Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm a Copy Cat :)

Fun idea, Laura, on the flashback from last year. Forgive me for copying you. :)

A year ago today... Dustin proposed. It has flown by. I love my wonderful husband.

Took a "break" from my "blog break" to do a flashback post of last year today.

Not like anyone has to read all this, but I just wanted to go dig it up and look at it again. =) Maybe new friends might be interested, someone might be bored, or my mom will want to re-read it. Who knows?


God-Ordained Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Many things are getting graded/finished with the blog break and kicking it in high gear.
There are 4 1/2 days left until summer. Bittersweet, because I love these kids, but it's also wonderful to anticipate a break.
Mindy's coming Saturday!
I'm allergic to Louisville. Achoo!
Long weekend for Memorial Day... yea!
We turned our "dungeon" room into a guest room this week. It was really fun. We're ready for visitors now. Keep 'em coming.
Reading Muller's autobiography. I'll be posting on it soon. Stay tuned.

Back to my Blog Break/Fast.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Final Lap

Sticking with the running verbage, I'm in my last lap of the school year. It will take some extra strength, deep breaths and a lot of perserverance. I want to end well.

On that note, I'm going to take a blog break. This includes writing and reading them, which I admit, can really be a time-snatcher due to my lack of prioritizing. While I love reading your blogs, it will be more fitting when the summer is actually here. I can't justify it while there's so much going on right now.

I will only be checking my husbands and the running schedule. Goo, we're up to 2.5 now. Wow. With the end of the year approaching quickly, deadlines at school, running, company coming (woohoo!) and 21 5th graders coming to our house, I'd say extra discipline is required to end well. If you need me, shoot me an e-mail or call me. Have a wonderful week!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Quotes for your day

A quick break one day this week led to the discovery of this blog (a link on McCulley's Solo Femininity site).

Be challenged, encouraged, and check out that blog.

"The seed of immorality is a discontented heart." - Purple Cellar

Even though we limp and stumble as we walk with him, and we will always walk with at least a limp down here, it is this future of partnership with Jesus Christ that keeps us sane and gives us hope when discipleship goes wrong. Being united with the one who has lived with God aright for us, who has carried all our sins and infirmities for us by his death, who has given us eternal life in his resurrection, is the only basis for enduring. Jesus himself is our hope; not his gifts nor his blessings, and certainly not our successes, but he himself. Our whole discipleship, our "humanity with God," is summed up in that one name, Jesus.
To the glory of God, which is where the glory belongs.

When We Get It Wrong by Dominic Smart ( - also found at Purple Cellar

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Prayer Request

Quick request for any of my Christian readers.

I am leading the elementary teacher devotion in the morning. It is somewhat intimidating to talk to these co-workers, although I'm thankful for the opportunity. Since the subject material has really been on my mind and heart lately, I am going to do a quick talk about humility, of course using the wonderful resource that is Mahaney's little book.

I made a quick hand-out to give as a little bookmark. Hope C.J. doesn't mind; I gave him credit, but after all, it's a book about humility. :) Seriously though, please pray that it would encourage the weary teachers to look humbly to Christ as the source of their strength and attribute glory daily unto Him alone. And pray this for me. How often I rob God of the glory due Him! I will be discussing several verses tomorrow and quickly walking through these points. Ask that the Lord would be glorified. Thank you so much.

If you're interested and since I mentioned it, here's the bookmark info:

Practical Ways to Weaken Pride and Cultivate Humility As Each Day Begins and Ends

(from Humility, by C.J. Mahaney)

BEGIN your day by…

· acknowledging your dependence upon God and your need for God
· expressing gratefulness to God
· practicing spiritual disciplines (prayer, study of God’s Word, worship)
· seizing your commute time to memorize and meditate on Scripture
· casting your cares upon Him

END your day by…

· reviewing your day and carefully assigning all glory to God for the grace you’ve experienced
· receiving the gift of sleep from God and acknowledging His purpose for sleep

In regards to yesterday's post and this one as well, I will probably mention the following as far as us women and our planning/organizing/steps for success type thinking.

Warning: Be dependent!
(From Carolyn Mahaney on Girl Talk)

We can fill our shelves with every time management and organizational book available today. And we can devote all our energies to applying their tips and following their suggestions. Yet, we are utterly incapable of managing our time or organizing our life in a way that brings glory to God without God’s help! Jesus put it quite bluntly when He said, “Without me, you can do nothing.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Quick Encouragement

What a crazy time of year! Can anyone relate? Last night, Dustin and I had a full plate as it was and then we were shocked and really sad to realize that we FORGOT about home group. There are so many things on every one's plates right now. Whew. And this is, as I always say, withOUT kids. It's not like it will ever slow down. :) There are, however, things to be learned about saying no, efficiency at work and time management.
However, if you feel like you are in survival mode right now, I hope you find these random thoughts of mine to be pertinent.
In the midst of it all, I'm trying to keep 3 things in mind...

1. Dustin said his mom always did a great job of teaching him to do the hard things first. I have a love/hate relationship with this advice. My flesh hates it. But I know it's true. I see the effects of it when I do it! Tackle the thing that seems hardest and that you least want to do. Easier said than done, I know...
Well, go here for a great Girl Talk post on this very thing. They are starting to have something for every topic, huh? Everyone loves them and rightfully so. :)
2. Only God gets his to-do list done perfectly. This must humble us and we must realize that we can't do it all and humbly depend upon Him in all things.
3. That old saying... "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." The main thing in my life is Jesus Christ. It must be. It is. It will be. If I get thrown off by piles of work, whiny kids or never-ending laundry and nightly events, and lose sight of the main thing, what have I gained? Nothing. Lord, help me...
Also, our latest... ahem... bathroom reading material is Mahaney's Humility. In it, he gives a list of things to consider as you strive to cultivate humility. The morning and evening list is great. I'll try to type them out soon...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Friday!!!

Today was another well-deserved Marble Jar Party in 5A! Last one of the year, unless the kids start walking on water or something...
We decided to watch a movie (I grade!), bring in snacks and pillows... typical, typical. However, we decided to jazz it up a little. After the movie, we got our room back in order and had a PLAY DOH contest! We did a singles round and a partner round. We had Elvis, bird nest/eggs/baby birds (in honor of the previously mentioned neighbors of ours), spaghetti, some fancy gun for hunting, a park, a dead dog (kind of vulgar, huh) and many, many more!
The Elvis and Bird exhibits tied for first.

I was shocked at how the 5th graders got so in to it... and they were so quiet. The timer was ticking and they were working. Wish I had pictures. It was fun.

Happy Mother's Day and Graduation Weekend for some and Date Night and Happy Friday, which in and of itself is usually a wonderful thing. We are going on a picnic with a family from church tomorrow, so we're looking forward to that.
And yes, Mrs. Dodson, I hope to put on some running shoes at some point this weekend. :)
Great post at Kari's site. Check it out! I appreciated your thoughts on change and laughing at the days to come, Kari. I hope it encourages many graduates as well! Thanks!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

To those who know this pain...

Girl Talk offers such wonderful encouragement to any grieving mothers (or mothers who have grieved in the past) and I want to pass it along to a few of my friends here.

I would encourage anyone to go here who has lost a little one or numerous little ones... how I love you.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Just some stuff, mostly of the "update" persuasion:

Go here and scroll down to God, Where Shall I Flee From You? This sermon was preached by one of our elders (Greg Gilbert) a few weeks back and it was especially encouraging to me. I hope you have some time to listen to it. What a blessing! This is the main reason I'm posting today, so I hope that at least one of you goes and listens to it. UPDATE: Oops! This sermon is incomplete. Well, listen to 10 minuts of it and then pick out a different one to listen to. Sorry about that. Thank for the heads up, Rich.
The other sermons are terrific as well.

Dustin and I have been watching Kevin and Becky's guest room window lately out of our office window. They're corner neighbors with us. :) Well, they have some special guests. We spied a beautiful mother bird who has made an incredible nest. When she flies away for food, we can see the 3 bright blue eggs just waiting for God's time for them to hatch! Dustin and I check on them often. I can't wait to see the baby birds. I finally called Kevin and Becky to let them know about their little visitors. We're all waiting patiently! I'll try to get some pics up soon. It's really neat.

It's the 3rd day of testing here in 5A! I've been grading, grading, grading in between monitoring and eating leftover candy I bought for the kids, of course. There's only about 16 school days left! Wow!

A big congrats to graduates I know: Charity Clayton, Laura Cozart, Amanda Stephens, Jenn Dower, Kathlyn Fowler, Travis Mitchell, Bethany Howe, Mara Garza... Did I forget anyone?

Dustin and I are trying to use the envelope system. It can be kind of fun actually. We are trying to spend under $15 on date nights. From splitting meals to eating at home and just having dessert out, it can be done. Well, that and we're pretty content with places like Taco Bell. Last date night, we ate at a gumbo joint, enjoyed cokes (broke our rules!), and went to Kroger for cheap candy bars all for under 15. :) Oh, and I came home earlier that night to a clean house and flowers. It had been a crazy week at school. Dustin's so thoughtful. Made my day. Anyway, that's the update on the attempt at being a little more frugal.

Something Booked is well under way. I'm in the middle of George Muller's autobiography and we've both made summer reading plans. We'll see...

I'm still running with Sarah Dodson and Grace. Much easier plan this week they call "rest week". I'll take it. Attempting to run outside now. It's hot, but it's so nice not to have to run a million laps in the indoor track.

Dustin's almost done with the semester. Woohoo!

Welcome to the world, Brandon Walker (pictured below) and Elizabeth Wheeler (from church).

May 26th is the 5A Milk and Cookies party at our place. We're having the kids over in "shifts" so it doesn't get too crowded. Mindy will also make a special guest appearance since she's in town that weekend. Should be a blast. Or interesting anyway. :) Hopefully our neighbors won't kill us.

Headed to TX late June/early July for a 2 week trip. We're looking forward to it.

Talk about random...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Lessons in Running

As you probably already know, the Bible often compares the Christian life to a race. See 1 Corinthians 9, Galatians 2 and 5, Philippians 2:16, Hebrews 12, etc. All of the running verses often come to mind when I run. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't run very often. I admire my friends like Becky, Alicia and co-worker Robin who spent time and disciplined themselves to enter in some recent 5K's and mini-marathons. Sounds long and painful to me, but I think it's incredible and I applaud them. A friend of mine, Sarah Dodson, recently decided to ask friends/fam and whoever so pleased to lace up their tennis shoes and start a running training plan with her. I like it because it's slow and I always know that Sarah is running, too. Well, I jumped in at Week 2 and we're only at Week 4, so I'll keep you posted.

Here's the lesson I learned (or rather, was reminded of) this week. On Monday, I was supposed to run 1.5 miles. Southern's gym was pretty full. Dustin's intermural team was warming up and I could see them over the balcony on half of each lap and on the other half, I could observe the weight room people, swimmers, and raquetball players. I passed moms with strollers chatting it up and seminary guys hauling it. There were students from other countries. It was quite a lively place to be and run.

On Wednesday, I didn't go run until after dinner. Wow... No one. Not a soul in the gym or on the track and only 2 people in the weight room who eventually left. I think I saw tumbleweed. I was only supposed to run 1 mile that day but it was harder. Not necessarily physically. Mentally? I don't know, but it was just sort of lonely or something. The one mile seemed alone seemed equally as challenging or even more perhaps than the 1.5 surrounded with others.

This reminded me of all of those "running verses" and I started meditating on the fact that we can't run this race alone. We need to be surrounded with other believers. We need to encourage each other. Share burdens. Pray. Love. Listen. Admonish. We need to be intimately involved in the community of our local church. I don't want to forget that. I don't want to live my days like an independent believer. "Just me and God" type thinking is dangerous. While this lesson is nothing new persay, it hit me. I told Dustin later about all that I learned while running. It was a good picture for me. Although I'm not one to make an analogy out of every life adventure, running ones are always helpful. Why? A million reasons. The discipline required. The hindrances you must throw off. The way you must set your eyes upon Jesus Christ. You could go on. You have to make time to run. Plan to run. Maybe I'm stretching this, but I just kept contemplating the fact that you need other believers; you weren't meant to go at it alone.

Today's 2 miles. I'll keep chewing on this. See you there.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Love That Lasts

Last night was home group and, as always, it was really good and encouraging. We always meet with quite a few other couples in our group at the home of one of our elders and enjoy his wife's yummy desserts as he leads us through a Bible study or Bible-based book study with discussion. They have become dear friends of ours.
Currently, we are in the midst of a study on marriage. All of the people in the group are married and some are newlyweds, so it is quite fitting. The chapters and discussion are convicting and edifying. We are in the middle of a discussion on chapter 3 pertaining to women's roles.
Due to time, I will just leave you with this: BUY THIS BOOK! It's great. I'd recommend it to engaged or married couples and even singles who look forward to marriage in God's perfect timing.
Here's the info:

Love That Lasts, by Gary and Betsy Rucicci