Thursday, December 07, 2006


I just realized I'd better upload some pics of Monday's breakfast so I can include them in tomorrow's class newsletter. Facebook seems like a good thing for sharing pictures, even if you aren't a member, friend, or whatever facebookers are called. Jay, you're the one that gave me this idea. Props. Erin, I still want to get Picassa, too. Good grief.. I don't care what I get, I just need to get our pictures organized. =)

Here are my only albums:

Fantastic 5A and Theology Breakfast Pictures

Joey's Trip to Kentucky/Thanksgiving Week

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

'Tis the season...

... for my blog to be on pause. Just 6.5 more school days until Christmas, but who's counting?

Call me an addict, but I kind of miss blogging. Feel like I've been out of the blog loop for awhile. Miss Dustin's blog, although I see him every day. Ha! Miss Gerlt House, the people and the blog. Miss lots of people and friends from TX! We're looking forward to our upcoming visit!

Quick update:

1. The countdown continues... Chris Peek gets married to Sweet Seattle Sarah on the 16th. Yes, that's Hanukkah, but it's unrelated. =) I miss them sooo much!

2. The Theology Breakfast went so well! I can't wait to post pictures and details, although it will probably be after December 15th. If you are a facebooker, Thanksgiving ones are up on Facebook. I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into with that thing... Seems like another time zapper, so I'll try to guard myself.

3. Field Trip on Friday to see the play version of Narnia! Woohoo!

4. It's cold here. Really really cold. And we STILL. GO. TO. RECESS!?!?!!! Maybe I'll get used to it soon. =P

5. School's going well. Trying to stay caught up. Love my kids.

6. Dustin's done with the semester. Love it. So nice for him to have a break after 10 weeks of intense study.

7. Changed my little profile quote. A hymn we sang at church last Sunday keeps rolling around in my head this week (good thing) and vs. 3 reminded me of my blog title, so there you go.

How are you? Stay in touch. Missing you guys and gals! :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

We Can Hardly Wait!

5A is so pumped up about Monday's Theology breakfast with the guys. My kiddos had a few more questions, so I wanted to paste them here. Also, anonymous from the last entry concering the breakfast, I will try to jot some notes on their answers ... we MAY have a video camera, which would help. We'll see... We'll definitely let you know how it goes. They are really desiring to learn more.

If the devil wanted to, could he ever do something good? - Lydia
Why did Jesus tell his disciples not to tell anyone he was the Messiah? - Jake
When Jesus would heal someone, why would he say not to tell anyone, when he wanted people to spread the Word? - Gabby
If in the Mount of Olives before the Crucifixion, it says all the Disciples were asleep. But then who wrote the part about Jesus praying?!?! My dad used to study the Bible, like you guys, and he didn’t even know… Help! - Adam

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

They're back...

Well, I'll get pics of our Thanksgiving and Joey's visit up shortly. Not here (school), not now (conference break).

Quick links to the guys who were missing in action, but have recently reemerged in blogworld.

Drumroll please...

1. Sylas (a mutual friend of ours in El Dorado... although we have never really interacted with him together... and Dustin has a funny story of a class they had together)

2. My cousin Travis (who I recently found has some cool pics on Facebook)

That's all I have for you...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

4 Months Tomorrow! =)


As my students sit here taking their Math tests, I take a quick break to post. Hopefully, I can put forth something more substantial over the break.

Well, the subject of this post is actually not referring to the adorable baby boy.

Dustin and I will have been married 4 months tomorrow! Before long, we'll even even celebrate our 1 year of knowing each other when we ring in the new year! At CAL Elementary Chapel, they asked me to share a blessing (in front of 600 kiddos and teachers - I got nervous) and I went with that one. They put a HUGE picture up from our wedding and my kids all waved at me when I got up to talk about "Mr. Butts". Well, I didn't bawl like my wedding day, but I truly do praise the Lord for this blessing and all of the many changes from this year!

Another thing I'm thankful for is our church. The Lord is at work and we are praising him for the recent baptisms and how He is growing us and using it to convict, encourage and teach us. I am LEARNING so much from a book study with some sweet ladies. Also, we will be spending Thanksgiving with my sister Joey (coming tomorrow) and a family from church!

Well, I should be off to grading now! Enjoy the above picture of sweet Baby Jake! For those church friends who are new to this blog and stop by (despite my inconistency), Baby Jake is the much-prayed-for son of my dear TX friends, Erin and Chad. You can catch their blog over at GerltHouse.

Erin, your kids' thankful feathers from the Butts are on the way... Yea! :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Theology Breakfast for 5th Graders

Happy Friday (and Date Night Day, for some of us)
I don't have time to post today. What's new? However, I'm going to copy and paste my 5th grader's questions from our Theology Questions Box. Why do we have one of those, you ask? Great question! On December 4th, I've decided to ask Blake White, Eron Plevan, Kevin Peek, and my dear Dustin Butts to join my 5th grade class for a Christmas/Theology Breakfast. As I told the kids' parents, I have multiple purposes for this event. I don't have the time right now to explain how that morning will look and how we will approach the plethora of questions, but for now I'll leave you with 4 of my main goals and with questions to make you think, laugh, and ponder alongside us.

I have four main goals for this event:
1. I would love for these kids to see examples of godly men who love God’s Word and love to talk about it and study it because they LOVE GOD.
2. I would love to get some help in answering some of the tough questions.
3. It will be great for these men, training for ministry, to have an opportunity to take deep theological issues and explain them very clearly for children.
4. Most of all, I want God to be glorified and cherished. After all, God is more precious than anything else in life!

So, just for kicks, I'm going to let you know the questions that I have received so far... straight out of the theology box, copy and pasted from an e-mail to my theology panel:

Are Pharisees and Saducees still alive?
Did God destroy Pompeii like he did Sodom and Gomorrah?
If God can’t look upon sin, then how did Jesus live with sinners?
Why do we get baptized in water? Who started that?
Are we supposed to be nervous when we share the Gospel?
Was Judas Iscariot hung by his neck? It seems like two passages contradict…
Will we see our pets and animals in heaven?
If Jesus is God, why is Jesus praying to God if He is God. Is He praying to Himself?
Why don’t people live as long as they used to?
If time is different to God, how do we know the exact age of the earth… do we?
In Genesis, it mentions the behemoth. Some people say it is a dinosaur. Some people say it is an elephant. What is it???
How do we know that the Bible is true and the stories really happened?
The Bible says that Jesus will be sitting on the right hand side of God. But isn’t Jesus God, so how can he be sitting on the right hand side?
Is there a record of a Pharisee or Saducee becoming a Christian?
How did Seth (Abel died) have kids if there were no women?
*again* How did man reproduce after Adam and Even if they only had a boy?
Why can’t Jesus know when the End will come? Is he just going to say, “I’m ready”?
Was Elijah John the Baptist?
Why do people say Jesus was perfect when He questioned God on the cross?
What does the kiss (Judas to Jesus) really mean?
What happened to the Ark of the Covenant? When?
In Mark 7:27-30, it talks about bread, crumbs, and dogs. What does this mean?
If you divorced your wife or husband and marry someone else, why is it committing adultery?
Will we know the people we see in heaven?
From heaven, can you see people in hell?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

5:00 Club and Bracing Yourself for 10 Minutes of Misery

Hey, hey!

Awhile back, I was contemplating SLEEP (**fixed the link - sorry about yesterday) and our lack of it and pondering the need to strive to get at least what our body needs to be pleasant.

Now... I am thinking through my morning routine.

I used to call myself a morning person. BEFORE I became a teacher, I guess.

I'm still a morning WORKER, but the decision to wake up early is a decision. Every day. To my shame, I keep "joining" (so to speak) and then quiting and joining ranks with the I (rested Jamie) set my alarm for 5:00, but then I (grumpy, sleepy Jamie) seem to snooze it fairly often, only to find myself super frustrated when the rest of the morning is chaotic club. Can anyone relate?

On that note, I direct you to an archived post of Girl Talk...

Go check out this post about The 5:00 Club.

All I have to say is... I was talking with Dustin about this article this morning and we decided to move our alarm clocks to the other side of the room.

We have caffeine goals, I have cleaning goals and now... I'm joining the 5:00 club. Morning fights, as Erin and I call them... Not aiming for perfection, but a more disciplined life. The post mentions how the time may be different (will be) for different women in different seasons of life with different responsibilities and schedules. However, the goal is waking up earlier.

Want to join?

P.S. The Mahaneys have a special encouragement for new mothers... Also, this practice may not be realistic for moms with young children who still get up at night. You are already a part of the midnight club and the 3:00a.m. club, aren’t you? No mother of an infant should be condemned by this post.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dustin's Chai Tea

As requested, Dustin's Chai Tea:

Take a small pot and fill it about 2/3 full of water.
Bring water to a boil.
Turn off heat. Add 2-3 bags of Chai Tea (We use Celestial Seasoning, Original India Spice...)
Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Remove tea bags.
Add milk (fill nearly to top of pot)
Add sugar to taste (2-3 tablespoons)
Stir until sugar dissolves.
Turn heat back on for 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour carefully.

DISCLAIMER: Following the recipe doesn't guarantee results. It is a trial and error process. I can't make it quite like Dustin's. With enough sugar and practice, however, you can get it pretty stinkin' close to Starbucks quality... and save a few bucks!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

2 Posts I Recommend (and quotes from each)

1. OT Thoughts on God's Mercy
(by my favorite poet)

We question and probe, always asking "why?" rather than trusting, like David, that God is always in control, always right, always good. We are quick to scream out "why have you forsaken me?" but never quite get to "you give and you take away, blessed be your name!"

2. Reflections on the need for Christians to be NORMAL
(by a friend of ours from church)

Excepting our bold moral and verbal gospel witness, we shouldn't be known as "the Christian wacko" because we ask everybody in the office if they've seen "Omega Code 2" or eaten a "Bible Foods Granola Bar." When your Christian-culture synapses start firing like Gettysburg riflemen, take a few deep breaths, and sit in a darkened room for a few minutes. Then, emerge normal. Repeat as often as necessary.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Letters From the Haggards

For the past week, I've heard snippets of talk and seen a few blogs regarding the situation with Ted Haggard. I hadn't heard the story of what happened. I always seem to be a little behind on current events. I had just heard people's responses and had to gather bits of information as I went. Until, finally, my interest has been sparked enough to go back and learn what happened. The thing that caught my attention the most, however, were these letters.

See for yourself.

(HT: Stepping In Faith)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mohler Would Like Camp Buckner!!

When I hear DODGEBALL, I think CAMP BUCKNER. A quick run through blogworld before I head out made me grow in appreciation for our seminary president.

I love dodgeball. I stunk at it, but it was a blast.

If you worked at Camp Buckner for any length of time, the following things probably come to your mind: Ranger Dog Carols with Brent Dawson directing, Ryan Bebee, Paige, camo, camp-out...

And as a teacher, I think the WAR AGAINST PLAY is pretty interesting. Mohler is pro-play and pro-dodgeball ("Just give the kids a ball and let them loose. Isolate the bullies and let the other kids play, and play hard.") I think he would be pro-Camp Buckner.

And once again, for the record, we are NOT a cult. =)

UPDATE ON DR. PEPPER POST: See the comments section for yesterday's post for an interesting and helpful discussion about caffeine intake and my goals. So far, so good.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Need advice...

So... I have tried (and I use the word loosely) many times to stop or cut back drinking cokes, namely my beloved Dr. Pepper (and a morning cup of Joe).

Read this: and then shoot me some comments answering any or all of the following questions:

1. Should I stop "cold turkey"? Should I just cut back?
2. Do you drink cokes? If so, how often?
3. Is it really all that bad?
4. Say something profound to convince me of my need to stop.
5. How much water do you drink?

I want to be healthier. I stinkin' LOVE Dr. Peppers though. It's tough.

Help! Okay... D.E.A.R. time is over for the kids and I'm off to teach Science. I welcome your comments.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Happy Friday!!

Friday is a holiday in our classroom. Everyone comes in smiling, because they know that we treat it like a holiday in Mrs. Butts' classroom. =)

We usually have a fun writing prompt, and the occasional short video or party, on top of all of the rigorous academic demands of the day! Today, we had a HORSE visit our class. Our student of the week brought a horse to school. We usually have geckos, hampsters, or dogs come to recess with the student of the week. Nope. This girl brings in Krispy Kreme donuts and a horse. It was a HAPPY Friday.

All of that to say, as I wrap it up here and head home with a smile on my face because it is finally the weekend... Happy Friday to you. Enjoy.

For Your Friday

Colossians 3
14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

How Much Sleep Do You Need? AND Mental Clutter

I'm hitting my grading during today's conference period. The easiest way to keep up a blog when life gets busy is to quote others.

I am curious though... how much sleep do YOU need? Do share.

I met someone yesterday who sleeps less than 5 hours a night. Amy (mother of 5 kids under 9) over at says,

"I need lots of sleep. Through trial and error, I have discovered that nine hours is optimum sleep for me. This is difficult with the lifestyle I’ve chosen. I rarely get nine hours. I am busy. I work hard and sleep light.
Even though I’m tired, sometimes I lie awake at night. Amy Carmichael said that the wee hours are 'when all life’s molehills become mountains.' I make lists, sort mental clutter, and think about tomorrow’s agenda. I try not to worry. Worrying is sin. The good news is that exhaustion usually overtakes me before I can fall too headlong into this sin."

I appreciated that she was honest about needing 9. I'm discovering I'm pretty grumpy and slow to move when I don't sleep enough. Her Carmichael quote also jumped out at me. It is so easy to have mental clutter. I think we women struggle with this more than guys (or rather, in a different way). Anyway.. just related with this lady and her humble musings, though I'm Mrs. Butts, no kiddos yet, but 21 little darlings at school.

Cast your comments... how much sleep do you need? Do you get it? Should we try to arrange our lives where we get it?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Boring Testimony?

"I often feel that I have a boring or even uninspiring testimony. Like most believers, I have sat through (and sometimes endured) courses, seminars and Bible studies that have taught the value of a good testimony in evangelizing the lost. Many of these have taught evangelistic techniques that begin and end with a riveting testimony, as if God can only save through such a testimony. Of course, like any long-time believer, I have heard some incredible and inspiring testimonies. I have heard about women who were prostitutes giving their lives to the Lord and becoming active in ministry to women. I have met men who were drug dealers, living lives that would cause the most hardened of us to pale, but who were convicted of their sin and, through God's grace, were saved. Compared to these, my testimony seems bland. It seems boring.
My testimony goes something like this: I was born into a Christian home. I was a pretty good kid and never got into any real trouble. Sure I lied a little bit and stole some pocket change from my mother on occasion, but I never did anything really bad. At some point during my teenage years I became a Christian. I do not have a crystal-clear idea of when this happened, but I do know that by the time I graduated high school I was a committed Christian. The end. Not surprisingly, no one has ever offered me a book deal or a spot on the speaking circuit to share that testimony with others."

Interested? Read more.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Count Your Blessings

Many things have brought me joy in the last few days. Here's a list. I'll try to link it up later.

1. The 4 day weekend here at CAL provided sweet time at home with Dustin, refreshing sleep, time to get a bulk of the to-do list done, and time to get ahead on lesson plans.
2. I started in a book study with some ladies from our new church, Third Avenue Baptist. We are studying Feminine Appeal, by Carolyn Mahaney. I am very excited about this and these ladies are already godly examples... the Titus 2 model is so beautiful.
3. Good news received from an old friend reminded me of the faithfulness of our Sovereign and Wise God. In your trials, hope in this God, who shows Himself faithful time and time again...
4. Erin sent me a new picture of Baby Jake, the duck. Becky sent me pictures of my friend Amber's sweet little baby. They both made me smile.
5. Our chapel is really cheesy, I admit. However, it is funny to watch the little guys in chapel (our chapel is K-5th) sing, "God is bigger than the boogie man."
6. My husband. He encourages me constantly. I am enjoying this marriage thing. :)
7. The people at our church are so evangelistic. They constantly have prayer requests about people they are sharing the Gospel with and constantly spur you on to want to do the same. It has been a source of encouragement to me.
8. Lunch time. Which is right now...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hobby Lobby Coupon

Hello. Today is my day off, but since I had Friday off to be lazy and sleep in and hang out, that can only mean one thing. Today is work day. Got up early with Dustin. Put my tennis shoes on. Ready to hit it. Headed to school to plan lessons. Then, I'm headed shopping. For one, I'm hoping to finally find some cheap stuff to fill our bare walls. Wanted to share this really quick... Blake, share this with Alicia, because I share a common love for Hobby Lobby with your wife.
Print that for 40% off any one regular priced item. Hurry... offer ends November 4, 2006.

How often do places like this give Internet Coupons? I wonder how much I could have been saving all of this time... Wish Wal-Mart would do that...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Last Night and "Linkin' Up"

Before I send you on a little visit through blogland, I wanted to say that last night I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Dr. Stuart Scott and his wife (Zondra Scott) speak at Pendergraph, a monthly event for seminary ladies or seminary wives. It was good and extremely CONVICTING. I may post about it soon. Oh.. and I even won a door prize. =)

LINKIN' UP (coined from my cousin, TRAV)

1. My cousin Trav has 2 posts covering the 10 important aspects of the ministry of Southern Seminary. They have sparked some interesting conversation. I believe he covered these points very carefully. He had a very FULL time at his preview weekend, so it seems. If you're curious to learn a little more about where it is that Dustin studies, go to these new posts. We can't wait until Travis comes up here! :)
2. Challies has an interesting post about Halloween. I think I like his spin on it, as I have some friends who have really learned to do holidays in meaningful ways, in but not of the world. What do you think? Kind of a controversial topic.
3. My husband has a post (10/22) on a modern hymn that we love. Go listen to the audio sample.
4. Kari Plevan has superb ideas on getting organized. Thanks Kari and Mary. Ha!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Another Update

I haven't posted in awhile. Thought I would give a super quick update on the Butts' family and life in Louisville.
(a numbered list - like Kari and Laura)
1. Dustin is finished working at SBTS info. booth. This means that he's home every night. Life hasn't really slowed down, but there are benefits. We don't have to scarf down our food in 10 minutes before he heads to work. We can go to bed early and not feel like the only time to talk is when he gets home from work. And many more. We're really grateful. I love my husband!

2. I have one quarter under my belt here at CAL. They arrange the calendar by quarters, not six weeks. Starting the second one has really been encouraging... I have more of a grasp on lesson planning, using time wisely, the curriculum, grading, etc. And... one more quarter until Christmas!

3. I confess. I kept it a secret, because I desperately didn't want anyone to be upset if I didn't have time to see you. I went to Texas last weekend. My friends Erin and Kelly both had babies and I knew I couldn't see them much (if any) at Christmas. It was now... or when they were no longer newborns. :) So, Dustin let me buy a ticket, take a personal day and hop on a plane for a quick weekend visit. I spent one day with my family and one with the new babies and their families. :) They are beautiful. We had a blast. I enjoyed the break.. and some yummy Mexican food. Sorry I ate it without you, Dustin.

4. Ranger Rick is coming today and so we have an afternoon assembly. Except Ranger Rick is a woman. Who knew?

5. Quickly - I had put the link of our new chuch, but I did want to tell you that they will be adopting an updated Articles of Faith soon. The old one is on their
site. We heard all about the new one is a member's meeting, and it is VERY good. Just in case you were wondering about the wording or vagueness of the original, which has been around since 1894!! We are so thankful to have a church home.

6. Still cold, but my parents bought me a new coat for an early birthday present. Woohoo.

7. Prayer Request - please pray for wisdom and discernment about how to deal with a situation with a student. His home life is awful and he needs support, prayers, love, and time. Please ask that the Lord would give me grace to know how to best serve him each day.

8. Did I mention how adorable Baby Jake and Baby Kate are? I'll post pictures soon.

9. Eron hates smacking. Ha!

10. Don't pick apart my grammar in this.. in a hurry.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hot Cocoa Weather in KY

All I can think about it hot cocoa. I want some. With marshmallows.
The temperature is 41 degrees and it feels like 34!

Praise - We are joining Third Avenue Baptist Church. Praise the Lord for guiding in this decision. We can't wait to plug in!

Back to work...

Friday, October 06, 2006

10 Minutes - Supremacy

Go here and click on PLAY. Spend 10 minutes watching a beloved pastor exalt CHRIST.

An Update

1. Sickness and Sovereignty.
Well, we've both been a little under the weather these last few days. Flu-type symptoms, sinus junk, who knows... Dustin got it first and then me. I missed school today and slept more in 2 days than I usually sleep in a week. :) Doing much better though. God has a way of teaching you a lot through illness. Our body's are so fragile. We must depend upon God. It's been encouraging to learn how to take care of each other this week and to have our plans stopped, bowing down to God's plans. Sometimes it is good to be forced to SLOW DOWN. We are feeling much better though and keep popping Day and Nyquil and Vitamin C pills. Eating soups and watching a few DVD's on the laptop help pass the time as well. I think we've seen the worst of it. I'm grateful for such a Christlike husband who humbly serves me when I'm sick.

2. Being Busy.
I wanted to direct you to a few posts that Kari pointed me to... These last few posts on this blog have greatly encouraged me. Very applicable and practical. Thanks, Kari!

3. Visitors.
Next week, our (fun to say) cousin Travis is coming through town for SBTS preview weekend. He'll be our first overnight visitor next week. Woohoo. AND... drumroll please... my sister, Joey (and Kari's sister, Bethany) is coming in town for Thanksgiving. We are THRILLED that Travis and Joey (and Bethany) are headed this way!

4. Kids.
I have 21 kids in my class. I love them so much. Dustin came up to school earlier this week to meet them. They are such a great bunch. I actually missed being with them when I was home sick today. We see it as a blessing from the Lord that with such a busy season (teaching all of the subjects, new marriage, time demands of our jobs) how fitting that there aren't discipline problems on top of all of that! These kids are like sponges. They are so ready to soak up new information. They love to learn and I can't brag about them enough. It's been a humbling privilege to work with such a group.

5. Provision.
God has graciously provided and answered prayers and allowed Dustin to be able to "step down" from his night job at the info. booth here on campus. This frees up 12 hours a week! Thankfully, he'll have some more time to focus on school and I'll get to see him a little more. We're sooo excited! Sometimes, you have to sit and look at your schedule, finances and all of your jobs and ask yourself (and God) why you are so busy. What can we cut out? The Lord answered. We're so thankful. He's at work right now, but just has one week left!

6. Fall.
The leaves are changing. Reds, yellows, oranges. The colors are amazing. I love driving home from school (especially when there's no traffic). The scenery changes every day! Getting chilly. We're eating more soups. I have never experienced a Fall quite like this.

7. Wrapping this up.
I had a few more things to say, but I think the bed is calling again. Time to pop some Nyquil, read and settle in for the evening.

8. Quotes from the book I'm reading. I long for my faith to mirror these ladies, especially in dark trials. Notice how they rest in God's attributes, how their desire is to honor his name with their responses. I have much to learn. I'm glad you can learn from living testimonies as well as the stories of those who lived before our time.

A beautiful testimony of a rooted faith in God and an understanding of his character that emboldens believers through the darkest of trials:

After Esther's (daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards) husband died, she wrote her mother, "Give me leave to entreat you to request earnestly of the Lord that I may never... faint under this his severe stroke... O I am afraid I shall conduct myself so as to bring dishonour on.. the religion I profess."

Soon after, when Sarah's own Jonathan died, Sarah wrote Esther, "My very dear child, What shall I say? A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands upon our mouths! The Lord has done it. He has made me adore his goodness, that we had him so long. But my God lives; and he has my heart."

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Currently reading...

Well, Dustin's going to have to show me how to make a fancy Currently Reading section because I'm not computer-savvy enough and don't care enough to figure it out on my own.

I wanted to share a book: Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God, by Noel Piper. I'll probably be sharing a quote or two over the next few days, in hopes it will motivate you to go grab a copy.

Dustin bought this book for me during our courtship. A sweet suprise complete with a great card which greeted me after a long day on the job. Unfortunately, I'm just now getting around to reading it. While Dustin's been gone, I've been spending the day toggling back and forth (?) between reading and attacking the to-do's. It is an excellent book, highlighting a short biography of 5 precious women.

Please take the time to read this review of it at the much-improved Discerning Reader. Click here to find out more about this excellent book. You can borrow my copy when you're done, if you'd like. I'm half-way done. Enjoy!!

Thanks husband!


My husband is in this crowd somewhere at the Desiring God National Conference. Tim Challies has the inside scoop (and pictures) on his live blog if you want to know what's going on over there. I miss him already, but I'm thrilled that he has this opportunity. I'm sure you will hear more about it on his blog (or on Blake's) when they get back.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Missing Max

I miss many of my Texas friends. I miss family, both Dustin's and mine. Don't get me wrong. I love it here, but I do miss people. I sometimes miss old students. I miss seeing the birth of my friends' sweet babies. Miss church people. Yup. I miss people. However, not to play favorites, but I am especially fond of this good-looking kid in the picture. I've been having Max withdrawls (you too, AK) lately and this picture was a SUPERB Max fix.

I should be working...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Get out!

We're going where, Ryan? Woohoo!

For all of you Camp people out there, I heard a rumor.
Jamie Butts is excited. Very excited.

Christians, Calvinism, and CT

So, I'm a calvinist. A Baptist and a calvinist. I used to hate that word and everything about it. It seemed that people HISSED when they said it. Much has changed in the few years since I was first so adamantly opposed to the word, the doctrine, etc. I had REAL questions. I had so many presuppositions coming into the issue that it took me a very long time to first, come to an understanding of these truths, then, a love for them, and slowly, a right application of them to MORE than just your Gospel presentation. A passion for Scripture, God's glory, an understanding of my sinfulness, God's amazing grace, etc. So, I'm a calvinist. It's just a term and I'll take it or leave it, but I definitely hold to the reformed view of salvation, believing firmly in the doctrines of grace.

Yesterday, my cousin (great blog, by the way) pointed his readers to a CT article on the topic. It's very long, but when Dustin headed to work, I sat down to work through it.

I think it's well worth your time. And I don't really write that to those of you who are all on the same page, but to dear friends and family who ask the same questions I did. I feel ya. Don't feel like you have to sort through it over night. It can be a tough issue and can keep you awake at night, wrestling with verses, wrestling with all you grew up thinking was true. That's okay. Ask the hard questions. Read articles like this, and definitely keep digging for Biblical answers.

This article will briefly hit on, among other things, calvinism and missions. In my book, those are really GOOD questions. DOES a belief that the Bible clearly teaches election and predestination really quench evangelism and missions? Those are questions you should ask.

Any thoughts?

I agree with Travis. Harris' quote was noteworthy.

"If you really understand Reformed theology, we should all just sit around shaking our heads going, 'It's unbelievable. Why would God choose any of us?'" Harris said. "You are so amazed by grace, you're not picking a fight with anyone, you're just crying tears of amazement that should lead to a heart for lost people, that God does indeed save, when he doesn't have to save anybody."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A few more

Goooood morning. A few pictures to share...

From left to right: Joey, Melodie, Charity, Erin, Blake, James, Calvin, and Jay G. Scott (and us, of course)

My fantastic 5th graders... it has been a huge blessing to have such a well-behaved, fun group of kiddos. They look pretty sharp too, if I do say so myself.

Conner - a VERY fun kid
His family was in Poland all last year, because his Dad's a producer (produced the Left Behind stuff). Anyway, he's a fun guy and he's been working really hard.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Reflections on Music

I'm a big music person. I was born to a sweet music family. I love to sing, but not necessarily in public. Love piano, although I'm really rusty. Dustin and I find ourselves humming or getting songs stuck in our heads so often! This morning I had my students listen to a classical song and then write in their journals whatever story, thoughts, response came to mind. My husband's giving me a new appreciation for some rap.

Honestly, I don't know much about good music that's out there today. I have yet to find a great radio station here. Ha! Most of what I listened to growing up is out of style now, and well... it probably always was :) Friends Are Friends Forever-type stuff. I know. Lame. However, I do LOVE music. I'm going to sound cheesy in this, but it's theraupetic to my soul. When I lived with the Stones I thoroughly enjoyed their music selection as they introduced me to various bands. I have belted out Annie songs with Anna Kate and hummed Alias with Erin. Earlier, I listened to one of Dustin's jazz c.d.'s as I washed dishes.

I LOVE hymns. I know that it was a big and silly debate (hymns, praise songs, or blended) among churches (and still is?) for many years, and obviously the issue is much more than music STYLE, but content and the attitudes of the heart, etc. For this post, I am NOT talking about music in church, but I am talking about worship music. Believers are to worship God in different seasons of our souls, even dark or stretching ones. I think I like Red Mountain music so much, because it is made up of hymns (which I love to play and love to sing.. which of course, there can be hymns that arne't "solid" and I'm not referring to those) AND it seems to capture the mood of my soul. That deep longing that isn't always really ready to scream praise Jesus 100X, but quietly wants to find a haven from this busy world to regain perspective. Sometimes the song that comes out is just a barely-audible cry for help. Anyway... for perspective or just some good music, head to Red Mountain Music. I especially enjoyed #7 (click on that link and find the song) - Weary of Earth, Myself, and Sin. I don't have it "all together" and these songs, the lyrics of which were written hundreds of years ago, somehow express that.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

For the married ladies...

Check out this post by the Hoovers, friends of the Peeks and other Aggies:
Praying for your husband (a list by Martha Peace)

I think this is very helpful.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Nap Earlier+Caffeine+Dustin's At Work=Sleepless in Louisville

So... One more picture. Caption Contest #2. Have fun. Good night. Seriously. Stinkin' addicting blog and wedding pictures. Happy Friday (in 5 minutes)

Caption Contest

One more. I LOVE this picture. My two (yes two, I broke the "rules") Matrons of Honor. Fun caption ideas anyone...

Wedding Pic #1

We finally have pictures! But.. because this is such a SLOW process, I will have to wait until this weekend to play with them. Here's me and my dear husband. What a blessed day! More to come...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just for fun, while the kiddos are testing...

I know, I know. I should get back to work. But.. I wanted to post ONE picture. A little distracted on this slow morning... :)

Aunt Jamie, Uncle Dustin, and too-cute E-man (Ethan)

Good Song, Date Night, and Journaling

"Son, thy sins are all forgiven."

This morning, I heard this song on the way to school. I was listening to the Red Mountain version ("Jesus Whispers"). When I looked it up at school, the original had even MORE amazing verses. What do you think about it? So good.

On a different note, part of Dustin and I trying to somewhat simplify our lives is DATE NIGHT. Every Wednesday. He's off work. I come home early. We go out to eat, hang out, and go to bed early. It's fantastic (if you're married and can arrange it in to your schedule, it's very beneficial). Tonight, we are also going to church at Third Avenue. I'm looking forward to it. Also, my school doesn't allow homework on Wednesday nights (church night) so the kids are happy and I'm happy (because of Date Night). It's a good day, but more so because Jesus whispers this SWEET sentence.

**I've also been thinking a lot about journaling lately. I make my students journal (usually with prompts) every morning. In my own life, I have journaled very sporadically. I remember my dear friend, Mary Row, telling me how journaling helps us record the history of God's faithful dealings in our life. OT constantly urges us to REMEMBER our past. Don Whitney, professor here at Southern, talks of journaling in his book about spiritual disciplines. I may blog (NOT the same as journaling) about this soon, but if you have any insights or more reasons to journal, let me know. It's on my mind

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The American Way

Well.. awhile back, I rambled about the American Dream and you guys had excellent responses. Lately, Dustin and I have talked some about the American Way (being too stinkin' busy). When is being busy okay? Why are we busy? What are we busy for? Why??? If it's for money, how much do we really need? If it's prior commitments, are we overcommited. Anyway.. interesting conversations. Too busy (joke) to comment further, but on a much simpler note:

If you are looking for a cheap, quick, and very tasty meal, we made a wonderful discovery today. It's called SLOPPY JOSE'S. Has anyone actually heard of these? Glorified Sloppy Joe's. We found this fantastic recipe. It's quick. It's easy. Perfect for "I have 10 minutes to get supper ready" nights like tonight. We'd give you the recipe, but it's top secret since I got it from a Saving Dinner recipe (a fantastic wedding gift from Mrs. Risse) thing that makes you practically vow not to forward it along. If you are interested though, we can explain it to you though. (Is that cheating?) We spent the entire meal going, wow... this is good... yummy... ooh... ahh. It was funny. If you have any more quick meal ideas like that, send them our way. We are learning to simplify our lives and the "American Way" that has sucked us in, and part of that is spending less time (and money) on cooking. =) Big meals are fun from time to time, but practicality it the key in our little seminary/teacher family. :)

Go see Laura and Slade's wedding pictures and Beck's new post. Good evening.

Ooh.. and someone's pregnant! Guess who? (Not me) Congrats!!!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Peek shout-out (a birthday and an engagement)

Yea. Christopher Peek, dear adopted brother of mine, is engaged to super sweet Seattle Sarah. :)

(And it's the Peek twins birthday too, by the way. Happy birthday, Chris and Kevin!)

AND... if the news couldn't get much cooler... they have a blog. I'm thrilled. Check it.

Kevin, Chris, and I were like a little family back in our youth group days. When we used to laugh about who would get married when.. who knew the Lord would purpose all 3 of us to marry in the same year.

Congrats, dear Chris and dear Sarah. Read their blog, people.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Mindy Makes Me Smile :)

I was thinking of my friend Mindy during my conference period today. While grading Social Studies journals... I have no idea why. Anyway, hope all is well with your job, Mindy. I posted this so everyone could see this fantastic picture. It always makes me smile. Back to work. Happy Friday!

And yes... it is Calvin's commentaries. :)
Ooh... and go to GerltHouse. There are MORE Jake pics.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Some are serious, most are not.

A list for your evening...

1. The Bebees have a blog.
2. The Dawsons have a blog.
3. Laura Cozart has a new husband and a new blog.
3. Nothing is so sanctifying, and I'm only half-joking, as being stuck in traffic for almost 2 hours when you wanted to be at your husband's basketball game AND you're almost out of gas.
4. My Student of the Week brought a gecko and I stinkin' fell in love. I want a gecko. :) Dustin says no... but I may get one for my classroom. What do you think? I could put different kids in charge of taking care of him, buying his crickets, etc.
5. Well, wow. I guees I should get out more. I'm sitting here staring at the screen, Dustin's at work, and I was attempting to get a good post in. I have serious thoughts, but they would take a long time to write out. I have silly thoughts, because 5th grade teachers get weird by Thursday evenings. I don't have any new pictures, so go look at Baby Jake again. He's cute.
6. Love to all. Check out the new blogs.
7. Okay, I changed my mind. One serious thought to leave you with... I was really hit this morning with the fact that I am a dependent disciple and this thought should prevail over my thinking and actions and.. well, it would be a long post. Maybe soon.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The word on the street is...

I didn't want to steal their thunder, but since Chad posted, I can help spread the fantastic news! Baby Jake is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Go to the GerltHouse blog and post about how great our God is, how cool babies are, and how much we love their growing family! What a miracle you are, Baby Jake. We love you already!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

After the walk...

it was back to cleaning house. :) You'd think that with such a.. um.. COZY apartment, it wouldn't take long to clean, and you're right, except we still have some deep cleaning to do. It was a mess when we got here. Still scrubbing at some tile, cleaning baseboards and discovering that this old apartment really gets dusty. We're both pretty allergy-prone, so it's extra important to attack the dust. Gross. All clean now though and it's not like the weekend's zapped. Monday's Labor Day. Woo stinkin' hoo, as my husband likes to say...

Pics of... the bedroom and bathroom. Still have some bare walls, but oh well.

We mainly uploaded these for our sweet families who are dying to see pics of where we live. Thanks for your support, prayers, and love. There you have it... the pics. Sorry it took so long :)


This afternoon, I went on a long walk with Becky Peek! The weather is super! It was so fun. I also went out for coffee last night with Kari while Dustin was at work. It has truly been so refreshing to have some time to fellowship and have fun with some ladies (that aren't 5th graders) who are in such similar seasons of life. Thanks, Kari and Becky.
Here's a picture of the Becky and me from last December, way back before we were married. Ha!

And since we're on a picture kick (and cleaning break)

I thought I'd mention, if I haven't already, that with marrying sweet Dustin came instant aunt-hood. Just as my sisters were thrilled to have an "instant brother" I am overjoyed to be an instant aunt to cute little Ethan. And Alison, my sister-in-law has one on the way, too! Dear friend Kelly Lyrene is preggers too and Baby Jake Gerlt is due any minute. Miss all of you TX ladies and seeing you pregnant. Send pics!

Check E-man out!


the DADDY of all space savers. We love our little island/pot rack/whatever you call it. Those shiny rectangular things on the frig are Dustin's old licence plates that read D Butts Fun stuff. Our walls are still kind of bare, but we'll work on it in our spare time.
Ethan and Anna Kate, your drawings are on the frig. We miss you daily. :P OOH - and the apron in the other picture was a sweet gift from Erin!


Sweet Dustin helped SO much. He put up apron and towel hooks for me, the cafe curtains, bought the runner, etc. You can look REAL hard and take a peek into the bedroom. I will have to send pictures of that a little later. :)

Love to all! Miss you. Come visit!

Living and Dining at the Butts'

This is our little living room/dining room/library. :) We love it! Dudley and Carolyn, Dustin's parents, graciously provided the furniture you see. All our wedding Target gift cards probably helped with anything else you see (rugs, knick knacks). We're grateful indeed. And for those of you who know me well.. there is a tick-tock clock, BUT with the fan noise, you can't hear it! Woohoo. (Charity/Mom Butts - your clock is in the bedroom. Pics of that will come.. when I clean it this afternoon. Ha)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dinner Table Conversation

Apparently, there was a little Kindergartener, we'll call her L, at my school who came to her teacher yesterday almost in tears. The teacher asked L what on earth was wrong. L explained, through the sobs, that everyone at this school is being mean to one of the teachers. The teacher wisely asked L to explain what was going on. L said that everyone was calling a 5th grade teacher a VERY bad name. She said that EVERYONE kept calling the teacher Mrs. Butts. Just then, a little boy (let's say T) interrupted and knowingly announced to his teacher that he tried to explain to L that it was just the teacher's name. Smiling, the teacher tried to hold back her laughter, and confirmed to the girl that we have a teacher at our school whose name is Mrs. Butts. She explained that it's just her name, like Smith or Walker. The other kids weren't being mean, but just calling her by her name. This teacher nearly ran me over to find me to tell me the story yesterday. It was pretty funny.
And then today, at carpool girl, this wide-eyed, awkward little girl came up to me with her princess backpack on and said slowly, "Hi, Mrs. Butts" and I knew my name was probably the topic of many dinner tables in Louisville last night.

My 5th graders loved this story. They haven't said one word about my name all year and so I didn't mention it. Granted, their wise parents probably threatened them. However, I think it was fun for them to see that even I got a kick out of the name from time to time. But, don't you start laughing. It's just a NAME, like Smith or Walker.

Monday, August 28, 2006

To The Birthday Girl

Dear Erin,

Happy Birthday, sweet friend. Woohoo. Praying for you, the family, and Baby Jake! We miss you!! Check your mail!!

Dustin and Jamie Butts

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Taking a quick break from thank-you cards... If I owe YOU one, know that I haven't forgotten about you. :)

Well, just wanted to give a brief update and also a prayer request. Pray for the Gerlt family as they await the arrival of Baby Jake. He should be here before too long. Things like this are the hard part of being this far. We wish we could be there. Please pray for Erin and the baby's health and for the next few days/weeks of waiting.

Also, Dustin starts his other job this week teaching at a local Christian school. We have been hitting our lesson plans hard this week! We spent a good chunk of yesterday at a coffee shop working on lessons. If you think about it, pray for us as we adjust to a new addition to our already-packed schedules. I know he'll do great!

Encouraged by the message we heard this morning at a church we've been visiting. Encouraged is an altogether appropriate term, too, as we learned more about Barnabus, the great encourager. It was really challenging. Barnabus didn't write people off, giving up on them, but he actively pursued ways to build up the faith of others. May we follow this example.

No pictures to post just yet... check out fun pictures of the Cozart wedding here and pictures of a really cute dog here. Save your dinner here.

5th grade continues to keep me on my toes. Really thankful for this job.

Just for safety, if you want my new e-mail address, write me for it at my old one and I'll get it your way.

Oh, Joey Moore, my youngest sister, starts school at Master's College in California this week. Be praying for her. She's loving it so far! Who thinks Joey needs to start a Blog? :P I do, I do.

Grace and peace.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chapel Day

Well, yesterday was chapel day.
For our Southern students, it was a glorious time of wonderful music, solid preaching, and good fellowship. Mohler did the convocation message and it was an introduction to many great chapels this semester. Kari said it was great and Dustin is excited about Mohler teaching through the 10 commandments when he preaches!

Meanwhile, here at Christian Academy,
Hmm. How can I say this nicely?
Let's just say that the chapel services here could use some help.
Do you remember the CARTOON SONG? I always hated it. And now, I have joined ranks with a school that will trumpet this horrid song most every Tuesday. It is part of "praise and worship" here and they play clips of each cartoon on the overhead. If you're not familiar with the song, good for you! Maybe some of you feel my pain. It's just a weird song. Yes, it's fun for the kids, but it's pointless, AND they get all riled up! Good way to get them calmed down for the message. Message? Actually, they don't crack a Bible and had their newest 5th grade teacher come up on stage for a demonstration that involved whipped cream. Need I say more?

Oh well. At least it's only 30 minutes a week!

Friday, August 18, 2006


I decided to try out a new look. Those of you who get tired of checking and finding no new posts, you can have something new waiting for you when you finally decide to stop by and see if life has slowed down a bit. It hasn't, BUT it's wonderful. The Lord has been so gracious. Dustin's at work and I am unwinding a bit after my first official week on the new job. Honestly, I am just thrilled out of my mind (think I picked up that phrase from you, dear Erin). Not so much in our circumstances, but it's just so encouraging to be at a different place than I was a year ago, and I don't mean geographically. New job (more on that in a second), new marriage, fresh perspective.

Well, instead of rambling on and sharing on this thing like it's a journal (my usual habit), I will try to just keep you informed and catch you up to date.

July 22 - I became Mrs. Jamie Butts, bride of the sweet and wonderful Dustin Butts (whose blog is far better than my own, check it out here). Our wedding day was such a wonderful day! It was incredible to see so many family and friends and really think on what the Bible says about marriage and what an amazing design that God has for this sacred and sanctifying covenant. Pictures are in the mail, so we may get one or two posted soon.

July 22-August 1 - Honeymoon, aka "the week the cell phones and alarm clocks were silent" - it was great to relax after such a crazy summer! No wedding planning, seminary, schedules! Man, everyone should get married and take a honeymoon/vacation. :)

August 1 - hung out with the Butts' clan (my new fam! I'm Aunt Jamie, by the way! How cool)

August 2 - hung out the Moore's, opened tons of wedding gift in assembly-line fashion, packed up the moving truck

August 3 - We were off! We headed to Memphis, spent the night, and then trucked it to KY on the 4th.

Friends helped us unload and we had it all unloaded in just a little over an hour. Our small apartment was filled with boxes, but we got the bed set up and spent the next week making it into a home! We love it! Hope to send pictures soon.

August 8 - I started new teacher orientation at Christian Academy of Louisville and spent the following week in meetings or working on the classroom. Dustin started working some around the same time.

He started classes this past Monday and my kiddos arrived this past Wednesday. It feels great to finally be settling into a routine. It is so nice to feel a sense of normalcy. It struck me on the way to work one morning when I was sipping on a travel coffee mug and the sun was still coming up and Dustin and I had enjoyed a breakfast together.

There is still some transition... some of our walls are bare, I STILL have to get my mail forwarded, new social, learning my way around, praying about church, etc. However, it is good to be here. I am so thankful for my new job. I have never been so excited about teaching. I'd explain, but this would go on forever. The Lord is so good though and I am so thankful to have this opportunity to be here with Dustin.

I'm not sure how much I will/desire to/can keep up posting, but I'll try to at least keep you up to date fairly often and send a picture or two.

Although I love my new job, I am excited that it is the weekend. Time to catch up a little, on a plethora of random to-do's and to-don'ts (slowing down a little from the pace of the week).

Pray for Dustin and other young men as they study and prepare for ministry as the Lord guides their steps. I will tell you more about them one day, Lord willing. Mr. Stone, how is your teaching job going? Let us know.

Mindy, do continue your blog. I enjoy it thoroughly.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Hi friends. How are ya?

We're here. We've settled in and unpacked (thanks to kind friends here who helped tremendously). The apartment is definitely starting to feel like home. Loving it! Dustin's amazing and has helped with so many things to set up our home. Be praying for me as I get started at my new job. I'm the only teacher will bare walls and I still don't know what I'm teaching when the kids come next week. It'll come together though. It's a great school and I'm thankful for the opportunity but pray for rest and discipline to work hard this week, whenever I'm not in meetings. Really pray for time management. It's been pretty crazy ever since the honeymoon. Dustin's getting ready to start classes on Monday and posted yesterday on his blog. Check it for a fun picture! :)

Don't have tons to say just yet, but thought I'd say hello.
Going to sleep at 9:30. Score.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One last post

1. I forgot to tell you and some people (Jamie White and others) have been asking... I got a job! I am a 5th grade teacher at the Christian Academy of Louisville! Yea for Kari Plevon and Alicia finding new KY jobs too!

2. I love Dustin Butts and we're getting married in 2 days.

3. Headed to Gatesville... A trip to Nana's (one of my favorite places) and marrying dear Dustin - what a weekend!

As we camp people would say (No, Dustin, we are NOT a cult)... OOWWEE!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Scattered Thoughts - a final pre-marriage post

What a day! We are now earning HUGE checkmarks (thank you, Mrs. Peek) on the to-do list. Programs, check. Packed, check. Stuff moved to my parents' house. Fun, too. We went to a sweet little princess party for Anna Kate and then Dustin and I went out with Michael and Julie to a fun Mexican food hole-in-the-wall place that was yummy. We had a blast!

Dustin and I are thrilled that we are almost (technically here in a few minutes) 3 days out. I sit here on the floor of my empty room at the Stones' and kind of reflect as yet another season comes to an end. Usually you just jump from season to season, or in my case, from house to house (I've been somewhat of a nomad these last few years), but this one brings HUGE change. We were talking about how if, in fact, your ministry/relationship with your spouse should come even before your children, then this is indeed the second most important relationship in your life (if you are a Christian). This logically makes your wedding day definitely in the running for the second most IMPORTANT day of your life, second only to conversion. When all of the hustle and bustle of wedding planning blows by (some girls live for this stuff, but it's just not quite my thing, though much of it is a blast), you sit and go... wow, this is HUGE. Insecurities may even attack if you really stop long enough to examine the weightiness of it all. How on earth are we, selfish beings, going to love and serve the other person, according to our Biblical roles, even on days when life HITS! (Grace and diligent obedience, that's how...) So, I'm trying to keep this in my thinking. Right now, we are on top of the world!!! Three days until so many things.... so much to look forward to! We are so stinkin' in love that we could just stare at each other for a year and call it the best year of our lives. :) But... we know ourselves to be human, people, sinners, REAL. And I can't help but wonder how we will react when marriage is not so "giddy" (for lack of better terms). When the cake is gone and the honeymoon is over...

Sweet Dustin and I had a great conversation about this tonight. Your vows aren't something to take lightly. They are vows... solemn, serious, permanent, binding. Right? May the Lord give us grace to think HARD about what we are about to do. Have a wedding? Yes and no. That will come and go... rather quickly it seems. Have a honeymoon? Sounds great, but it'll be over in a week. Do life together? Yup. Pray for us that the Lord would give us grace to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit to one another, to pray for and with each other, to love, to laugh, to hold, to mess up together, to confess sin, to forgive, to learn, to grow, to live. We are extremely excited. I'm just one of those people that when I close one chapter of life, I look back and think, think, think. I did that at the end of teaching last year - regretting, examining, analyzing, wondering. I look back and ahead tonight, while looking around my empty little room and sitting on the floor since our desk is at my parents'... and think about how much the Lord has done! How I deserved wrath and on a smaller scale, I deserved God to somehow give up on me during faithless seasons, but He remained faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. He has healed, helped, provided for, taught me... He has loved me with an everlasting love. He has given me such rich friendships, some of which we enjoyed even tonight! He has given health, joy, food, jobs... He has given Himself.

I just feel like I'm so ungrateful. Ever feel like that? Like a spoiled American somewhat like the 9 lepers who "forgot" to go back and thank the Lord who so graciously healed them. I remember valleys. I remember praying for, waiting for certain things. Hoping in the unseen. Or... not hoping. Losing hope. Forgetting. Scripture is so full of this mandate to remember. To stop in your tracks and choose to remember what God has done.

I'm crazy in love with Dustin Butts, my "almost husband"... but I want to distinguish between the "just giddy" part of it (which there's no way around.. it's just so stinkin' fun right now) and the real, lasting, joy that springs first from knowing and being known by the Father and only then will lead to godly love within our marriage.

I don't know if I'm making sense. I haven't slept much. Not that there's anything to be pumped about...

To you, my family and friends, most of you that read this (unless you just stumble upon this from random links) are dear friends. Please pray for us as we make VOWS. Serious vows. Not just giddy vows. Although this was a "whirlwind romance" (as a lady I know recently called it), we wanted all along to not be flippant about it. American dating culture says do what feels good.. if it doesn't work out, break up, you can play with people's hearts, give your heart (and purity) to whoever, whenever, without any responsibilities, but we wanted so much to "figure out" how to do it right. Don't think we magically did that. But just hear my scattered thoughts and as you contemplate the seriousness of marriage, do keep us in your prayers as we approach this exciting yet very serious day. Not to sound cliche, but it's really not about us. It's just not. Life. Marriage. It just doesn't revolve around us. And it's wonderful and sanctifying and as a dear friend told me, every bit as much wonderful as sanctfiying/hard, but also every bit as much sanctifying as wonderful.

Anyway. See you... soon, I hope! :)

Last Blog post until... well, definitely not until a few weeks from now!!! Maybe we'll join blogs or something. Who knows? :P

Jamie Moore, but not for long.

P.S. A special word to Slade and Laura, who mentioned jokingly that they are rather envious of us being this close to the special day. Hang in there! Do try and enjoy it. Because you think it's dragging on (and it is, we feel like we've been engaged for 2 years) but then it's suddenly here. Enjoy your family and friends and each other. Word hard to get the to-do's to-done :P and trust the Lord to guard you and help you as you wait, wait, wait for that day that truly is not so very far away. Love you!

Friday, July 14, 2006

What Won't Happen At Our Wedding :)

Seeing as how the wedding is 8 days away, (pause and sing Hallelujah chorus with me) I wanted to pass on an e-mail from my aunt about things that will NOT happen at my wedding. I hope you can download this.

See ya there!

What Won't Happen At Dustin and Jamie's Wedding

Monday, July 10, 2006

Checking in...

Hello, blog friends!!

My apologies for having a quiet Blog. Quiet blogs are no fun. :) So, I thought I owed you a quick update. I don't have much to say or much time to say it, but I'll just try to summarize. The summer has absolutlely flown by! However, everything is coming together and the Lord has been gracious. There has been NO routine, which I am craving, but I can't complain. We've had 6 pre-marital counseling sessions with Pastor Steve, each lasting about 3 hours. This has probably been, in my opinion, the highlight of the summer. After all, if all we do is register and order flowers, then we aren't really ready for marriage. This weekly visit has proven to be extremely beneficial, provoking conversation, healthy view of the weightiness of marriage, perspective, highlighting our personal strengths and weaknesses as a couple and individually, and our desperate need for grace as we endeavor to enter such a sacred and sanctifying union. I have a whole new respect for those who seem to have a joyful, satisfying marriage, for I now know this didn't come by chance, but grace... and diligent prayer, hard work, loving patience, communication, effort, etc.

Furthermore, we've been assigned some reading material. The list includes: The Excellent Wife (Martha Peace) and The Exemplary Husband (Stuart Scott) along with Strengthening Your Marriage (Wayne Mack), The Act of Marriage (LaHayes') and Intended for Pleasure (Wheat) and more books (on money and child-raising that we may not get to until after we wed!). I guess the idea is that you read and study up for jobs, medical issues, you prepare for vacations, purchasing a home, etc. Why not study for something that is extremely important... marriage!
To be honest though, with our time crunch, study has been difficult! We are not only marrying, but moving, so trying to juggle time with family, friends, working out some, involvement at church, wedding planning (eek), packing, reading, SLEEPING?, and just getting to know each other has been tricky. We appreciate your prayers and encouragement!
It's been good though. 2 showers last weekend reminded me of the Lord's kindness to provide such neat friends and family! Fun to get gifts for our new little home in KY too!
The reality is sinking in... just 12 more days to go! We can't wait to see you there and if you can't make it, to see you again one day!

Today's agenda - thank-you cards, READING, Boba tea (we're slightly obssessed) and we may be going on a REAL date soon and very soon! Six Flags is also in the works. After all, we do live right down the road, we do have season passes and we've only been twice. We love roller coasters. Yea!

We love you all! Sorry to have so many me-focused Blog entries, but I've had requests for updates. I'll try to post something more thoughtful one of these days...

Keep us in your prayers (and Laura and Slade as they prepare)


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

another great blog...

Check out the Plevan family blog. Fun stuff.

Wrapping up the story

So, this is long. Real long. But I couldn't leave the story hanging. You don't have to read it all, but at least I finished it. =)

7. Well, let's see... Dustin had a wedding to attend in Houston, so he had a layover at DFW, just minutes from my casa! I had been sick that week (honest, Michael Stone!) and my boss had told me to go ahead and take off Friday, just in case. Friday was the day he was coming through town and I woke up feeling much better (providential?). Dustin had called and we had previously joked about me bringing lunch up there so we could at least hang out a little in person, but now that I was home, it was actually a possibility. I brought Taco Bell and well, he had forgotten his cell phone, so needless to say, it was an adventure finding him at the airport. When we met up, we had about 15 minutes before he had to board. We inhaled our food and talk, talk, talked. He gave me a book (his prof. wrote it!) and a card in which I was instructed not to open until I got home. He basically explained how he looked forward to getting to know me more....

8. Fast forward to March 8th. Dustin calls and then basically explained how even though everything had been so quick, we had talked enough to know that the non-negotiable things (things you should break up over if you disagree) we agreed on, that he'd been praying about it, seeking counsel, and he said many other things (I remember them all, and they are in my journal, but I don't want to make this more posts than it already is!), different reasons he really liked me, and asked if I would be interested in entering into a courtship with the intention and goal of marriage. We talked about how he didn't know my dad yet, but he was certainly willing to talk to him and little did I know, he wrote my dad an e-mail later that night asking for permission, counsel, blessing, etc.

9. Dustin came in town for his Spring Break and we had a blast hanging out, meeting families, getting to know each other in PERSON, not just a voice in the phone or print on a screen! I think we both had been a little nervous about this week, knowing it was our first real time to hang out in person since expressing our feelings and wondering if we would really click, if it would be awkward, etc. It was great!

10. Eventually... with many details in between, we realized that we were looking at a really LONG courtship (I'm a teacher, year-long commitment, he was in seminary) or a really short one. We analyzed it from every angle, seeking the counsel of our family, friends, elders, etc. It was a very weighty decision (to be engaged early summer, marry late summer, move to KY), but after MUCH prayer and discussion, (Dustin leading, guiding, and setting the pace of these discussions) we both wholeheartedly agreed that this was a wise decision in our situation. We knew there was much to learn about each other, having barely been in the same town, but we knew enough to know that we wanted to marry and prayed for wisdom as we stepped forward to prepare.

11. All this said, we obviously weren't OFFICIALLY engaged yet. He had plans to come to Dallas for the summer and live at Gerlt House, so I knew we'd get engaged pretty soon after he got here, but there had been no talk of a ring. When he got here, I was winding up the school year and he was a huge help. The day before the last day of school was Wednesday, May 24th. Dustin had said that while I was at work he was going to go to Lampasas (his hometown) to drop off some things with his family and take care of some things. He was being so vague, I started getting the idea he was picking up a ring! He kept saying that we were going to have a Dustin/Jamie day soon (cell phones off, no schedule, not 5th graders!) so I figured when he got the ring and came back in town, he'd propose. Plus, he was going to talk to drive to my parents' house on the way out of town to have "the talk" with my dad, asking for my hand in marriage. He was so open and honest with me about the when's and what's (it went great) of that visit, I thought there was surely no way to surprise me. Fine by me! I was just pumped about everything... we already had a date. The Lord had been so gracious. So, Dustin heads to my parents and then to Lampasas and I head to my job, ALSO joyful that I was finally at the end of the sanctifying new job I mentioned earlier. :) So, I was working away that day when he was headed out of town and he called to see how my day was going and I asked if he had a nice drive. I was working later than I anticipated. He thought I'd be home around 2:00 (early dismissal) but I worked until 5. He kept calling to see how I was doing, and encouraged me to take it easy and go home and get some rest.

12. Finally, I did head home. I had a huge stack of CUM folders to work on and my hands were full when I walked up to the door and saw a note. Nothing fancy, just a folded sheet of computer paper. I grabbed it and walked in and put my stuff down. What? There was a white rose on the counter. I knew that Dustin had access (thank you, Gerlts!) to my house (I live down the street) and I figured he left if before he went out of town. How sweet! I opened my note and it said that there was a gift for me on the counter and more in my room. So, of course, I was flipping out because that was really thoughtful. More roses from Dustin in my room. What a guy! =) I was grabbing my cell phone about to call him and say thanks, while walking to my room.

13. But... what's going on? I heard music, I saw rose petals as I came to my door that was cracked open. I saw candlelight. Surely he didn't leave candles burning when he went out of town! So, my heart's beating faster and I am starting to figure out that something is definitely up. There's Dustin! All dressed up, with more flowers and a Bible next to him.

14. I flipped out at first just for the mere fact he was there. I thought you were in Lampasas! You're here! You're here! Hugs. Laughter. Funny story about how he'd been there since 2 and the candles had definitely been burning for awhile!

15. The sweet stuff: So, Dustin says he can finally tell me his story he'd been saving all this time. Apparently when we met (see #2 in this story) he was interested and went home and prayed and asked the Lord that if he could have his choice in who he could marry, he wanted to marry me. (Wow.. humbling even to write, I'm so undeserving) He was going to seminary, however, and we were in two different states and he barely knew me enough to pursue. So, he didn't know what to do, but just brought his desire before the Lord. I didn't think I'd see him again and had NO CLUE all he was thinking from the start. He says that it one of the best days ever to see an e-mail from me in his inbox that February day. He finally was able to say how he loved me, read from Ephesians 5, got done on his knee, said some really amazing things (girls never tell that part so I guess I won't either) and proposed! Also.. I got to finally give him a card I had started for him since the airport adventure. I had been adding to it ever since, so it read like a journal. We later went to Gerlt House where Anna Kate was flipping out over my "gorgeous" (how adorable! a 3 year old who says gorgeous) ring and how she got to wear a pretty white dress at our wedding! Then, we headed to Olive Garden (my fav!) and later, back to the house, where Dustin helped with my cum folders. He came to school the next day and met my kiddos, who loved the fact that I was engaged and would become "Mrs. Butts" and they just LOVED Dustin.

16. The summer has been flying. Guest list, registering, counseling, oh my. It's been nuts, but we are learning so much and thrilled. We have recently been to DC, Kentucky, and about to go see my Nana in Gatesville and then, we hope to just "chillax" (Dustin word) a little now that the big things are in place. We can't wait to see all of you!

The rest is history (in the making)

Other things have been "confirming" but we really trace God's wise, faithful, and Sovereign hand in our lives and enjoy each other so much. Hope to see you all at the wedding! Thanks for your patience and most of all.. your prayers.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Just enough time for #'s 5-6

Since I've kept you waiting.

5. Well, Dustin e-mailed me back. Having been a teacher, he was extremely encouraging about my new job. I wrote back. He wrote back. We kept corresponding and visiting about everything from families to beliefs to favorite brands of ice cream. He was a leader, guiding the conversations. I could feel myself being simultaneously "girly" (oh, wow, an e-mail from Dustin!) and guarded (I can't believe I'm letting myself enter into a close friendship with a BOY, there is a "risk" of getting hurt and is it smart to get close to a guy, that may very well be someone ELSE'S husband). I started praying about all of these emotions in my heart and my respect and admiration for him was growing constantly and quickly. What is up with these desires, I wondered. If he was having a bad day, I FELT it. I wanted to pray for him and encourage him. I wasn't wrapped up with the idea of love, for the sake of love, but I was just crazy about HIM.

6. Well, sure enough Dustin wrote and basically said that the more he knows me, the more he wants to know me, and he asked, very appropriately, if I would mind if he called me. After my heart started beating again, I reminded myself that this was a wise move on his part. You can only know so much about a person through e-mail, and we do live in different states, after all. I decided this was more wise than scary, because he wasn't just calling to shoot the breeze, but I knew it was with intention and that he wasn't the type that just called girls all the time. Although I knew Dustin was guarding my heart with his words and actions, I also begged the Lord would guard my heart, because I already felt myself going crazy about this guy. I didn't want to hurt him or get hurt. It seemed "risky" but God is IN CONTROL and I knew my security was IN CHRIST. I had learned that the hard way, but it was a lesson I wanted to remember now more than ever.

Well, I can finish the story in one more post and the rest is yet to come. We are about to head out to our 2nd counseling session with Pastor Steve. Tomorrow, we will head to D.C. with Dustin's family for his uncle's wedding. It's been extremely busy, so be praying for us during this season. What a blast though! We are grateful, growing, learning, preparing. And, we love you all. Thanks for your interest in our story. It's just a story and it's not one to boast in, but to bow and thank the Lord, who is so kind to sinners who deserve HELL but have been given GRACE.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


So... I promised you "the story"

1. I had heard of "D. Butts" through my sweet friend, Laura. He's like a brother to her, and she spoke VERY highly of him. I met him BRIEFLY at a conference, but wouldn't have been able to pick him out in a crowd.

2. Officially met Dustin on New Year's Eve at Camp Buckner Reunion. We enjoyed a 2 hour conversation in the Faith Hall kitchen. Encouraging, fun, drank lots of DP, talked with Joey, etc. I learned that he was headed out to Southern in a few days. We had a long conversation about teaching, the IMB, doctrine, and we laughed and talked and laughed and talked. I admired him, respected him, but didn't think much of it, because he was going to Southern and I was still pretty guarded and a little overwhelmed at the time because I was about to start a new job. For all I knew, I would never see this super guy again.

3. So, time tick-tocked by and I got settled into my very sanctifying new job as a 5th grade teacher. It was hard. My friend Laura encouraged me by sending me to our friend Eron's website where he discussed why Christians should not hate their jobs. I printed it and referred to it OFTEN. One day, I was looking at this much-needed post... again and I looked at his links. Saw my pal Blake had a blog and checked it out. Looked at his links. One caught my eye. The Once Dead Poet? What? Interesting... so I hit the link and found Dustin's (I don't call him D. Butts) website. I decided to shoot him an e-mail (but I did not initiate, for the record) to see if he ever ran into my friend Kevin and see how he was doing at Big Al's school.

4. So, on February 11, Dustin awakes to find a "random" e-mail in his inbox.

to be continued...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

the ring =)

Details pending...

I can't wait. Must. Tell. Blogworld. :P

I got engaged!

Details will come, but for all of the girls out there - YES, he surprised me (hard to do in our situation, but he shocked me), YES, the ring is beautiful, YES, it was incredible, YES, Jamie's being such a girl...

Dustin and I will hopefully get this God-ordained crazy-fast courtship typed into some kind of informative blog entry so you can get the scoop...

For those of you who didn't even know I was in a relationship (Dustin who?), we have a lot to catch up on. :P Just trust me; you'll love him. Know that Dustin is amazing and has been above reproach.

Okay, gotta jet. Save the date, will ya? I know it's a busy time of year, but we hope you can make it. I'll be the gal in white with crocodile tears of joy. :P

Where: First Baptist, Gatesville, TX
When: July 22nd, 4:00PM
Why: God-ordained!

If you haven't sent me your addresses, do that soon! :P

I can't wait to get to school today. Almost summer, get to wear jeans and I'm engaged to this amazing guy (my co-teachers and kiddos at school are going to flip)- there are so many things to be excited about, I don't even know where to start. Hehe. Praise the Lord with me.

Joey - call me, even from Spain. Thanks for your e-mail. :P Will you be a bridesmaid?!?!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A few shout-outs

Happy Birthday (one day late) to my friends Sarah Bebee and (a week or so late) Jennifer Dower!

Congrats to Slade Cozart and Laura Tunnell. They just got engaged. Check their blogs! We are excited and praying! I will never ever say that it was crazy timing. =) We're just dying for you guys to come visit again!

To my pal, Chad Gerlt, who had a big interview today. We're praying!

A shout-out to Rebekah... I still owe you a phone call. :P

Michael Stone landed a great job. Woo-hoo!

Camp Buckner friends- the counselors are coming. =)

Arlington friends, the ODP has finally arrived. Yea!

My dad got a new job - praise the Lord!

Blake and Alicia are getting married!

The Peeks are posting!

Sarah D. has sweet Mikayla Grace.

Baby Jake and Baby L are coming!

My students are quiet and my report cards are finished!

I even had Panda Express for lunch.

However.. I realize that these fun circumstances (whether huge and important or small and somewhat trivial) should not be the basis of my joy. The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever and we serve a God who rules and reigns. It is interesting to look back at times where I was in the "depths of despair" and enter such joyous seasons now, but to know that the same God rules and reigns through either season. The Lord gives and takes away. We must recognize both as from his hand. He not ONLY takes away, but also gives. May joy in Christ spring from your heart, whether from the valley of despair or from the heights of joy and blessing. There is always joy to be had for the believer.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"The First Year Of Marriage"

I was out with pink eye today (new teachers' bodies have to adjust to so many germs) so I went to the doctor, tried to get some stuff done.. and took a nap, and then another one later. Good going, Jamie. Now, I can't sleep. :P

Reminds me of my time to Spain. When my family lived in Spain, I had a hard time adjusting to the major time change and my family slept about twice as much as college Jamie did, so I would read. Sermons, articles, books, whatnot. Usually, I learned a lot and the reading would eventually make me tired.

Tonight, I stumbled across a good post on marriage. Since I have friends who are newlyweds, friends returning from honeymoons, friends engaged, friends in courtships, single friends who desire to grow in their understanding of marriage, and happily-married-for-years friends, I think this may encourage many people. Sometimes, the really doctrinally-rich stuff hits us and sometimes, it's these personal testimonies of REAL people.

Enjoy. Thoughts?

The First Year Of Marriage

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Infamous Peeks :)

Those of you who know anything about me know that I don't have brothers. Sigh. ALWAYS wanted a brother, no offense to my 2 fun younger sisters. Think I'd be a little more athletic and not as sensitive if I also had a brother and just thought it'd be cool. Hehe. However, the Lord brought these two, godly, goofy, frugal-like-me, tall, 6'4" twin guys into my life who have filled the "like a brother role" (Davy, you fall in this category too) since 10th grade! Most of my friends have heard me mention them at least a time or two. :) They are dear friends and brothers in the faith. We have some funny memories and good times as we went through some fun, sanctifying, challenging, great years together. And Kevin married sweet Becky so she became one of my fun Peek friends too!

Anyway, they posted today! Everyone go and shower it with comments so they'll be motivated to post more often. Also, Michael Stone has a great post today as well. Check it! Way to Blog, Peeks! I hope to see you soon!!! Christopher, when are you going to get a blog, brother?

I will be catching you up soon, but right now - things are just crazy. 4 weddings in a row coming up and about 8 days of school left! A few other little things (ha!) going on around here too, but maybe I can catch you up soon and very soon.

Peace out.
One of my kids noted how I said "peace out" to them the other day instead of goodbye. Good grief, I must be the most unprofessional teacher ever! :P I don't even remember saying that. :)

Wow, my kids have been really wild lately. All of 5th grade has! So say a prayer for sanity and endurance to finish well and have Fruit of the Spirit!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ms. Moore's Morning Prompts... GO!

Okay, so I think of these loaded morning prompts and want to write them. However, I figure busy people who are casually checking Blogs at work or who have little kiddos needing their attention or who are working hard at their computer jobs would probably not be able to sit and answer questions about missions, the state of the American church, and other random things that roll around in my head.

So... today you have two pretty basic prompts to choose from. Or you could always choose both. I enjoy reading your comments.

Describe the best teacher you ever had.

Or discuss the following quote:
"Yet, through this rough and thorny maze, I follow hard on thee, my God: Thy hand, unseen, upholds my ways; I safely tread where thou hast trod" - Montgomery

Happy Friday!!

"Praise the God who saves, Praise the God who bled, Praise the God who was nailed to the tree, and bore our sins on his head..." (Caedmon's)