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!


Cow Poo Poo

This past Sunday afternoon, in an attempt to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful weather, we spent the afternoon "helping" daddy and Uncle Josh check and reload their pig feeder. Wild or feral hogs are apparently taking over the US, destroying farm land and costing landowners lots of money. So, Bubba and Josh have an agreement with this landowner that they are allowed to hunt his land for all kinds of game as long as they shoot as many hogs as they can.

Faith was excited at the venture, so she dawned her camo pants, her rain boots, and her pink camo hat (not pictured) with enthusiasm at the potential to see cows and "drive" the four wheeler.

Faith "drove" us to a place where we had to park, then "hoof it." She quickly lagged behind the rest of us as she began collecting what she called rocks. I laughed...the rocks were old cow poop. I told her that was cow poo poo, and she dropped it on spot "Eww, Cow Poo Poo!" Faith then proceeded to point out each time she found more.

We made it to the pig feeder, which needed more corn. The guys filled it up and tested it to make sure corn was dispersed appropriately. Faith promptly made it her mission to attempt to collect each piece of corn that had fallen on the ground...

We distracted her from the corn and began to make our way out of the woods. There was a problem though. Little sticker bushes stressed her out. She demanded to be carried by dad as she proclaimed "I'm stuck!" Dad told her she was going to have to learn to step on it or go around. She made it apparent that today was not the day to begin.

After the pigs were taken care of, so to speak, we ventured down to the big pond for some splish splash time and of course, to through rocks in the water. All three of us adults immediately tried to skip rocks on the water and hurt our arms/shoulders quickly. We decided to find rocks for Faith to chunk, and Faith and dad ventured into the water to try out their rain boots.

What a great day all around! It made me miss those days of playing all day long outside. I remember leaving the house in the morning and not returning until dark or unless I heard mom's calling (no cell phones then!). I wanted to stop and build a fort, but we were without the needed tools.

Faith found a baby cow that she adored. She ran towards the herd of cows in an attempt to convince the baby to let her ride him. It didn't go over so well. They spooked to her dismay. By the end of the afternoon, we had one tired little girl!

That's all I can write for now. I just noticed that Faith is playing in the fireplace ashes! Better pay more attention!


[Pey-shuh ns] Is A Virtue

Faith is now two years, two months old, and she is doing and saying some remarkable things! But there are trials that we as parents would rather do without. Watching Faith grow up has made it painstakingly clear to me that while a child is a beautiful, wonderful being...a child has the innate sin in him/her that dates back to the fall of Man. The root of it seems to be selfishness. Anything she sees and likes becomes "Mine!" Last week she was put in timeout in school because she had claimed all the toys in the classroom and was guarding them from the other kids.
But watching Faith, I also can see my own selfish desires. I'm often so full of myself that I can't see beyond my own wants, needs, and dreams. This is why we all need a Savior. To save us from ourselves. I'll keep working on Faith, Lord keep working on me!

~God Don't Make Junk~

Thanks Paster Steve for reminding me that in fact, God don't make junk. He doesn't make mistakes! There is not one living being on this earth who was not fearfully and wonderfully made by our Father. This is hard to grasp at first. You mean to tell me that the weirdos of the world, the annoying people, and the heartless people of the world are just as important to God as I am? Well yes, and maybe even more important. The fact is that we are called to love as Jesus loves. So how, exactly, does He love?

1) He accepts people. "The Father gives me my people. Every one of them will come to me, and I will accept them." John 6:37

2) He Values people. "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advanced for us to do." Eph. 2:10

3)He forgives people. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37

4) He believes in people. "The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because i am going to be with the Father." John 14:17

I'm beginning to learn that the Lord just needs someone who is willing, not someone who is perfect. In everyday relationships, if I can love others like Jesus loves me, then His love shines through me. If I can value the cleaning lady. If I can believe in the new person who looks overwhelmed. If I can accept the weird one. If I can forgive those who do something against me. If I do this, each day Jesus' love is made visible.

Lord, help me to open my eyes for opportunities to show your love! As Brandon Heath sings, give me your eyes!
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond me reach
Give me your eyes for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see


Some changes are coming to this blog. It's been on my heart for quite some time to write about much more than our precious child, Faith. Yes, she's the reason the blog was started, and time after time, I've held back my opinions in an effort to keep the tone's blog consistent. Inspired by my sisters-in-law, Jill and Lisa, I've decided to write about subjects with more depth. As Lisa states here, the blog should be a place to help document for your kids and grandkids to know just who you are and know more about your thoughts and your identity as God's child. Jill uses her blog as a combination of ministry and self-therapy as she writes about dealing with grief after my beautiful niece Hannah entered heaven at age 17. Worry not Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Grandparents, I'm probably going to do a better more consistent documentation of sweet Faith's developments as well. I know you all don't get to see her nearly enough! I've reached a place where I think blogging can help me in my spiritual growth to apply concepts from the Bible, church, family, and everyday life.