City for a meeting
5. paperweights

Saturday, July 03, 2010

I Posted Too Soon.....

I am more of a Facebook "lurker" and not one who posts often (my blog posts show up, but I don't go out of my way to post my status).

Tonight I posted that all was quiet in our hospital room (Christian had his surgery today) and that he was sleeping....that lasted about 20 minutes!

So two hours later, I sit here, as he does finally sleep, wide awake, contemplating the day.

Despite all of the medical issues both of my boys have endured, there is one thing that did overwhelm me today...Pain.

Christian has endured an enormous amount of pain today. The kind of pain that when your child is crying and you truly do not know what to do except hold them and wipe their tears.

I've said before that I would gladly endure the pain my children go through rather than they having to deal with it themselves, but I never meant it like I did today.

We all have pain. Physical pain like my sweet, brave boy has been dealing with, emotional pain that so many people go through at the hands of others....

As trite as it may sound, I truly believe the Lord never gives us more than we can handle, but there are sure times I wonder if I am truly the person meant to deal with children with medical issues.

I begin to doubt myself, the decisions I make on their behalf, even the signing of the consent forms for procedures to be done.

I know it all makes us stronger, but I feel strong enough! :)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. a late night Diet Coke
2. my oldest son's love for his baby brother
3. dark rooms
4. the city lights in the wee hours
5. Christian's stars and moon nightlight

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Cried....

I took my Christian to see the surgeon this morning, and he said that the port needs to come out...Friday! The doctor will place a PICC line for temporary access until the site heals and in a few weeks we go back for a new port (and a lengthier hosital stay).

On our two hour drive home, I cried at least halfway.

I cried because my Christian has dealt with so much.

I cried while remembering life before Christian when only Lance was around and how much easier all of this hemophilia stuff was. I had no idea then.

I cried because I often feel like I've no one to talk to. That's when I called my good buddy "T" in Houston :)

Needless to say, I was just being a woman :)

I know that hemophilia has been placed in our lives for many reasons. And I think one of the greatest reasons is that the good Lord knew my hubby and I could handle raising two, very different, boys with this disorder. That we were equipped to teach them all they need to know without feeling sorry for themselves.

To ultimately teach us a thing or two.

But don't we all have our "hemophilia?"

I have a friend dealing with major issues with her step daughter, another with financial problems, a couple with issues dealing with a loved one and their absence...everyone has something.

I don't think anyone can say their problem is worse than the's their problem that needs to be prayed upon. It's their problem that God is in the middle of, maybe they just don't know it yet.

Whatever your "hemophilia" is, I pray that the Lord blesses you, strenghens you and shows up in amazing ways through your situation.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. an old "mixed" CD
2. animal crackers
3. text messages
4. a boss who cares
5. two more nights at home

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Waiting.....

My Christian has been through the ringer over the last few weeks. His port has still not healed and we have another appointment on Wednesday to determine whether or not the port will need to be replaced. He's had an IV in his arm since leaving the hospital a week ago. He' a tough little kid.

The unknowns make me crazy! Will they tell us he has to be admitted to the hospital immediately? Can we schedule the surgery to adapt to our lives, etc.

Only the Lord knows what will happen. We just have to take it one step at a time.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. coffee
2. my new glasses
3. lukewarm water
4. ConKerr Cancer (provides pillowcases in the hospital)
5. daily tear off calendars

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Day My Life Began

Fourteen years ago, my life began. I always go back to that moment, when my oldest son was born.

I base everything off of when my life changed and I became a mom for the first time.

I remember seeing him for the first time, the doctor laying him on my chest and almost suffocating from the extreme love that came out of me. It was overwhelming. Something I will never forget.

When I was pregnant with Lance I always wondered, "Will he be musical like me and his Dad?"

Is he ever! He can sing like an angel and plays the oboe (like his mama).

He is so much like his father....funny, offbeat, singing all of the time. He is his own person and doesn't care what anyone else thinks about his personality.

I pray that high school brings him more opportunities and places to fit in comfortably.

I wish I could be with him all of the time to ward off those who don't understand him, but that will never happen again.

It has been my privledge to be his mom. I can't wait to see what the next year brings.

I love you, Lance.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. your video games

2. always ordering the same drink at SONIC

3. your favorite foods are easiest to prepare :)

4. you actually can clean your room

5. your love of music

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Prayed

I'm ashamed to admit it, but since I've been in the hospital with Christian I've not been spending time with God.

Yes, I cried out to him when Christian was being poked while trying to place an IV, but I've not spent time with the Lord on a regular basis.

We get into our routines at home (which I can't wait to do again) and the minute we go out of town, or an emergency arises, everything changes.

The time I spend with God daily is important to me. Why don't I continue that regardless of where I am at?

I think a lot of it is that we are truly creatures of habit.

Personally, I thrive on schedules and expectations, but when that world is pulled out from under me, things get difficult.

I prayed this morning and felt peace. I know God is always there, but I want to keep that relationship strong.

Prayer is not simply requests, it's about relationship.

What's your relationship like right now?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. cotton balls

2. conference calls

3. white boards

4. 4 glasses for a dollar

5. hospital blankets

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Waiting and Healing

When things are out of your hands, what do you do?


We are having to wait for Christian's port to heal so that we can use it when we leave the hospital. Otherwise, we would not be able to infuse him when needed.


Something my Dad had quite a bit of and something I've developed over the years.

Certain things we cannot rush and when we try we usually get into trouble.


Not just the physical, but the emotional.

Sometimes you have to just give everything up to God and say "Thy will be done."


I've been dealing with healing on the physical level lately, but I have a lot of healing to do inside as well.

Healing from a relationship that will never be the same.

Healing from the loss of both parents.

Healing from loneliness.

I am so thankful that I have God on my side to help me day at a time.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. hydrogen peroxide
2. Subway cups
3. crushed ice
4. dinner with a friend
5. my family being together

Monday, June 14, 2010

After Camp...

After camp my life went in a different direction.

I'm still not home.

Last Friday the guys met me for lunch after camp in Albuquerque before I had to fly out to Wisconsin to speak at a bleeding disorders event. Christian started having a bleed and some problems with his port, so off to the hospital we went. We were admitted and are still here.

Things are looking better, it just takes time for healing (I never did get on that plane).

I sent my husband and Lance home Saturday evening so they could take care of church Sunday and continue with their plans of going on to music camp in Sacramento. No need to put everything on hold.

So, Christian and I sit and wait for healing. We are hoping to go home by Wednesday.

When you are in the hospital with a sick child, the loneliness sets in pretty quick. Especially when you are not close to family and friends. But today a ray of light came into my life.

A new friend, who I spent last week at camp with as a counselor, came to visit us today! And she brought treats!

A new friend is always exciting but when someone goes out of their way to visit you, and takes the time to bring you a few's just an overwhelming feeling.

The three of us spent our time in the playroom this afternoon. Christian held her captive...she was new and a willing participant to play :)

God shows up...all the time.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. My new friend "D"

2. peanuts

3. fruit

4. $3 fire engines

5. duct tape

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Hit Over the Head

I feel like I've been hit over the head with a 2 x 4.

I am at Camp Sangre Valiente ( a camp for children with bleeding disorders and their siblings). I am so out of my element that it is almost too much to bear.

The first day I wanted to run away! I am not kidding!

I am a counselor for the younger girls. I have boys, so being around drama and giggling, etc. is very foreign to me, eventhough I taught this age for years.

But I know the Lord led me here for a reason.

To let go.

To experience something new.

To get out of my comfort zone.

To see how passionate members of the industry are in loving these kids and giving of themselves competely.

Isn't that what Christ calls us to do?

To love unconditionally?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Skype

2. strong coffee

3. sunscreen

4. bug spray

5. homemade desserts

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Wee Hours

I'm sitting here in Glorieta, NM anticipating the big day for my husband.

I can't sleep!

All of his years of hard work have come to this moment.

He has answered his call.

He stepped out in faith in a huge way to do the Lord's work.

It is the right time.

I am so proud of him. I only pray that I listen and am tuned in to what the Lord wants me do and can answer in the same way.

Yes, it will be a different course, but I want to open my heart to hear and feel what the Lord wants me to do.

I will be sharing more about the ceremony this evening. Prayers appreciated!

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. stars
2. open windows
3. being spontaneous
4. no television
5. old friends

Monday, May 31, 2010


My mother-in-law, Ruby, is a gem.

We haven't seen her in several months due to the fact that she had knee surgery. She comes at least every six weeks for a visit. She can't stand to not see her grandsons :)

We saw her this weekend as she was coming through on her way to Colorado and she had a big bag for each of us. Bags filled with surprises! The only thing important to me is that she loves, adores and spoils my sons, but she goes the extra mile and spoils me and my husband too!

I had a big bag with a new leopard purse (you can never have too many leopard purses) some new sandals and a Longhorns t-shirt.

It made me feel so special.

When you do the giving for your family, because it's what a mom does, and someone surprises you and thinks enough about you to surprise you, it means the world. Especially when your parents are no longer here.

At one point in our lives Ruby and I could not be in the same room together. It was the stereotypical mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.

My mother would get so angry with me and would tell me, "She is going to be around longer than me! You need to be nice!"

I know my mother is thrilled that Ruby and I have mended our ways and have such a good relationship. I am too.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. spontaneous trips to the lake
2. suitcase surprises
3. fresh broccoli
4. jugs of water
5. sunburns

Friday, May 28, 2010

He's Finished!

Three years ago, our family began a journey...seminary. But the kicker was that my husband had to travel to Denver once a week to get his degree. We live two hours from the airport, so traveling takes a big commitment. Especially once a week.

My husband has been called to ministry for as long as I've known him, it was just finally the right "time" for him to answer the Lord's call on his heart.

Tonight is the first night in three years that my dining room table is clear of books and a laptop.

No clicking of keys on the keyboard, except for my writing.

No airline to ticket to Denver, waiting.

And my husband has his graduation ring on :)

I adore him and admire him for the work he has done.

I've never seen someone commit so completely to what the Lord has asked of anyone.

Next Friday he will officially become a commissioned elder in the Methodist Church.

I just am blown away at how good God is.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. safe journies
2. rings
3. Burt's Bees Lotion
4. ironed clothes
5. Wii Fit

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


A full pantry and freezer.

Gas in the car.

Money in savings.

Children laughing.

A full belly after a homecooked meal.

A comfortable bed.

Watching birds at the birdfeeder.

A happy spouse.

Reading a good book.

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

What gives you a sense of contentment? Leave a comment!

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. My husband's last day of seminary
2. Christian starting Pre-K in August
3. lunch dates
4. long distance girlfriends
5. new glasses

Speakers and Writers


Photo credits ~ Dreamstime

A 2008 Graduate of

Recommended Reading

  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver
  • Praying the Names of God, Ann Spangler
  • The Shack, William P. Young
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
  • Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Mark of the Lion Triology, Francine Rivers
  • The Mitford Series, Jan Karon

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