Friday, December 30, 2011

New York!

So it has taken me a while to get back into this blogging thing.  Busy September and October, then I got a little sick and then I moved.  Made for some crazy happenings... and lack of blogging.  So thought I would do a little catch up...


Upon arrival found a whole slew of these cupcakes for a belated birthday celebration.  My sister remembered my fav and cookied up a few dozen of these guys!
They were YUM!

One of my favorite things the whole trip was getting to see Mary Poppins on Broadway.  It was so amazing!  I felt like a little kid the whole time... just smiled through the entire performance.
And yep... I busted out some colored tights!

Steph attempting to walk up the wall... inspiration from the play!

One afternoon we ate our way through Chinatown. Dim-sun and all!

Green tea shaved ice with mango and green jelly!

Some really off the wall ice creams... (sadly I can't remember what they were called!

Then one night we had sushi... holy cow it was amazing!!!

I had some fun with the color accent on my little camera.  I hadn't noticed before... but my sister's hand is a little creepy!

Got to go see the 911 Memorial.  Really moving and amazing!

This fish dish was awesome!

A flower in Central Park!

And we took a night boat tour to see the lights of New York... it was really great!

A little fun with time lapse...

All in all it was a really fun trip!  Thanks Steph and Jerry for your hospitality...

2011 in Review

2011 has been another interesting and hard year.
One of the side effects of Lymes Disease for me as been a loss in memory.  It has been so hard for me to just recall things like I used to.  I would blame it on getting old, but I don't think I am quite that old yet. (I don't want this to sounds too dramatic, I don't have amnesia.)
But pictures have become a big part of jogging my memory.  (I knew they would come in handy somehow!)
So here is some of 2011... in picture review!

Amazing snow and ice in February!

2nd trip to Haiti... watching our kids love and serve the Haitian kiddos was priceless!

Warrior Dash... fun times with a fun team!

Being able to witness the birth of my nephew Harper!



and more painting!

Mavs win the championship... superstition and all!

Finding out I have lymes disease along with other things that bring on... 
lots of pills to take!

Resting in Florida with friends.

Ziplining in Costa Rica!

New York with the fam!

And lots of sweet babies born and adopted. Friends getting married.  There were trips to visit friends and reunions to attend. Tragedies and sicknesses that plagued our staff family. Lots of verses exchanged over texts to remind us who to put our trust in. Forgiveness granted in friendships that were torn. Healing from the year before of so much loss. 
2011 was an interesting year.  Hard to really process all that came and went.  2012 is on its way... hopeful to grow deeper in loving God above all things, serving others, and sharing His truth without fear.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Great Team

Great teams are made up of a lot of things...
-gifted people
-passionate people
-a balance of personalities
-people who carry their weight and aren't afraid to help you carry yours
-people you can laugh with
-share your heart with
-and cry with!
Oh and did I mention... play with!
I work with one of the greatest teams on the planet!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Want vs Need

Most of the time in life we run after what we want, what we desire.  And a lot of the time this gets us into trouble or distracts us from what is important.  We talk about not just wanting things but getting what we really need.  And sometimes, we don't even really know what we need.
And then I started thinking about my relationship with the Lord.  I need Him.  And I have to go to Him A LOT to get what I need.  I was created for Him and therefore need what He has.  But... do I want Him?  Do I desire Him?
In relationships, we don't just want someone to come to us because they need things.  We want them to want us, to desire to be with us.  And why wouldn't that also be true with the Lord?  Wouldn't it bring Him joy for us to come to Him because we desire Him?  Because we want to be with Him, not just need something from Him?
This is not fully baked yet... but it sure has me thinking!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nativity Scene

Today I had the joy of hanging out with the crowd to build a nativity scene out of material taken from former drug houses in Dallas. Such a great idea.  Taking something that formerly housed death and destruction and creating the picture of the "house" that first held the Savior of the world.  
Here are some pics of the finished product...

Thanks gang for letting me be a part!
And if you are looking for a way to turn chaos into hope.... check this out...
it's a conspiracy!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A 10 Year Letter

I've been more than absent on the blog thing.  For you few faithful readers, sorry about that.  A combination of sickness and travel have lead to this falling to the bottom of the list.  But I could no resist sharing this.

A friend of mine name Sarah is an amazing writer.  She wrote a note to her husband, Paul, of 10 years and I wanted to share it.  She writes what I watch them and many marriages around me live out.

So click here ... be encouraged and challenged!
(video is an advertisement and not related)

Hopefully sometime before Christmas I will get pics of up some of my travel adventures.

Video Thursday: Cosby Outtakes Part 1

You have to turn your volume way up... and there are some commercials... but wait it out... stinkin' funny!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Video Thursday: Stop It!

This video brings me laughter every time I watch it!  You have to watch all the way to the end!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Little Sucker Update!

My lack of posting has not been a lack of things going on and definitely not a lack of things to say.  But maybe a feeling I have too much to say and just not enough umph to say it all.  So I will just update with what has happened in my health world and will leave all the other posts for another day.

Basically the update on the little sucker... I have Lyme Disease.  The test came back positive, and when I asked the doctor if it could be anything else, I got this look, to which I replied, "you're pretty sure that's what it is aren't you?"  And so... we started my treatment.  I am now on 5 antibiotic pills a day.  Can you say... holy cow!  It has made me feel even more funky, which is not very fun.  But I am in it for 30 days, hoping that it is going to wipe out all the funky stuff in my body.  Lots of people have asked... "is it possible for it to completely go away?" And I actually have no idea.  I did not ask a while lot of questions.  I know I should have, just didn't.

I'm taking a crazy number of pills every day.  Most are supplements that are hopefully doing great things for me. I am looking forward to this 30 days being over, and hopefully feeling a ton better and the best thing would be for the Lyme's to be gone.  But for now, one step and a whole lot of pills at a time!

The Lord has been sustaining me in some pretty awesome ways through the truth of His word.  One of my favorite this week...
"Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you.  Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you."  Psalm 143:8

Hopefully before October is over I will post about Costa Rica, New York, the President of Burundi, and saying "yes" to the Lord!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Video Thursday : Charlie Chuckles

Oldie... but still funny when Charlie laughs!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Video(s) Thursday : We are the World

This brought back some memories...

Then I found this one...

And then... this very cool video thank you from Haiti...

My heart breaks for the pain that continues to take place in both Africa and Haiti.  Thankful to be a part of a body of believers that is a part of bringing hope and Truth to both!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Little Sucker

My health saga continues.  Thankfully I am working with a Dr. who is willing to go the distance with me.  He looked at all my precious blood work, my saliva test results and then ordered more blood.  When I arrived at the hospital to have my blood drawn last Friday she pulled out 6 tubes.  Can you say... craziness!!!
So this week I went back for those results.  The results showed there is definitely something going on in my body.  Some of my immune counts are low, indicating my body might be fighting something.  That something is still unknown.

Then he said I for sure have some adrenal fatigue.  Doesn't surprise me much since that is the place that deals with stress.  And after last year... how can that little guy not be tired??!!  So I'm taking some vitamins and such to help nourish him back to health.  (Not sure why I decided my adrenal gland is a guy??)

He also said my iron count is still low and that for someone who is as healthy as I am, that doesn't make sense.  So he gave me an iron shot... that too was interesting!  I have not had a shot in my hiney as long as I can remember.  I had to have 2... the first one was to find out if I am allergic to the shot they were going to give.  Our conversation went something like this...
Nurse: "Let me know if you experience any changes in the next 15 minutes."
Me:  "Ummm... like what?"
Nurse: "Temperature changes, itchiness, hives... anything like that!"
Me:  "Ummm, ok!?!?!??!?!?!?!"
For the next 15 minutes I sat there wondering if I was itchy.  Because of course I was since she said I might be!  And this is the sign I saw as I waited...
But nothing really changed and so shot #2 given!

AND he wants me to take an antibiotic to see if it takes care of whatever is going on.  He said I would be real sensitive to sun so would need to take precaution to stay out of the sun while on it.  I quickly said... "I'm going to Costa Rica in a little over a week and 1/2!  Could we maybe wait until after I get back?"  I then promised him Costa Rica would for sure make me feel better.  He said that was fine and I can wait!

Then he told me he wants to test my blood for Lyme disease.  A couple things went through my head.
1) Meredith in my community group has Lyme disease and I've watched her the last year battle hard.  When I talked to her on the phone I told her... "Mere, I love you.  But I've watched the hell you've been through and I really don't want to follow in your footsteps."
And yet, if I do have it... what AMAZING provision of God to provide her to walk with me!
2) When I actually got the tick bite last June I was so overwhelmed with the joy of God's attention to details that weekend.  And today, if I have Lyme disease, I will not now go back on that joy and believe in that attention to detail. (See original post here.)
3) We are back to the percentages thing again.  The tick was on me for less than 2 hours and I did not end up with a rash at any point because of the bite.  And so it seems like a small chance that I have the disease.  BUT as I said before when I got a biopsy... if I am not supposed to have Lyme disease... there is 0% chance that little sucker (pun intended) gave me the disease.  But if it is part of my story, then he could be on me for 2 seconds and I will have it.

I go back on Tuesday for the test.  Then it will be 4 weeks before I know anything.  A fun time to wait and keep my eyes on the Lord and trust that He is in control of all things.  Not always easy, but always true.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Video Thursday : "Churros"

Gotta be sure we get some laughs in here...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Let the Unwrapping Begin!

This week something hit me. Each day is a new day... profound I know! But a new day for what?  And this is what I realized...
A new day to learn and know more about God.  A new day to love Him and be loved by Him. And a new day to make Him known!
And it got me really excited.  I realize this is not necessarily new information or something that I haven't even thought, been told, or realized before.  BUT it felt fresh and new this week.  It felt really great to think about the newness of that.  The freshness of a new day.  Yesterday is gone! And today is a gift, waiting to be unwrapped!
I've also come to realize over these last couple of years the importance of starting that new day with the Lord.  Of giving Him my first fruits.  This is a little bit of a miracle for me because I am not a morning person.  When I shared a bathroom with my friend Ang, she knew I don't really talk before 9am!
When I do get up and choose to give God the time and space He deserves... amazing things happen.  I am filled up.  My focus is set right.  I am renewed in Him. And thoughts about how to head into the day are clear.  It allows me to connect with my Savior, Creator, Lord, Best Friend, and Father!  It reminds me of so many things. Whose I am. What the point of this life is.  Who I am.  Why I do what I do. Who I get what I need for the day from.  Who He is.
And then the gift of the day is in perspective.  And I remember where it came from and what it is for.
Then let the unwrapping begin!

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
Lamentations 3:22-24

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Video Thursday : Books of the Bible

Be sure to listen all the way to the end for the little surprise!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Witness OR Witness Protection?

from John Belle on ToonPool

"But you are my witnesses, O Israel," says the Lord. Isaiah 43:10aa

So this week in Breaking Free, the last week actually, we are talking about being a planting for the Lord, displaying His glory.  I will plan to do a post about that too, but this post rests on the VERY beginning on Isaiah 43:10.  Here it says that we are His witnesses.  And this got me to thinking about the idea of being a witness and what that means.

So I looked up the word on  Here is what it said...


  [wit-nis]  Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception:to witness an accident.
to be present at (an occurrence) as a formal witness,spectator, bystander, etc.: She witnessed our wedding.
to bear witness to; testify to; give or afford evidence of.
to attest by one's signature: He witnessed her will.

Now I got to thinking.  Does my life really give witness to an active, living, loving God?  Do people see, hear and know that God is real because they experience Him in my life? If I give testimony, is there any doubt that He is real? (And funny that I have never connected testimony in my head that way!)  Do I attest to God, His sovereignty, His love, His righteousness by my words and actions?
Or am I acting like I am in the witness protection program.  Hoping people don't notice me or who I am connected too?  Am I afraid of what will happen?  Who I will upset or disappoint?
And the answer to all of the above is SOMETIMES.  And that's not my favorite answer. I want to be bold.  I don't want to be like Peter who denied Christ because of fear.  But oh I do so often relate to Peter!

And so my prayer is that I will love God more.  That I will know Him deeper.  That I will be more bold and courageous for Him and His truth.  That I will bear great witness and that I will not seem as though I am in the witness protection program!
And I just realized... as a witness for Him... I am protected!  Check out Isaiah 43:13!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Broken Leg!

My friend Ann, who I work on staff with, found out that she has kidney cancer.  As I sat and listened to her share it with our staff, I was so encouraged and thankful for her hope in God and His care and sovereignty in her life.  If you want to read more about her processing, check out her blog:
(Side note:  Ann writes for a living and is really gifted at what she does.  So it is a great read :)

So on to the reason I am telling you about this.  You see, there were a few other things rolling through my head as she shared.  As I have been fighting with all this health stuff I have consistently been saying a few things.
First... It is hard that what is wrong with me is not external that you can see.  If I had a broken leg, I would have a cast, take some pain meds, ask for help, and those coming in contact with me would see exactly what was wrong.
Second... Not knowing is driving me crazy.  As I said above... broken leg... what to do... CLEAR!  But not knowing means just living through the symptoms of each day, a little bit in a fog AND no one can see what is wrong with me, so it is not apparent upon glancing that something is.
And so as I listened to Ann I thought... "Lord, I really do think if I found out I had cancer, I would be trusting You like that."
And you know what I heard back... "How about trust me like that even when you don't know what it is!"
OH... RIGHT!!!
I can glorify Him in the not knowing.  I can trust that He is sovereign over all of it, even when I have no idea what is going on.  (In fact, isn't that pretty much what is going on 99.999999% of the time??) I can be thankful even in the midst of the unknown.

So that's what I am trying to do.  Lean in, and trust Him, even when I don't have answers.

A little info on my health stuff... I took a saliva test this past week.  A crazy kit where I take my saliva at 4 different parts of the day, under some specific conditions.  Then I mail it... thank you UPS.  I have an appointment this Friday with my friend's Dad to talk through what all they found.  Hoping for answers.  Praying for answers.  But trusting the Lord has much purpose in this part of the process too!

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,and he turned to me and heard my cry. Isaiah 40:1

The animal pics were found on the website "animals with casts"! Who knew there was such a thing??
And this is just a bonus video I found while looking for the cast picture.  The music is awesome!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It's no secret that I LOVE cupcakes!  I do not know what started this love.  But I do... my absolute favorite is yellow cake with milk chocolate icing.  And preferably homemade!  Probably tied for 2nd are strawberry with strawberry icing and lemon with lemon icing.  (Lemon should be punch you in the face tart.)
And no only do I love to eat them... pictures of fun cupcakes just plain make me happy!
So here are a few of my favorites!

These are from the website ...

And then these are from all over the web...

These are from

From the momma momma blog...

And last and the greatest... from the

I mean who isn't smiling after all those happy things!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Review: Unbroken

I had heard a ton about this book being so great and so I decided to read it.  It is by Laura Hillenbrand who wrote Seabiscuit.  It is a true story about a World War II POW.
I typically don't read these kind of books.  I'm not a huge reader any way and so most of my reading is non-fiction books that spur me on in my walk with the Lord.  When I read fiction they are typically Francine Rivers books or ones that are similar.  And so I was not sure how I was going to like this book.
BUT...  The preface had me hooked!  I was drawn in and captured and never wanted to put the book down.
What these men went through is truly unbelievable.  Being the skeptic I am, if I hadn't seen a picture of the real person alive today, I would have thought she embellished at least some of it.  These men endured hell on earth.  There is just no other way to describe it.  And I just don't think I would have made it past the sharks!

The only thing I think I wrestle a little bit with is the title.  I know I may be treading on some toes here.  So maybe stop reading if you don't want to be ruffled.  But, I don't think Louie was completely unbroken.  For sure he was determined to stay alive and he fought, he fought hard, and he survived. But our goal in life is not to be unbroken.  If anything it is to be broken of our self will, our self reliance.  We are to grow more and more dependent on the One who has all that we need.

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Psalm 51:17

I feel like I could go on and on about things I learned from reading it, but I don't want to give any of the book away.  So I will refrain from making all the comments I want to on Louie and his brokenness vs unbrokenness.
I think every person should read it.  It makes you thankful for the men and women who sacrifice and sacrificed their lives so we can be free.  It challenges you to think about what you believe and what keeps you from being broken.  What could you survive through? And, are you willing to be broken so that you can be whole in the One who sacrificed His life so you could be saved?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wait For Your Bo"az"!

Our Director of Young Adult Ministry sent this to me last week...

For single ladies: 
Quick Bible Lesson: 
In the Bible, Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz. 
While waiting on YOUR Boaz, don't settle for ANY of his relatives: 
Lazyaz or
And especially his third cousin Beatinyoaz. 
Please wait on your Boaz!

Isn't that AWESOME!  And I used the above picture from Google, because that's what Boaz made me think of!!