Thursday, January 29, 2015

Big or Small

This week Will had a checkup with the endodontist to see if his tooth is healing correctly. I wrote all about Will's permanent front tooth getting knocked out here.

 Will received a good report and I shared a photo of Will and the good news on my personal facebook page.  
Here's what I wrote, 
"This summer Will knocked out a front permanent tooth. He had about an 18% chance of it reattaching and returning to normal. We just left his checkup and he has regained feeling in the tooth and it has continued to heal. I know that there are much bigger problems in the world than this but it was a big problem for us and we prayed for it to heal and be back to normal. We are thankful for this good report and answer to our prayers! Just wanted to share our good news. "

The comments from my friends and family on Facebook were incredibly sweet.  One comment stood out and when you consider the source it's even more meaningful.  A lady I've known my entire life said God cares about everything that concerns us and he can handle the big and small things.  Usually we miss opportunities to see him at work because we don't ask him.  

I was thankful she left that comment and it touched my heart because of all the things she's gone through in her life.  She lost a son after a long battle with brain cancer.  She also lost her mother and sister in a horrific car accident.  She knows about trusting God in the big things, but for her to remind me it's good to trust God in the small things meant a lot. God cares about what concerns us--big or small.  It reminded me of Luke 12:7.  I needed that reminder.  God's got it all taken care of.  Of course he does, even the hairs of our head are numbered.  

I appreciated her validation because I felt a little silly that I was so worried over Will's tooth.  There are much bigger problems in the world, and Will's tooth being knocked out pales in comparison to all the suffering that surrounds us.  Currently, there's a friend at work who is dealing with a brain tumor. Two of our church members have recently lost their battle with cancer, and their families grieve their loss.  I know people who are struggling financially.  There are unhappy families and people with marriage problems.  I have friends dealing with other health issues.  When I look around, I see that I'm very lucky to have all the good things I do in my life.  In the scheme of things this tooth issue was minor, and it might have been foolish of me to fret so much over Will's tooth, but I still did.  It kept me up at night and I prayed many hours over my sweet boy's tooth that was knocked out.

When I saw that comment on Facebook, it made me feel okay about my worry.  It also made me feel okay about giving glory to God for answering our prayers.  I don't know how God works, but I know he does.  I know we are commanded to pray.  I don't think our problem was more important to God than anyone else's problems.  I'm not sure why Will's tooth has healed up to this point, but I'm going to thank God for the healing we've seen so far.  I'm thankful Will's one of the few in the 18% that's had success.  

We have grateful hearts and praise the Lord for his goodness in the big things and the small things.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Morning Encouragement: Psalm 103:11-12

{Monday Morning Encouragement}

Psalm 103:11-12
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

What an amazing thought that our sins are removed from us
"as far as the east is from the west" I needed that reminder today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Blessing in Disguise

Last week I had one of those mornings.  You know the ones.  Mine started off with me taking a half day off from work to go the doctor.  I showed up and was told that I had come to the appointment on the wrong day.  Big oops!  I didn't have to be back to work for several hours.  I didn't need to go to the store to buy groceries.  I'd already eaten breakfast.  I really wasn't in the mood to spend $5 for coffee at Starbucks.  What could I do with the time I had before I returned to work?  As I pulled out of the parking lot I thought I should go visit my grandma in the nursing home.  She's just right around the corner from my doctor's office.  I don't visit as often as I should.  The last few times I've tried to visit her, she's been asleep and I didn't want to disturb her.  I was hoping she'd be awake since this wasn't my usual time to stop by.  I showed up at the nursing home, which was on partial lock down because of the flu.  I decided to go in anyway.  (I mean, come on,  I work at a school and I've been to Walmart in the last week so I've been exposed.)  

I'm glad that I made the decision to visit! 

Mama Winnie was awake and she was having a good day.  Since her Alzheimer's has progressed she has moments where she is very agitated and confused.  It's been over a year since she's known us.  In the last few visits we've had with her she mumbles a lot and looks very disoriented.  So when I say she was having a good day, it means that she wasn't showing the signs that I just mentioned.  Mama Winnie still doesn't know who I am, and I don't expect her to ever recognize me again.  That's a sad thing, but I've learned to adjust my expectations and I don't have to have her recognize me for it to be a positive visit.  This day was so special because she was calm and she seemed happy.  There was a light in her eyes that's sometimes not there.  She was relaxed and pleasant and even laughed.  I sat in her room and talked to her.  She likes us to pat her hair and rub her arms.  I tried to hold her hand but her fingers have arthritis and I didn't want to make her uncomfortable.  I showed her photos on my phone of Will and Ben.  I also told her stories that I've heard her tell me over and over when I was growing up.  One I remembered to tell her was about the time she fell off a wagon as a girl and broke her arm and the doctor set it straighter than the arm she hadn't broken. I talked about her big garden and all of the fruits and vegetables she used to raise in it.  I also talked about cooking, baking, and sewing.  All things she loved.  The nurse brought her mid-morning snack of ice cream.  She usually eats it on her own, but since I was there I fed it to her.  It was a nice moment.

After I'd stayed awhile, it was time for me to go back to work.  I hugged Mama Winnie and told her I love you and she said I love you back. 

I asked the nurses aide to take our photo.  I shared it on Instagram and Facebook, and the comments people left were so nice.  With the photo I included an explanation of how I ended up at the nursing home after making the mistake of taking off the wrong day for my appointment.

Most of the comments were along the lines of...
God works in mysterious ways
Things happen for a reason
It was meant to be

And, I couldn't help but think it was a blessing in disguise.  

I'll treasure that visit for many years to come.

Friday, January 9, 2015

First Road Trip of 2015

Last week at this time we left in the cold rain and headed to Austin for a friend's wedding. 
Here's our itinerary for the trip.
First stop West, Texas for kolaches
New Year's day we ate at The Salt Lick 
January 2nd we were at Texas Old Town for the wedding
Pics of wedding {here}
On the way home we stopped in Waco, Texas to see Magnolia Market.  I was hoping we might run into Joanna and Chip Gaines from Fixer Upper.  We didn't see JoJo and Chipper, but we did get to see their cute store.

Anytime we drive south down I-35 we stop in West, Texas at the Czech Stop to get kolaches.  I put this photo on Instagram and people recommended the pepperoni kolaches. We didn't get them the first time we stopped but we made sure to buy some on the way home.  They were so good!  Hot and fresh out of the oven--oh my goodness!  We also managed to eat a dozen fruit kolaches without Will getting any and he wasn't very happy with us.  Oops!  Next time we'll make sure to save some for him.

BBQ and good friends
I couldn't think of a better way to start the new year!

Terri, Cory and I all attended Texas A&M together. 
I have so many good memories with these girls.  I love that we've all remained friends throughout the years.  Continuing on the fun times in 2015!

Now we're just passing along the tradition to our boys.
Starting them young teaching them to love BBQ

Wow!  Really, just wow!

The gorgeous wedding at Texas Old Town.

The first time I watched Fixer Upper on HGTV I was hooked.  It took my awhile to figure out the show was filmed in Texas.  I instantly related to the show because I live in a small town in Texas and seeing them interact with the community reminded me of the people who live around me.  It's really cool that their show has been such a success.  

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the blog post, Joanna and Chip weren't at the store, but they had really sweet ladies running it.  They were very friendly and asked us where we were from.  Also, we talked about the show and how I'm such a big fan.  One of the ladies said she thought it was cool how they have made little ol' Waco a big deal now and it's great how they are fixing up their town.  I agree!

I only took a few photos in the shop.  I wasn't planning on sharing them on the blog but I thought you might like to see one of inside.  I love the "Magnolia Farms" sign.

After our short road trip it was back to reality.  We've been back to school a week and now we're looking forward to the weekend.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I Love Weddings!

I love weddings!  

Don't you?  

The older I get the more sentimental I become.  I couldn't help but cry numerous times at this sweet wedding.  It's a precious thing to watch two people take marriage vows in front of family and friends.  Hearing two people who love each other make those promises never gets old.  I can't help but remember my wedding and think about the promises Mark and I made to each other that day.  I wish that happiness for others and to see my friends make the same commitment to someone they love fills my heart with joy.  My longtime friend Cory got married this weekend.  Travis and Cory's wedding was perfect.  The venue was beautiful and the attention to detail made it really special.  Plus, it was a lot of fun!

Here are some of my favorite photos of the special evening.  There were some amazing photos that others took of the good food, fireworks, dancing, the Aggie War Hymn, and many other things, but instead of being glued to my phone taking photos, I stayed in the moment and enjoyed it all.

 We had a moment before the wedding when Terri made us cry when she said we've been there for each other for a lot of things.   We've all stood beside each other through all of our weddings.  It's a blessing to have good people to go through life with who stand by your side. I'm lucky to have these two for friends!

Congratulations, Cory and Travis!
We wish you happily ever after!

They even had a very rainy wedding day so their marriage will be blessed by the downpour that happened.  It rained on mine and Mark's wedding day and it's worked out well for us!

I'll have more photos from our road trip to Austin up on the blog soon.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Being More Like Christ

I try my best to stay positive.  I like this blog to be a place of encouragement, but sometimes life is difficult and I get discouraged.  Lately I've been struggling in my Christian walk and my faith is weak.  I'm sure more of you can relate than I can imagine.  We all know that life is a series of ups and downs.  We go through difficult times and many of us carry burdens that no one ever knows about.  Since I know I'm not alone in this struggle, I decided to let you know what I'm trying to do to get out of this spiritual depression.  Even if you are in a good place with your spiritual life, this could still be an encouragement.

Mark and I have had some long talks about it and we both know what we need to help us in the challenges we are facing.  We need to focus more on prayer and Bible study. One thing that stuck with me in one of the long discussions that I've had with Mark is that we need to focus on being more like Christ. 

 When I read the following verses in Philippians, Ephesians, 1 Peter, 1 Corinthians, and 1 John it reminded me to look to Christ as the ultimate example of what God desires from us.  We must strive to follow his example even at the times in our lives when it's most difficult.  Look at all of the suffering Christ endured for us because he loved us.  Mark and I have decided to start this Bible study about the life of Christ in the new year.  We felt like focusing on Christ and his example would help us overcome the challenges we are facing.  
Here's a link to the study

A Chronological Study of the Life of Jesus 

These Bible verses are some that we have read through that helped us.

Philippians 2: 1-18  Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

Ephesians 5:1-2 
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

1 Peter 2:18-25 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

1 John 2:5-6 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:  whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

May God bless you in this new year!
I look forward to all that the future holds in 2015.


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