I've always wanted to own my own bookstore/coffee shop, and this is what I want to call it. I actually hate cherries, except fresh Bing cherries. But honestly, a hot fudge sundae is not complete without a cherry. It's just that extra topping that makes it perfect. And that's what I want out of life...all the extras that God gives to make it "perfect" or at least a little closer to heavenly.

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Husband Rocks


My husband Lloyd definitely rocks and he is my rock. He is an amazing Dad that goes above and beyond to make sure our boys know how much he loves them. Here he is on his 30 minute lunch break bringing footballs to the boys so they can have them autographed by Razorback football players. He saw quarterback Tyler Wilson and stopped to ask him to sign the balls for the boys.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Clinging to the Cross Video


My mom bought all of her kids and their spouses a book for Valentine's day called Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. That very afternoon my Community Group leader emailed me with the title of the new video series we were starting. You guessed it! Love & Respect! I thought "WOW! This must be God and it's going to be GOOD!" I imagined that God would show Lloyd ways in which he could do a better job of expressing his love for me. And I'm not perfect, so I'm sure God will gently guide me to being a better wife to Lloyd.
Well, I'm 100 pages in and we've watched a video, and I can tell you that I was completely WRONG! There is no gentle guiding going on. I've been smacked upside the head with my sin, and it's hard! The book is actually called Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs. It's based on Ephesians 5:33.
"However, each one of you must also love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." (NIV)
The concept that Dr. Eggerichs presents is not new to me. I know the Bible says to respect my husband, but I'm not sure I've ever REALLY paid attention to it. I've certainly never taken the time to find out what exactly that means. Ephesians 5:33 says "and the wife MUST respect her husband." It doesn't say "WHEN the husband loves his wife as he loves himself, THEN the wife can respect her husband." It says "AND I MUST..." It's a command.
Respect is defined in several ways. These are some of the verb tense definitions I found.

  • Dictionary.com: "to hold in esteem or honor" and "to show regard or consideration for."
  • Word English Dictionary: "to pay proper attention to; not violate." and "to treat courteously or kindly."
  • Webster's: "to take notice of; to regard with special attention; to regard as worthy of special consideration; hence to care for, to heed." and "to consider worthy of esteem."

Dictionary.com also had some interesting things to say about synonyms for respect...
"respect, esteem, veneration also imply recognition of personal qualities by approbation (approval), deference (respectful submission or yielding to the judgement, opinion, will, etc. of another; courteous regard), and more or less affection. Respect is commonly the result of admiration and approbation (approval), together with deference (respectful submission or yielding to the judgement, opinion, will, etc. of another; courteous regard). Esteem is deference combined with admiration and often with affection. Veneration is almost a religious attitude of deep respect, reverence, and love, such as we feel for persons or things of outstanding superiority, endeared by long association." (Definitions added in () are also dictionary.com)
When I look at respecting my husband in that light, conviction blows me away. I am commanded by God...

  • to hold Lloyd in esteem and honor
  • to show regard and consideration for him
  • to pay proper attention to Lloyd
  • to not violate Lloyd (meaning break, infringe, or transgress; interfere thoughtlessly with; treat irreverently)
  • to treat Lloyd courteously and kindly
  • to take notice of Lloyd
  • to regard Lloyd with special attention
  • to regard Lloyd as worthy of special consideration
  • to care for Lloyd
  • to consider Lloyd worthy of esteem
And if I add in some of the synonyms, I am to

  • admire and approve of Lloyd, together with respectfully submitting or yielding to his judgement, opinion, will, etc.
  • have affection for Lloyd
  • have almost a religious attitude of deep respect, reverence, and love, such as I feel for someone or something of outstanding superiority, endeared by long association.
Lloyd is an amazing man, husband, father and I am a positive person, but even this seems too large of a task... I'm not sure I can do this when Lloyd is a "perfect" husband. So how is it I MUST do these things, even if and especially when my husband is not loving me the way God commands him too? But God quiets my restless heart and screaming mind and I'm reminded of the words we sang in church this morning.

"My soul is weak. My heart is numb. I cannot see but still my hope is found in you. I'll hold on tightly. You will never let me go. For Jesus, you will never fail. Jesus, you will never fail."

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I Cor. 12:9

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow Days

We've had 8 "Snow Days" so far this school year, 4 of which occurred this week. Braxton's been recovering from the flu and the high for most days was in the teens. So we really didn't venture out much in our Winter Wonderland. (So thankful we decided to try Netflix last month--LOVE IT!)
Braxton has this amazing 2nd grade teacher. Because we were anticipating so many snow days, she sent a list of activities home with her students to keep them entertained and provide some education during the week. The lists ranges from "clean your room" (which Braxton responds "What kind of teacher does that?") to flip a coin 100 times and tally your results. It's been fun for all of us. As a bonus, for every activity he does and receives his parents signature, he gets a penny towards the classroom store (which means I don't have to persuade him to do his homework)! :)

One of things on the list was "Make Snow Ice Cream," and it occurred to me that I don't think I've ever done this. It was a tradition in Lloyd's home, so we decided it would be a great time to start it in our's as well. The boys loved it--Daddy even made a 2nd helping after the little ones went to bed! :)

Bryce wanted a silly picture!

Brady loved it so much he kept trying to convince us that his wasn't all gone...

Here's the recipe we used...

3 cups of loose clean snow (or shaved ice)
2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients, sample result, and add more sugar and vanilla to taste. (compliments of Kids Bible & Me Learner Guide)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Back again...

I realized not long ago that I haven't blogged in almost a year! Oh my...I just checked again and it's been almost 2 years! So much life has happened in that short amount of time...it's hard to believe. I've been thinking that I'd like to start up again and with all of these snow days, now seems like as good a time as any!

I think I'll start with my current profession...

I used to be an elementary teacher, but I quit when Braxton was a year old. I HATED it and I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. So after a lot of prayer and confirmation that I was doing the right thing, I turned in my notice and never looked back. In fact, I sold or gave away EVERYTHING, with the exception of a couple notebooks and a few favorite children's books.
5 years, several moves, and 2 more children down the road, I found my self in an interesting position. Last year, October 2009, we had recently moved to West Fork, AR. Braxton's teacher was REALLY sick (turned out to be the Swine Flu) and was in the hospital. I was beginning to notice that the work coming home left a lot to be desired. So after a couple of weeks of concern and also prodding from the Spirit, I called the principal and discovered they were unsure when the teacher would be returning and they did not have a certified substitute. I volunteered to substitute for an unknown amount of time, in a new school, in my son's classroom, after having been gone for 5 years...and without childcare for my little ones. Childcare in a small town is difficult enough but to find it in October for 2 kids proved to be especially tricky. No one had room for both boys. But by the end of the week, I was hired and had amazingly found a Godly woman who kept a few other kids in her home, most of which were teacher's kids, 5 minutes from my house. And she had chickens and 2 horses for an extra bonus! God definitely gives us the desires of our hearts!
I ended up staying until Christmas and it was wonderful! God granted me favor with my principal and he asked me to come back and do a maternity leave for another 1st grade teacher around Spring Break. I decided to take that job as well and finished out the school year, but I had no intentions of going back full time. My principal even asked me if I would consider teaching full time and I told him no. I wanted to be home with my boys, after all Bryce only had 1 more year until kindergarten.
But I received a phone call on July 4th weekend from my principal. He said there was a 1st grade position open and wanted to know if I was interested. I said I didn't think so but I would call him after the weekend and let him know for sure.
The funny thing is when I was subbing in the 1st grade classes, I remembered why I loved teaching. West Fork is an awesome school with an amazing principal and staff and I had a wonderfully supportive team. So when the principal and other teachers first started asking me about teaching full time, I began praying that if God wanted me to teach, He would provide a 1st grade job in West Fork. But as time wore on, I really felt like I was supposed to stay home for at least another year so I quit praying about it.
So back to July 4th...so I get a phone call from the principal at the one school I said I would consider teaching at again, for the only grade I said I wanted, for a job I did not apply for (but many others had), and for a job I had told the principal I did not want... Lloyd and I both began to think that there was something, or Someone, much bigger at work here.
But there was still the issue of my own children... I was heartbroken! I didn't want to leave them, especially with only one year left at home with Bryce and with my sweet Brady only being 2! Even now as I type this, my heart is saddened by those thoughts...but I prayed that my husband would really hear from God about this situation and he did. Lloyd strongly felt that God wanted me to take the job, but I was still struggling with being obedient. We were at my parents house for the weekend and I went outside by myself late one night and I just poured my heart out to God...all my doubts, questions, concerns, fears, even anger that this was not what I had planned...and He answered me. I know some of you don't believe that God speaks to us directly and I'll get in to that later. But in the backyard of my parents house that night, I heard Him say that my own children were ok-they were safe and healthy and being raised by parents who loved them and love Him and I needed to go back to teaching for the Kingdom. He told me there were children and adults in the school that needed to experience His love.
So I am currently a "missionary" in West Fork Elementary, posing as a 1st grade teacher and parent facilitator. :) It hasn't been easy, that's for sure. But I have never been more certain that God, the creator of the universe, loves each and every one of us and actively seeks us out.
(Luke 15)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Braxton!

Braxton is 6 today! I can't believe it! That just seems so old...like there's no baby left to hold on to in 6! I am so proud of the young man he's becoming. Braxton is kind-hearted, gentle, very smart, a great big brother, easy to get along with, a friend to everyone, and respectful (usually). My favorite thing is that he already has a heart for God. Several weeks ago, we ate lunch with some of our friends and Braxton wanted to pray. He prayed like he always does, and our friend said "Man Braxton, you're going to be a preacher or something!" I was so touched. I don't really care if Braxton grows up to be a preacher but I love that at 6 someone (other than me) recognizes his relationship with his Heavenly Father. I just pray that remains the most important relationship throughout his life--that he relies on his Father for love, joy, safety, comfort, peace, security, everything.

So, Happy Birthday Braxton! Here's to an amazing 6th year of life! I love you!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Praying for My Husband

Hi Ladies! I'm back... at least for today! My children are actually quietly playing in their room for a minute so I can blog! Woohoo!
So while I've been away, God has been working on me! As usual!

I spoke too soon! Bryce just hit Brady in the head and now Brady's crying and Bryce is screaming that he wants to come out of time out! The joys of motherhood with toddlers!

Anyway, my husband has been stressed which causes him to be cranky which causes him to not talk very sweetly to me which drives me INSANE! I've tried being nice. I've tried sarcasm. I've tried speaking truth in love and not so much in love. Nothing has worked, at least not for any extended amount of time. So I've been complaining a lot, arguing a lot, and not being very supportive. Honestly, I even told him that if it wasn't for the kids I would leave b/c I can't stand being treated this way. (Which of course is not true and I apologized profusely once I got my self under control again) I've made this about me and not about him, and once again its not about me!
And then one night this weekend, God spoke... I was smacked upside the head with the idea that I had not once prayed for my husband in any of this. I pray for him daily to be safe and blah, blah, blah, but I have not lifted him up in prayer about his job or his stress or his heart or attitude. And isn't that what I should be doing first?! So I'm committing to praying for intimately praying for my husband. Anyone else care to join me?
I Peter 3:1-2
1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
James 5:13-16
13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man (or woman) is powerful and effective.