Friday, March 30, 2012

A Unique Gift

“Your presence is a unique gift to the world.”

As I sat in the hospital with my “Christian” during his recent knee bleed, I started to think about the amount of time I was with him. I wanted to “work”, and I had my laptop and some papers, but I was only able to keep up with my email a bit. It’s hard to work from the hospital. There is just too much going on.

I started thinking about the business trip I had to cancel while Christian was still in the hospital. I could have gone, but my heart and mind would have been here at the hospital and not with my work. It all worked out.

In these situations I have learned that presence is most important.

Christian is not going to remember the work I missed, or the trips I did or did not take, he is going to remember that his Mommy was always with him in the hospital (not that Daddy can’t do it…’s just not the same without your Mommy).

My presence to my son is the ultimate gift I can give to him.

Yes, working to earn money and take care of him is important, etc. but my presence is what he is going to always remember.

My world is my family. If I can’t be present for them, then I am not living my life as authentically as I am meant to be living.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Hospital tray bacon

2. Wearing socks on a cold floor

3. Thin, hospital pillows (and using at least 3) 

4. Disney Junior

5. Food Network

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Monday, March 26, 2012


I remember my sister coming home from school one day (she was a junior in high school and I was in 5th grade) with an instrument for me.  She had told her band director that I made good grades and Mrs. D said, "then she is going to play oboe."

I soon started taking private lessons and realized music was truly my passion.

I had no idea how much of an impact playing that instrument would have on my life.  I excelled in music and eventually majored in Music Education in college and became a band director.  Throughout the years, I found great pleasure in playing freelance around the city of Houston, mainly at churches, and made many friends and most importantly, made some great music.

Yesterday I played a concert with the Mesilla Valley Concert Band and it was just wonderful.  Procession of the Nobles, Holst's Suite in Eb….some band standards that are timeless.  I sat there on the front row looking out at the audience (always a packed house at NMSU) and was filled with thanks…..thanks for my first band director, thanks to my dad who took me to lesson after lesson on Saturday mornings and thanks to all of the people who believed in my music. 

I am enjoying my music more than ever by playing in a band again.  Since I left teaching, I have had a void in my life.  I've missed making music on a regular basis.  I had no idea the day that oboe arrived in my home from Galena Park High School that my life would change and have meaning.

It's amazing what passion does to your life.  It can slip from our fingers and be forgotten and if you are lucky enough to awaken what makes you happy, you are blessed beyond measure.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  Blackberries
2.  Homemade tortillas
3.  When your Spanish rice turns out perfect :)
4.  Blingy sunglasses
5.  Hope

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Falling Into Place

Don't you just love it when all the pieces just fall into place?  It's like when you play Solitaire on the computer and you get to see all of the cards move into place and the cards go crazy!  I love the "crazy" part :)

We went to Rio Rancho this weekend, and the boys and I met the pastor and her husband (absolutely amazing people).  They invited us into their home (they offered to lease us their house until our Houston home sells...and it is gorgeous) and took us on a tour of the church.  We were even fortunate enough to meet several church members while they were practicing for a program...their spirits are amazing!  Financial concerns about moving are being lessened and we have the support of our current church for this move. 

We have received several emails from our new church family welcoming us and we still have three months until we arrive! 

This is an amazing time in the life of our family.  A time for change, renewal, challenges, and most importantly, hope. I am so overwhelmed with how God is allowing everything to fall into place.  I don't know why I am surprised, I've seen Him work before!  I just sometimes let the enemy sneak in and whisper doubt into my ear.

But not this time! 

Today I am Thankful For:

1.  Dust storms
2.  Donating clothes
3.  Trash bags
4.  Unraveling strings on a comforter
5.  Laundry baskets

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Condemnation or Restoration?

Imagine a condemned building.  Dangerous.  Unfit.  Unusable.  Have you ever felt that way? 


At some point in your life, you may have been in a pit of despair.  Perhaps dealing with a deep, dark depression that smothers you.  Maybe your financial situation has been bleak at best and you felt as if there was no way out other than bankruptcy.  Why are your children struggling with so many issues….what did you do wrong?  These are a few things that can bring us to our knees.  Too many times we go to our knees and forget to look up to the One who has created us.  The One who knows everything about us from our past to our future, mistakes and all. 

If Jesus was standing in front of that condemned building, I doubt very seriously that the thought of tearing the building down would even cross his mind.  I like to believe that Jesus would be standing there with plans to "flip" that building!  Not tear down, but renovate.  Not dwell on the problem areas, but improve on what is already present.  John 3:17 tells us that not only did the Father see us with all of our baggage, but He saw what we were each meant to be.  More than what we can even sometimes see for ourselves.  He saw someone He loved so much that He would send His only Son to die an excruciating death for us.  God sent His one and only Son to heal us.  To forgive us.  And most importantly, to use us in ways we could never imagine.

"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. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."  John 3:16 - 18 (NIV)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  a noisy ceiling fan
2.  mini cupcakes
3.  devout Bible Study ladies
4.  magazines
5.  ironing boards

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

BIG Happenings!

When our family stepped out in faith six years ago to come to New Mexico (without a house even rented) it was exhilarating! We knew that we were following the path that Christ had laid out for us. Yes, it was a bit scary, but when you know you are being led, the fear only lasts for a moment.

 My husband has been called to a new appointment. In the United Methodist Church, pastors are on the itinerant system and go where the cabinet (church conference leadership) asks them to go and lead. We are moving in June to Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The fastest growing city in New Mexico.

We are so excited that we can hardly even stand it.

It's bittersweet, because our church family here in Truth or Consequences has done nothing but loved us and loved us well. We are better people because of them. Leaving is going to be hard, but the time has come.

Not only will this move give my husband the chance to pastor a large, growing congregation, but it will put us 17 miles from the hospital where the hematologists for our boys work (instead of being over 2 hours away). It will also give our oldest son the chance to attend the performing arts high school (he's been in online school...not the best fit for him after the assault).
We have been patient and listened. Listened to how God moves our hearts and nudges us into certain directions.

 It's time to step out in faith again and keep listening.

 Today I Am Thankful For:

1 . snow that doesn't stick

2. Jewelry shows

3. a new watch (leopard, of course)

4. the tingling you feel when your feet fall asleep

5. The buzzing of the dryer

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Monday, March 05, 2012

What if?

I remember one of my former students, "Mayra."  She was a little, bitty sixth grade oboe player.  I taught her how to open her instrument case, put her fingers on the instrument and make "sounds".  The thing about Mayra was that she always had questions.  "What if I break a reed?  What if this part gets stuck?  What if I play a wrong note?"  and on and on.

I finally got to the point of telling her that if her question started with "what if" it probably wasn't worth asking.

 Don’t we "what if" ourselves into some pretty bad places?  "What if's" get us into trouble.  We wait for an answer to an application and wonder if we are even good enough to apply, we teach a class at church and wonder if we will know enough to make a difference, we even "what if" the decisions we make when parenting our children.  The list goes on and on.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes a good "what if" helps us to plan ahead and be prepared.  But these questions too often take away from what God knows….that we are His Beloved.

If we let the "what if's" take over, we will forget the promise in Ephesians 2:10:

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV)

 God has never made a mistake.  You are here for a purpose.  If we "what if" ourselves into not moving forward and taking chances, we may never know what the good works are that He has in store for us.

 Today I Am Thankful For:
1.  Setting clothes out the night before
2.  My leopard print robe
3.  New reading glasses!
4.  Collapsible laundry baskets
5.  Old pillows

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Friday, March 02, 2012


I'll be honest about something.  The thing that scares me the most about continuing Seminary is the "language."  When you are in school, your writing takes on a new langage.  An academic style.  I've been writing columns and blogs for quite a while and it does not translate well to the world of "academia." 

It scares me to death.  The whole world of theology is a completely different animal on an academic level.  But I have to suck it up and do it.  I am in the process of researching upcoming classes and getting back into the swing of higher education.

I am excitedly working through my book for the initial process through the church and will meet with my mentor next week for discussion.

Possibilites are everywhere.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  being Diet Coke free for over a week!
2.  video games to pass the time during long infusions
3.  pants with holes (because it means my little one plays hard)
4.  rolling tables in the hospital
5.  possibilities

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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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