I know, that I know, that I know, that my Savior Lives

With Easter weekend behind me, I wanted to share some thoughts. As we celebrate Christ's sacrifice, what is sticking out to me is Reality. Not a glorified, slow motion story that I imagine as I read the Bible...but reality. Jesus is real. He was human. These stories played out in front of a few guys that really weren't that important in the social order of the time. Regular ole dudes witnessed the events that changed every one of our lives. There is no pomp and circumstance, no special effects, no cameras in the background...just real life.

Of course, this is not my first time to acknowledge that Jesus was human and walked this earth. I think it is just really hitting home. At church, a family recently relocated by the military to Israel sent us a special video message from the spots where the Easter story unfolded. They had passover at the Upper Room, they shared scripture in the Garden of Gethsemane, they showed us where Peter denied Christ, they sat at the entrance to the garden tomb, and they stood beside the sea of Galilee to bid us farewell.

I found these pictures of the places they stood when they recorded their message. First is the garden, where Christ prayed with such fervor that he sweat drops of blood. He and the disciples encountered Roman guards here, and Jesus healed the severed ear of the guard.

It was here where Peter denied Christ three times when he was identified as one of Christ's followers. A statue stands there now, depicting the scene.

Here is the entrance to the garden tomb, where it is believed that Christ was buried (for a little while at least).  

Here's the Sea of Galilee, mentioned so many times in scripture, but in the Easter story, it's where Christ encountered the disciples after he arose. He had made breakfast for them on shore. He called out to them to cast their nets on the other side (a repeat of when he first met them) and their nets overflowed with fish. Look at this place. I just want to sit at the shores and let God love on me. I want to stick my toes in the water and watch the little minnows scatter. It's real, and it's beautiful!

 This is a drawing depicting the Sea of Galilee story I described above. It's a glorified rendering. Now when I hear or read the stories I'll have a different mental image--a real image in all its (un)glory.

Christ sent us his story through his disciples. His relationship with them transferred his wisdom in such a way that they were able to begin other relationships, sharing His truth. There was nothing fancy about this event that set our souls free from sin. but it happenened and changed the course of history.

I'm learning that God works through everyday "real" situations. It doesn't matter if a good deed is acknowledged on Facebook or if a small act is ever noticed. Our relationships with others sets the standard. We don't need to know all the fancy words or quote scripture at the drop of a hat. We just need to develop relationships with people so that they can see His truth in us. Im so very (un)glorious, so I know He can use me!


Will Work for Stickerz

Have I ever mentioned how difficult it is to say "no" to this sweet little face?

I recently discovered that Faith absolutely loves stickers! More than that, she loves being rewarded for doing good. She proudly states "I earn sticker!" There are two ways she can earn her stickers. One is to sit at the table with mommy and go over letters, numbers, etc, and the other way is to go potty on the potty.

Her potty training success is mood driven, and I know that as soon as she wants to be fully trained, it will happen. I made her the chart pictured below and told her that if she goes potty this many times, she gets and ice cream cone. The chart is on the wall in her bathroom. She tells me "I go potty, I get ice cream cone!" It took her just 24 hours to earn her first ice cream cone! Mommy was not prepared for such success, and last night at 7:45 I made a run to the grocery store for supplies.

I can't believe how the stickers drive her! Usually in the morning, I will ask her if she needs to sit on the potty and she will deny with a whiny voice that seems to say, "Mom, not this early in the morning!" But yesterday and today when I've asked, she replied "I go potty, I earn sticker?" I confirm "Yes, Faith" and her face lights up "OK!"

Here she is, up past her bed time, no bath yet, cause we had to get our ICE CREAM CONE! Daddy was jealous...he wanted on too, but I told him he didn't earn all his stickers!


Princess Fisherlady

This weekend, Faith was eager to take her dad up on an offered fishing trip. Funny thing was, as I was getting her ready for our trip, she INSISTED on wearing her "pink princess dress." I just decided that the dress would wash, and I put her rain boots on and packed her daddy's girl hat.

Faith was good at carrying the pole around, following mom and dad as they fished. She quickly tired at the thought of holding the pole in place while waiting for a fish to bite. More interesting, however, was the plight of throwing each and every piece of dried mud into the pond. (Yes, Texans, I know it's technically a tank, but we are Arkansas rednecks and you can't deny your raisin')

I've never seen a prettier fisher lady, and I'm sure Grandma Mary would've had the biggest grin on her face seeing Faith prance around the pond, getting mud on the pretty pink dress.

Turkey Tradition

It's April again, and Bubba has turkey fever...again! As he will do every year of his life, I'd imagine, and now Faith is destined to have her pic with her daddy and his turkey from here on out. Although....Bubba has declared that Faith will be shooting her own turkey next year. We shall see.

In April 2008, Bubba really wanted me to go turkey hunting with him. It was cold that morning, and I wore an over sized set of coveralls. I wasn't feeling well, and I hustled to stay about 50 yards behind him (waddling in all my clothing---looked like the Michelin Man). I stopped several times because i was sick at my stomach and tired and dizzy. I stuck it out though, because I wanted him to know I could hang with him. On the way back in to town, I suggested that stopping at Walgreen's for a pregnancy test would be advised. That day we learned that there would be a new addition to our family :)





Remembering Grandma Mary

Three years ago tomorrow at the age of only 47, Bubba's mom Mary went to be with Jesus. To say it was unexpected is an understatement. She was preparing dinner for her husband on that Thursday night, and she fell asleep on her chair in the kitchen....but never awoke.

This past Christmas, I had some 8mm video we found at her home put on DVD. There was mostly footage that she shot and narrated. It was neat to hear her say "Bubba" again in her own unique way. Part of the footage, however, was of Mary when she killed her big buck. She was the star of that show, and she showed off her beautiful smile and long blond pony tail. 

Faith knows Grandma Mary only by a picture right now, but we know we'll all be reunited one glorius day :)


Thankful for Each Day

Our pastor shared this poem this week. It reminds us not to take each time we get with our loved ones for granted. I know that with the homegoing of Mary, Erick, Grandma Frankie, Hannah Joy, and Aunt Anna Jewel in recent years we are reminded that there is no guarantee of having "next time" to tell someone how much you love them.

"If Tomorrow Never Comes"

If I knew it would be the last time

that I'd see you fall asleep,

I would tuck you in more tightly

and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time

that I see you walk out the door,

I would give you a hug and kiss

and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time

I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,

I would video tape each action and word,

so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,

I could spare an extra minute or two

to stop and say "I love you,"

instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time

I would be there to share your day,

well I'm sure you'll have so many more,

so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow

to make up for an oversight,

and we always get a second chance

to make everything right.

There will always be another day

to say our "I love you's",

And certainly there's another chance

to say our "Anything I can do's?"

But just in case I might be wrong,

and today is all I get,

I'd like to say how much I love you

and I hope we never forget,

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,

young or old alike,

And today may be the last chance

you get to hold your loved one tight..

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,

why not do it today?

For if tomorrow never comes,

you'll surely regret the day,

That you didn't take that extra time

for a smile, a hug, or a kiss

and you were too busy to grant someone,

what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,

whisper in their ear,

Tell them how much you love them

and that you'll always hold them dear,

Take time to say "I'm sorry," "please forgive me,"

"thank you" or "it's okay".

And if tomorrow never comes,

you'll have no regrets about today



Beffie Comes to Town

There is absolutely nothing better than last minute plans that create lifetime memories! A couple of weekends ago, I was in Arkansas for a conference for work, and I saw three of my nieces and stayed with my brother Brad, sis-in-law Jill, and niece Bethany. We spent two nights reminiscing the good old days and mostly remembering Hannah Joy. I asked Bethany the traditional, "So what are your plans for spring break?" question. I fully expected some monumentally amazing youth trip or at least a week full of plans (my nieces are such busy busy ladies!). When Bethany simply replied "nothing!" I was surprised. "Ah, well I wish you could come see us in Texas." That sparked a fun conversation between Bethany and her parents. She was lobbying to fly to Texas alone...her parents were hesitant to say the least. After a few days of planning, Bethany had found a ride from an OBU student to Dallas and her mom had booked a one way flight home for her.

Now, I have always wanted to be a very hands-on aunt, but honestly this is not an easy task from 6 hours away. Before grad school and moving to Texas, I was all up in their business (and I still try to stay that way via Facebook and text). None of my nieces have really had much one on one time with me or Faith since her birth. Bethany's last minute plans gave her five whole days with us!

From the moment we picked her up from the Dallas area, Bethany and Faith were the bestest of friends. Faith would simply repeat every single thing she heard her elder cousin say. I charged Bethany with the task of dressing Faith each day (which she embraced with enthusiasm). Bethany also became a 2nd mom very quickly, paying attention to Faith's needs, getting her in and out of the car, helping with bathing, etc. Needless to say, I enjoyed the help! On Sunday, we attended the first round playoff game of the Baylor Lady Bears Basketball. Bethany kept Faith home from daycare on Monday. Tuesday she shadowed me at work all day (which was an absolute blast!). Wednesday, she slept in which an self respecting high schooler on Spring Break must do, and Thursday we got up and left the house at 5:45am to catch her plane at DFW. 

Minutes after leaving DFW, Faith exclaimed "Where Beffie go? Beffie, I want my juice!" It's a time I will always cherish, and I really hope to get more of these visits from my girls!