Archive | February, 2012

Minny Don’t Burn Chicken

26 Feb

Lot’s of stuff on my mind right now. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to blog about the birthday parties I went to this weekend or the movie we just watched. I’m gonna combine both ideas and try to keep it under 671 words…here goes.

Thought one: Friday we went to Sophia’s 4th bday party. For those of you who don’t know Sophia she belongs to Ray and Chantel Ortiz.  If those names sound familiar to you it’s because they are the lead pastors at Revive Church.  We first met Sophia before she was walking and D has spent the last 3 summers swimming with her and her brother.  When we decided to move to Austin I was so excited because they would still get to swim together.  True story.  Chantel and I have had that conversation; we’re glad they’re swim friends; they even use matching pink towels. lol

Saturday we went to Brylee’s first bday party. This was super exciting for me because Brylee is a friend we made here in Austin.  Her mom, Faren, goes to our church and I’m so glad she does.  🙂  Remember the pictures of D’s hair cut?  Faren cut it.  Faren cuts hair, makes clothes, scrapbooks and a bunch of other crafty stuff that I suck at…anyway.  It’s hard to put this feeling to words but it’s like I realized today we are making Austin our home.  When your 4 year old daughter is making friends and you’re at her bday party, you’re home.  When kids are happy, mama’s happy.

Thought two:  We just watched The Help.  I cried a little but not as much as I thought I would.  So many thoughts here: racism, social injustice, equal rights, false feeling of superiority, human trafficking.  But this is what stuck out the most:

“You is kind.  You is smart. You is important.”

Those words are so true and if we each had someone telling us that every day how different would this world be? But here is where it made me sad.  It wasn’t the mother telling her daughter these words.  No, it was the help.  The help loved that little girl and the little girl loved her.  The help was raising this little girl while her own mother lived in the same house.  The mother was so concerned with hosting a stupid bridge party and looking good in front of other stuck up, white ladies that she ignored her own daughter. How many kids grow up being ignored?  How many kids grow up feeling invisible?  How many kids try so hard to win the effection of their parents but get constantly overlooked?  How many kids act out because negative attention is better than no attention  This breaks my heart.

I tell D every 5 minutes that I love her.  I don’t ever want her feeling like she is not loved or not good enough.  I tell her all the time that even though I love her to the moon, to the sun to Jupiter and back 27 times that God loves her even more.  I tell her that she is special and if some stupid boy ever tells her differently she needs to move on.  I tell her that she needs to love herself and realize God made her just the way He wants her and she doesn’t have to pretend to be somebody else just to fit in.  I tell her these things and I pray she listens.

I’m not trying to sound like some amazing mom and make it seem like I’m perfect and have it all figured out.  I’m sure I’m screwing her up in other areas.  I know I’ll get blamed for something down the line because it’s  always the mom’s fault…I just want her to know she’s loved.

I leave you with this: All you need is love…What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.  It’s the only thing, that there’s just too little of…And I will always love you.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

A Command and a Promise

21 Feb

“g” and “o” two tiny, unscary little letters. But when you put them together you get one huge, terrifying word.

Go

I know what you’re thinking.  Go is not terrifying.  “Lets go to HEB”, nothing terrifying there.  You’re right, that’s not.  But when God tells you to “Go”  the terrifying factor starts creeping in.  But here’s the great part.  When God tells you to go, He also gives you a promes.

The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”   Gen 12:1-3 NIV

See, I didn’t lie.  God doesn’t call us to live safe lives.  He calls us to live outside of our comfort zone.  But He promises He’ll always be with us.  God told Abram to leave his home, his family, his comfort zone.  God didn’t give him a map, gas money, or even the reassurance that everything was gonna be ok.  No, God gave him something even better – A promise.  Like the amazing Sheila Walsh once said, “When God gives you a promise, you can stake your life on it.”

If you are at a cross roads in your life right now and you know God is calling you to go somewhere or do something, let me encourage you to pray…listen…go.  I know it’s scary, I really do; Ive been there.  If you haven’t read our story, read it here.   Let me warn you though, once you make that decission to go, the enemy will step in as soon as possible.  In our case, it was literally within the hour.  He will use people, he will use fear, he will use temptations, he will use whatever he can to prevent you from doing what God has called you to do.

Brandn preached last week on this topic, and again he did AWESOME.  He’s modest so he won’t toot his own horn (but I’m his wife and modest is a word that has never been used to describe me) so I will toot it for him…toot…toot…tooooooot!  If you have 38 minutes I would encourage you to listen to this.

I hope it will encourage and inspire you to take that huge, terrifying leap of faith.  I can’t tell you to fear not,  because I know you will.  And that’s ok; just don’t allow that fear to control your actions or your lack of action.  Just remember, when God gives you a command He also gives you a promise.  He will never leave your side.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Best $18 I ever spent

16 Feb

You know the saying “The only thing that’s constant is change,” or something like that. Well I know 2 other things that are constant..

God.  Malachi 3:6 – I the Lord does not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed (NIV)…Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (NIV)…James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (NIV).

All those verses speak for themselves, I don’t have to add anything.  God is constant.  When I’m doubting all I have to do is remind myself that His past faithfulness is proof of His future faithfulness.  He’s not gonna get me here and then bail.

The other constant thing is D’s cherrie dress.  It’s the best $18 bucks I ever spent; it’s the dress that keeps on giving.  Her cherrie dress is a Carters, 18 month dress that is now a shirt.  D has been wearing this for 4 years and I don’t plan on retiring it anytime soon.  When the heartbreaking day comes that it no longer fits I will cry, fold it up and put it in my treasure chest…I don’t have a treasure chest so I may have to get one.  I’m sure all you mom and dads feel me on this.  You know that one item that is so cute and special and you will keep it forever, this cherrie dress is my one item.

Like I said, this is the best $18 I ever spent.

Side note – This is the shortest blog I have written. I just let B read this and he said “That’s it?  You didn’t tie it back to the Israelites.” lol

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

 

 

Stupid Emotions

13 Feb

I’m not saying emotions are stupid. I’m just saying I’m not a fan when they catch me off guard.  God gave us emotions; He wants us to use them.  Emotions are vital for life; they allow us to feel and well, be human.  If God didn’t want us to have them, He wouldn’t have given them to us.  The tricky part is knowing how to handle the emotions we are feeling and not allowing us to get stuck in that emotional state.

Example:

B and I had talked about something several months ago and decided to pray about it and talk again in a few months.   During that time frame I was praying for us to be on the same page and to prepare my heart for the conversation.  I thought I was prepared.  Before we had “the talk” I knew what the outcome would be.  I had talked with a friend that morning about it and I was fine.  But when B and I talked, I was not fine.  I guess hearing B say the words made it official.  The tears, that I was NOT expecting came; which pissed me off.  So now I was heartbroken and mad.  Not a good combination.  😉

Let me stop right here for my over reacting, dramatic, family members and friends:  We are not moving again, getting divorced, pregnant and nothing is wrong with D.

Sunday morning I woke up and was still upset.  I tried to hide it at church; apparently I did a crappy job at that.  One girl caught me sitting on the bathroom floor crying.  Our church is in a high school so I’m almost positive I’m not the first chick who has done that.  Another friend asked if I was ok and I said no and the tears started again.  She asked if I wanted to talk about; I did not.  You know when you’re trying to pull it together and act like everything is perfect but then someone sees through the facade?  Yeah, that happened like 5 times Sunday.

So now it’s Monday.  I would be lying if I said I was back to normal.  I’m still upset but I’m not allowing myself to stay in the place I was yesterday morning.  I’m praying and I’m being pro-active to make the changes that need to be made…this story will have a happy ending.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Leviticus:20…um what??

9 Feb

Ok, so I’m trudging through Leviticus right now. I think trudging is an adequate adjective to describe my Leviticus experience.  (I want to bang my head against the wall while reading it; if you’ve read it you know w hat I mean.)  This book isn’t quite slapping me across the face like the first part of Exodus did.  I needed to read Exodus.  I was at the same place as the Israelites were; the beginning.  Something new and huge was happening right in front of me, but I was too obsessed with looking back.

I know every thing in the Bible is the word of God so it’s ALL important but while reading this book I can’t help but think, Thank you Jesus!  Seriously if I lived in a day where I had to offer sacrifices for atonement I would live at the Temple and I would never see my family.

I usually read my Bible before bed.  Chapter 20 was part of my reading last night.  I found this chapter seriously disturbing.  Most of this chapter is dedicated to who you can NOT have sex with.  Shouldn’t it just be one sentence? – If you’re not married to them keep your pants up…done…BOOM!

God had to tell men not to have sex with another man’s wife, his mother, his daughter-in-law, his sister, his aunt and animals.  I know sexual fidelity is something  that both men and women struggle with, I get that; I really do.  But the animal part is something I don’t get.  Like I said, I wanted to bang my head against the wall but I didn’t.  I didn’t want my neighbors to get the wrong idea.  I’m sure if they heard banging “Oh, she must be reading Leviticus” is not the thought they would have had. lol

I’m so thankful we live under grace and not the law.  I screw up all the time but I am forgiven not because I offered up a sin offering but because Jesus died on the cross for me.  This is something I will NEVER truly comprehend.  It blows my mind that Jesus knew me and loved me 2000 years ago and He…died…for…me.  He died for you too.  He died so that we would not live a life separated from God.  When Jesus died He cried out “It is finished.”  I don’t think He just meant His suffering on the cross was finished.  I think He meant all suffering was finished.

John 16:33 – I have told you these things so that in me you may find peace.  In this world you will have troubles but take heart for I have overcome the world.

Bad things happen to us and for that, I have no explanation.  I’ve had a lot of crap thrown my way but I know I’ll get through it.  Sometimes I’m walking, sometimes I’m crawling and sometimes I’m kicking and screaming and God is literally dragging me and telling me to shut-up.

So wherever you find yourself today, know that you are special and smile, God loves you.  🙂

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Preach it B

6 Feb

So I have to brag on my husband.  He preached yesterday and it was AWESOME!  It’s been almost a year since he last preached and it was during a Disney series to teens.  Yesterday he spoke during the main service at Revive Church to adults.  We started a new series called Once Upon A Marriage and it’s based on Biblical marriages.  He covered the mess of a marriage between Jacob and Leah and Rachel.

Like I said, he did awesome.  Maybe it was because he mentioned Princess Leia and the force was with him or maybe because he used his MacBook Pro and the spirit of Steve Jobs was with him, or maybe because he bought a new shirt and was wearing my Hello Somebody watch and he had the spirit of fashion with him.

Or maybe it was because the message was personal and he was speaking with conviction and passion and the emotion was raw and real.

Society puts so much emphasis on finding “The One” and how once you find the one, your life will be perfect.  Well when we find “someone” and expect them to be the  one, we put so much pressure on them and we are just setting ourselves and them up for failure.  The truth of the matter is “The One” should be God and your spouse should be “The Two.”

B and I will be married 11 years next month and we don’t have a perfect marriage but when we first got married our marriage was a mess.  God was not active in our lives at all.  Sure we went to church occasionally, so we were pretending that God was important to us maybe 3 hours each month.  Our marriage was a mess.  We hid it well from the outside I wanted it to look like we had it all together but we were falling apart.  B had issues and I had issues but we hid them from everybody, including each other.

In B’s message yesterday, he exposed some skeletons that were in our closets.   He’s always been open about his skeletons and everybody on the Revive team knew about them.  Mine on the other hand I kept tucked away, no one knew about it and I finally told B out about it less than a year ago.  I told B he could talk about it but I was nervous.  Nervous of how others would look at me once they knew.  That was stupid of me.  Our revive family is the best and so non-judging.  They are probably the safest place to reveal my skeleton yet I was still scared.

Anyway…B didn’t do this to put us on a pedestal saying look how far we have come.  No, it was to say look how far God has brought us.  God’s grace is amazing and so unfathomable.  He protected our marriage.  We had ignored Him for years yet He was there with us.  God is so good and so faithful even when we are not.

I love my husband and I love our marriage.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Ode to the Ortiz’s

2 Feb

Yes I know an ode is a poem intended to be sung but it was the only thing I could think of that began with an O.

So this time last year we said “See ya later” to the Ortiz family.  We didn’t say good-by because we knew we would see them later.  Not like we’ll see you in heaven later, but like we’ll see you every other weekend for the next 6 months until we move to Austin, later.

Most of you who read my blog know Ray and Chantel but for the few of you that don’t, like my awesome friend in Africa (hi Rikki), here’s a little bit about Ray and Chantel.

We first met them at Christian Faith Center in November 2008, where they were the Youth Pastors.  We told them we wanted to help with the teens and they were excited but first we had to fill out an application/getting to know you novel.  It wasn’t really a novel  but it was at least 8 pages of questions and after we filled it out we just kinda looked at each other and thought we were loosers and there’s no way they want us to help…fast forward to now and we are planting Revive with them so I guess we were way wrong.

Ray: He’s an inspiration, a leader, a mentor and a friend.  I will stop here because he is not my husband and I’m not gonna go on and on b/c that could get awkward.  I will say this though.  From the bottom of my heart thank you for your friendship with Brandn.  Like Pastor Todd used to say “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future,” I am grateful you are his friend.  Proverbs 27:17 sums it up nicely – As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.  Read his blog.

Chantel: Is an inspiration, a leader, a mentor and a friend.  She so calm and collected and usually has it all together.  We went on a girls weekend and we almost died in a car crash and I was screaming “Oh Jesus” (it was either that or a word that begins with an F so I’m quite pleased Jesus came out.)  Anyway, I was screaming like a fool and Chantel just sat there with a calm look on her face.  Now I’m not saying she’s this fly on the wall, no, she’s anything but that!  She just knows when it’s appropriate to get worked up about things and when to let things go.  She’s a fighter, a rock, she’s beautiful and I am honored to be doing life with her.  Read her blog.

I love the Ortiz family!

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.