Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Being a wife in ministry means my family has moved around several times.  While moving can be difficult at times, it has always came with a sense of excitement for me as well.  The reason being is because I love to meet new people.  We’ve had the opportunity to meet many people over the last several years that we would have never met had God not moved us a “few” times.

My favorite part of being somewhere new is the potential to make new friends.  There are many people who we have been honored to become friends with.  People who have loved on us, invested in our family, and been there for us when we needed them.

This last week we lost Steve.  A man Kerry and I were honored to call friend and whom we loved dearly.

We met Steve and his wife Sandy when my husband became pastor of their church.  Very early on they took the time to invest in our family’s life and we soon developed into friends.  I remember the first time we spent time with them, Sandy jokingly said, “We didn’t know if you guys would want to hang out with us old folks.”  Let me tell you, there was never a time we thought of them as old folks!  Steve and Sandy both had more energy and were far more active than Kerry and I.  They even reminded me of newlyweds.  They were both so affectionate and lovey-dovey.  Steve always had the look of love and admiration in his eyes when watching Sandy.  Sandy likewise looked at Steve with adoration and respect.  They were so beautiful to watch.  I loved their marriage and thought to myself many times that I hoped Kerry and I would be still growing and as love as they were in 20 years.

We enjoyed every minute we spent with Steve and Sandy, whether it was dinner or a trip to Norman for an OU football game (being an OU fan was another beautiful quality in Steve). But my favorite times and memories with Steve is our times on the lake.

Every chance we could our family took Steve up on his invite to join he and Sandy on their boat.  Our family had so much fun.  Steve would pull us all on the tube and even go extra slow just for Hayden…I mean embarrassingly slow (mainly because she would get on to him if he sped up, even a tiny bit).  Once, on a very hilarious occasion he successfully threw Kerry off the tube.  It wasn’t just your normal falling off the tube; Kerry flew up in the air and did a back-flip before hitting the water.  We all enjoyed a big laugh on that one.  I’m going to miss that ornery grin and laugh of his.

Another time Steve asked us to join them at the lake and told us to make sure Hayden brought her fishing pole.  That night Hayden was fishing from the dock and caught a few tiny perch, but she threw them all back in.  Later as we were about to leave, Steve was packing up some stuff and I saw him packing up a skillet, some cornmeal, and some oil.  Sandy leaned over and whispered to me that he wanted to bring them incase Hayden caught a fish he was going to cook it for her.  I remember nearly crying because I thought it was one of the cutest/sweetest things ever…as did Sandy.

Steve loved my kids, genuinely.  He was always so happy to see them and always insisted we bring them on the boat.  This always meant so much to me.  Not everyone really wants you to bring your kids when you come to see them, but Steve and Sandy were upset if we didn’t.

Steve was a very passionate and loyal friend.  If he loved you and considered you a friend you knew it and there was no question.  He had your back and stood up for you.  He’s the guy you always wanted in your corner.   He believed in Kerry and was always there to encourage and support us…for that alone I will be eternally grateful.

I am so brokenhearted to see him leave this earth.  It hurts, and I hurt even more when I see how his precious family is hurting.  However, I praise God because just as Steve was committed to loving and serving his family, he was also lovingly committed to our God.  That means one day we will see my friend again in heaven.  This pain is only temporary and not forever.  I know Steve is up there right now with that beautiful big smile on his face as he takes it all in and enjoys being with our Lord and Savior.

I thank God for the opportunity to have known Steve.  I am a better person for knowing him.  My family is blessed for the time we spent together. 

Steve, you will forever be loved and missed.  See you on the other side.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.  –Psalm 34:18


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Deacon's Favorites


It's Deacon's turn!  I did Hayden's favorites several days ago, and although it was supposed to be something to start once my kids were in school, I decided to go ahead and start a little earlier with Deacon. 

I also have to share a quick story about this boy.  Our family took off for town last night.  The boys dropped us girls off at Hayden's dance class as they were off to do more manly things...shopping at Lowe's.  As I was getting out of the car I told my husband and son "I love you." They both replied with "I love you too."  Later that night my husband told me "Oh, I forgot to tell you earlier what Deacon said after you shut the car door.  He told me "I'm in love with Mama."  Yes...AWWWWWW!!  Can I please keep him my little boy forever?

So without further a do, here are Deacon's favorites...

Color:  Blue and Purple
Toy:  Mr. Potato Head
Fruit:  Banana and Strawberries
Veggie:  Peas and baby carrots
Dinner Food:  Corn dogs (it's always corndogs)
Outfit:  Anything with Toy Story on it, and his rain boots
Snack:  Cheese
Animal:  Cat--both my kids love cats, I feel like it's some sort of punishment since I loathe felines 
Book:  "Should I Share My Ice Cream?" by Mo Willems (mainly because his daddy reads it in a loud Australian accent)
Friend:  Issac from church
Song:  "Mah Na Mah Na" from The Muppets
Cereal:  Cocoa Puggles (Cocoa Pebbles)
Outside Activity:  Play on the swings or in the creek
Beverage:  Milk  (He called it Loke until just recently)
Breakfast:  Donut from the Donut Shop
TV Show:  Umi Zoomi
Candy:  Peanut M&M's
Movie:  Toy Story with the train (Toy Story 3; he has seen it so much he quotes it)
Restaurant:  Cherry Berry (technically not a restaurant, but it is his favorite place to eat.
Things to do with Mama and Daddy:  the boy begs us to constantly tickle him
Place to go:  Mimi and Bear's house or Granny and Papa's house
Favorite Gal:  Mama. (Okay, I kinda added this one, but I'm sure he'd be okay with it.)

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Whose Praise Matters?

Most of the time when I feel God's conviction on a sin in my life I know immediately the struggle that He is going to point out.  Today was different.  I had one of the rare times where God was revealing a struggle in me I didn't realize was there.

I'm currently going through the "read the bible in a year" plan on my YouVersion Bible app.  I have this app on my phone, and I love it.  If you have a smart phone, iPad, Kindle, etc. then I highly recommend it, and it's free!

Anyhow, I was finishing up my assigned chapters for the day when the very last verse just happened to strike a chord within me.  A person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.  -Romans 2:29b

I read that last verse over and over and over.

Do I truly seek praise from God rather than people?  Which do I really care more about?  I know I seek the approval from people I love, close friends, and those I respect.  But have I been caring more about their approval and praise more than God...the only one that truly matters?

This is a struggle I didn't even realize I had.  While I do desire to serve God and be obedient to Him, I tend to focus a great deal of time on what others think about that.  I care a little too much about the praise of others and not enough about the praise and approval of  the one who created me.

I had to stop and ask God to change my heart.  I want my life to be about seeking God's praise.  While I enjoy approval and praise from those around me, it shouldn't be my goal, it cannot be what drives me.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Family Road Trip!

A few months ago Kerry and I decided to take the kids on a day trip and hit some places on Route 66.  We stopped at a couple of our favorites to take some pictures.  I love doing things as a family, even as simple as a small road trip.  

Here is The Round Barn in Arcadia. I love old barns, and this one is awesome.  They have done an excellent job keeping it restored.

I can always count on my Hayden to pose for a picture.  Here is Hayden in front of the barn.

Hayden and Deacon hurrying up the steps.  They were pretty excited to check things out.  Well, that's only half true...we had been in the car for a few hours...they were hurrying for a much needed bathroom break.

After the bathroom break we went inside the gift shop on the first level.  Deacon didn't last too long in there.  He was his typical 2 year-old self.  Grab this, touch that, climb on this, etc.  So I hurried him out and we headed up stairs to check out the loft.

The loft is very cool.  Deacon loved it.  I did however see a sign inside that read "no running or jumping."  Guess who did both?

This gives you a little idea of how big the barn is.

After The Round Barn we headed down the road to our favorite Route 66 attraction.  Pops!!  I just happen to be obsessed with soda pop.  So Pops is pretty much pop heaven for a soda junkie like me.  They have an entire wall full of glass bottle pops of all kinds.  Also, glass bottle pop is my absolute favorite...it just tastes better :)

Here are the kids checking out the giant pop bottle.

I love this next picture. They are such happy kids.  I love them so much!

Pop is a treat for my kids.  I certainly do not want to pass my pop obsession on to them.  So this day they were pumped as they got to pick out their own special soda.  They both chose Jelly Belly Orange Soda, an excellent choice.

Deacon making the correct sound you should make after getting a nice big drink of cold orange soda, "aahh."

Such a great day.  I can't wait for the next trip with my little family :)