Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Do you ever have that one thing you don't want to pray for? Maybe it hurts too much to even think about. You know you need to give it to God, but you are afraid he might ask you to change something. What if God doesn't take your side? What if He asks you to do something you don't want to do? Are you just content to sit in your misery, anger, stubbornness? Are you comfortable just the way you are, and praying over it could risk your comfort?

There has been many times in my life where the last thing I wanted was to pray over my circumstances. Being a prideful person it's usually because I am afraid I will be wrong. Sometimes I was just mad at a person or situation. I felt justified to sit and stew in my anger; I certainly didn't want to pray over it. If I did it might result in God telling me to get over it and forgive. Sometimes I didn't want God changing me; I wanted him to change that person or that circumstance.

I once refused to pray over a situation and it nearly cost me my marriage. This one always humbles me. Had God not reached out and hit me with an overwhelming conviction bringing me to my knees in prayer, I would be missing out on the incredible marriage I have now. I would be missing out on having my best friend as my spouse. I wouldn't have the two beautiful blessings God gave us named Hayden and Deacon. I wouldn't have the blessed life I have today. All because I was trying to avoid prayer...over a job. Yes, something that might seem small, but to God it was not.

Kerry and I had been married nearly a year when we found out his teaching job had been cut. He looked and looked for a new job, but nothing was panning out. Finally a job opened up and they were asking him to interview for the position. It was obvious they wanted him for the job. You would think I would have been excited or relieved. However, I was angry. This job was 3 hours away from where we currently lived, and I only had 1 semester left to finish my bachelor's degree. I also didn't want to leave Norman. I loved it there and wanted to stay.

I refused to accept that Kerry wanted to interview for the job. I kept begging him to try and find a job where we lived. We fought over the subject. It got to the point where we stopped discussing it because we couldn't without fighting. This was destroying our marriage and I honestly didn't see how we were going to get past it.

During this time I was just angry. I didn't want to pray. I felt justified in being angry and didn't want to chance that God might be crazy and not take my side (yes, I was a tad immature). I wanted God to make me happy and just fix things, but I didn't want to pray.

Fortunately for me after several months of this God decided to break me. He broke every piece of me and I surrendered in prayer. Immediately God revealed how wrong my heart had been. He showed me exactly what to do and how to better love my husband. I knew right then and there that Kerry needed to apply for that job, and even more so that he would in fact get the job. I knew trusting God was better than my way.

Kerry did get the job and for 2 months we only saw each other on the weekends. After I finished my finals that semester I gladly moved. I couldn't wait to be with my best friend every day again. I didn't care about my previous dreams; I cared more about the perfect plan God had for me and my marriage.

God is the creator of the universe and everything in it. Why do we think we know best? Why do we think he cannot handle our prayers? God is always ready and waiting to hear from us. His way is so much better than our own. His way may not always seem fair or make sense to us at the time, all He asks is that we just trust Him.

So I want to encourage you. If you are running or hiding from God. If you are too angry with someone/something. If you've been wrongfully hurt. If you are depressed. If you are afraid of what God might reveal. Go to Him anyway. He can handle it. You can be honest! I cannot tell you the number of times I've told God that I was angry and couldn't change my feelings only to have Him change them for me. He has changed my heart over and over. I know He will continue to do so. But He gives us the choice, go to Him with prayer or do it our own way.

His perfect plan for my life began with me surrendering my heart to Him in prayer.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hayden's favorites

I really enjoy scrapbooking. However, I rarely get an opportunity to actually sit down for a few hours to do it. I currently have boxes and boxes of pictures just sitting in a corner waiting on me. Anyhow, I saw this idea on Pinterest (pretty sure this is where all my time is going) and I knew I needed to add it to my picture pile to eventually scrapbook.

Each year of school you ask your child a list of their favorite things. It should be interesting to see how things change year to year. With Hayden, a lot of things change minute to minute. I could actually do this survey with her again next week and a lot of the answers would be different. She adapts well to change, which is truly great because life is full of change!

Here are Hayden's Kindergarten favorites:
  • Color--Lime Green
  • Toy--Art supplies
  • Fruit--Strawberry
  • Veggie--Cooked carrots out of the mixed veggie bag (Birdseye Steamed)
  • Dinner to eat--Mini corn-dogs
  • Oufit--A dress (this is actually one of the only constants she's had since she was 2)
  • Board Game--Operation
  • Snack--Candy
  • Animal--Cougar, cause I'm a Keys Cougar (well, of course!)
  • Song--Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland
  • Book--My Bible
  • Friend--Shelly (I'm pretty sure this will always be the same)
  • Cereal--Lucky Charms
  • Outside Activity--Climb the monkey-bars (despite my monkey-bar facebook video posting earlier in the school year, she has actually gotten quite good at them)
  • Beverage--Apple juice
  • Holiday--Christmas
  • Breakfast food--Pancakes, biscuits, bacon, sausage (she's definitely a White)
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? A cheerleader
  • TV show--Olivia
  • Candy--Mr. Goodbar (thanks to her Papa)
  • Movie--Princess and the Frog
  • Restaurant--Sonic
  • Store--Claires
  • Sport--Football
  • Season--Summer
  • Thing to do with Mama--Mama/Hayden dates (going to the library and out to eat)
  • Friend to play with--Kamilya
  • Place to go--Shelly's house
  • Guy--Daddy (i love this one)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What about you?

Normally, I blog to tell you about what God is doing in my life and what I am currently learning. However, I find it really encouraging to hear from others what God is doing in their own lives. So today I would like to hear from you. What is God currently doing in your life? What's he teaching you? How are you serving Him?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Real Deal

A good friend of mine sent me a questionnaire recently asking me questions that pertained to the things I’ve experienced and learned as a Christian. One of the questions made me really think and evaluate the things God has been gracious enough to teach me along the way. I wanted to share some of the most important truths I have learned and cling to. This is the one I’m going to share for today.

Being Authentic. Some of you may be thinking, “Well, of course, that should be a given.” However, for whatever reason this was not a given for me. I became a Christian at the age of 7, but I didn’t really grasp what it meant to be a devoted follower of Christ until my mid 20s. I spent my teen years through early 20s trying to look the part, but it was an imitation the majority of the time.

I was always stressed or frustrated when I didn’t look or act like Christians that I admired. They were so solid in their faith and growing spiritually while I just couldn’t seem to get it together. I remember often thinking or saying “I need to really clean up before I can come to God.” So I would try to “clean up” and when I would fail I would just become depressed or give up for awhile. It was a burden. I claimed to be a Christian, but the majority of the time I felt I was just acting out a part for other believers…and I was a terrible actress (think local commercial or infomercial).

One day my husband came home and told me he felt God leading him into full-time youth ministry. I was excited, but immediately felt so inadequate. Now I really needed to “clean up.” I better learn my Bible front to back, practice praying aloud, and definitely clean up my speech. I had to begin fitting this perfect image of a youth pastor’s wife. Fortunately for me, God was about to shatter my ridiculous and false expectations and begin in me a new and very real journey.

Kerry became a full-time youth pastor a few short months after telling me he felt called to ministry. It was in the early months of our time at our first church that God started to tear apart the false lies I had been telling myself all these years.

I was surrounded by a church family that was very admittedly flawed. They were not perfect and they weren’t trying to play a part. They were who they were, but allowing God to use them for His glory. They were real, authentic.

One day I felt God tell me “Quit trying to look like so-and-so…I created you to be you for a reason…be who you are and let me use you and transform you.” It wasn’t about looking a certain way or saying all the right things. It wasn’t about playing a part. God wanted me to come to him just as I was. He created me. He knows who I really am, it was doing me no good to try and come before him as something I was not. He’s God; He’s not fooled by anything. It was really ignorant and pompous of me to think otherwise.

It was such a burden lifted to know I could and more importantly I needed to be myself. I could be real about my struggles and sins. I could now be me and allow God to work through the real me. No more playing a part. Authenticity was a huge breath of fresh air.

My life hasn’t been the same since. Once I became honest and real with God and others, God has poured out the floodgates. I began keeping a journal/prayer journal right about the beginning of this time. It is a blessing to be able to look back and see all that I have learned, and prayers that have been answered. He has taught me so much, pulling and stretching my faith in many different directions. I am fascinated by what He continues to do in my life. I will never be done learning, growing, or being transformed. It will never be about accomplishing a certain amount of knowledge or maturity. I know that will never happen. Instead, I am blessed to experience the change that God is continually doing in my life.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Things I Love

As I was perusing around on Facebook the other day I noticed a friend of mine had compiled a list of things she loves (thank-you Lisa.) I loved reading her list and instantly began composing my own list in my head. Turns out, I love a whole lot of things! So I decided to take my list to the blog. This list is very long. I really could have kept going, but I do have people I love...that require my attention...and need to be fed. I love the following...

The gift of grace
My husband--he is my best friend, he always makes me laugh, and never ceases to amaze me
Hayden & Deacon--every single ounce of them
My parents
My in-laws--I am blessed. I realize not everyone loves their in-laws, however, mine are awesome
Going to a restaurant...without my kids
Making a new friend
Watching my kids happily play together
Bargains--garage sales, thrift stores, or just a good sale
Hayden's laugh when she gets really tickled
The sweet way Deacon will randomly lay his head on me and say "I love you Mama."
Taking Hayden to the library
Picnics with my family
Reading new books
The smell of new books
Going to the pumpkin patch each fall
Taking way too many pictures of my kiddos
The beach--I want to go so badly!
Holiday scented candles
My friends--when I sit and think of each of them and what they mean to me, I am overwhelmed with how blessed I am to be a part of their lives
Being a stay-at-home mom
The smell of clean laundry washed with Tide
Italian food--Pete's place particularly
Cuddling with my kids
When God gives me direct opportunities to be used by Him
Seeing someone grow in their faith
Choco Tacos--so bad, but so good
Mountain Dew--again ^
Mcalisters' sweet tea
Laughing, and laughing until tears flow
How happy QuikTrip makes my kids, especially Deacon
Singing loudly in the car when I'm alone
Dancing when I'm alone
Scrapbooking--even though I only do it like once a year
Writing--new love
How romantic and thoughtful my husband is
Third Day and going to their concerts
Shelly--my daughter's best friend and how Hayden will tell anyone Shelly is her best friend
The pictures my daughter draws
Deacon's perfect comedic timing--the fact that he's two and has perfect comedic timing
Arcadian Inn in Edmond, OK--seriously, it's the best!
Not having a car payment
Pizza from Sam n Ellas
Lunch dates at Compadres with Lisa and Andrea--I miss those days!
Women of Faith conferences
Spending a weekend once a month with my Granny
Emily's Tea Room
My You Version Bible app
Having a million inside jokes with my husband--we have so many we can't remember where some of them even originated
The first time I held my babies after they were born
My dad's laugh--trust me it's very unique...and loud
My mom's love for her grandchildren
Where I currently live and how beautiful it is, especially in the fall
Phoebe--my old, cranky, and fat dog--and how she loves me the most :)
Living by a spectacular Lake
Watching Hayden interact with people--such a social butterfly
The change God is continually doing in my life
Milk Glass and Jade things
How when Deacon takes a bath the first thing he always says is "wash my feet first"
Hayden's clumsiness--although I feel bad for her sometimes, watching her trip over nothing really tells me she is my kid :)
Listening to my husband teach
An uplifting word of encouragement from a friend at just the right moment
Vacations--even if it is Branson every time
The smell of a new baby
Hayden's love for birthdays--any birthdays, not just her own
When Deacon says "shamwich"
Watching Kerry play with our kids
Watching my kids faces lite up when they see their daddy
Rainy days when I have no where to go
Cards and stationary
Seeing my kids make their grandparents smile and laugh
My baby brother--He always makes me laugh and is a little protective like an older brother would be.
Hearing my husband come up the driveway when he's home from work

There is so much more. This is a good reminder of how blessed I really am. I may have to do a "Things I Love Round 2" sometime down the road :)