Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I enjoyed having the blog break. I did think about blogging every day and it sure was tempting to get on and see what every one was up to. But I didn't!! However Bryan did get on a few of your blogs and told me what was going on!! Heee Heee!!! I didn't ask him to, honest. He just volunteered some information.

While I took a break from blogging I didn't finish the book I wanted to finish. But I did get in some great reading and prayer time on Wednesday afternoon. I enjoyed the quiet time. I did accomplish one HUGE goal....catching up on my personal journalling. I do not write my deepest feelings or struggles on my blog because there are some things that are private and I only share with Bryan and God. I wrote out 22 pages of my thoughts, experiences, frustrations, praises, songs, scriptures in my journal. I thought this would be healing and at times it was. On other times, it brought back some emotions that I'm beginning to wonder if they will ever go away. But I'm thankful I got all the journalling caught up. I did a couple pages each day.
I'll try to summarize the rest of the week in pictures.
A huge item on my project list was cleaning out the front flower bed and planting new annuals and perennials. I got this accomplished!!!! It took me the whole week; working a few hours each evening.
I lost count on how many bags of mulch we used. Not all of the flower bed is shown in this picture. I think we used at least 10 bags.
On Thursday evening we had a Girls Night at my Sunday School teacher's home. It was Emily Foster's birthday celebration.
Emily Foster

Heather Smith and Vicki Sears
Courtney Fisher and Amy Chapman (co-leader in Sunday School)

The Ladies

Left to Right (back row): Amy Chapman, Heather Smith, Brooklyn Gorton & Boston, Emily Foster, myself, Toni Waddle. Left to Right (front row): Vicki Sears, Courtney Fisher.

On Friday Bryan had to work in the computer lab at OU so I joined him. I was thrilled to go because it would force me to work on more of my journalling plus it gave me an opportunity to be in the same place as he was. He has been incredibly busy this week. So I went with my pen, Bible, and iPod. I got a lot accomplished while he worked on his project that looked incredibly complicated. It was kind of neat....we even shared headphones and my ipod!! I know I know, how romantic!!! heee heee heee.

This fountain is just outside the engineering school at OU. OU has the prettiest campus!! I love it!!!

MY MAN!!!!!! We cannot wait until April 2009 when he will have his Masters in Engineering!!!Afterwards we went for pizza at Hideaway. In honor of THE University of Oklahoma, our pizza was called THE BOZ. (Does anyone remember Bryan Bozworth from the 80s? He was a great player at OU). The pizza was great and we ate way to much!!!!

On Sunday morning Bryan and his co-workers ran the relay for the OKC Memorial Marathon. Bryan ran the first leg of 6.1 miles!!! I was proud of him. We had to be downtown at 6:00 A.M Yuck!!!!!

Bryan putting on the chip that recorded the time for everyone. I would have taken a picture of him at his relay spot as he finished but due to some confusion I didn't get one (a entirely different post that would take way to long).

Bryan and his co-workers.

Left to Right (back row): Bryan, Corey Yeager, Todd and his wife Allyson. Front Row: Jessica Yeager

Okay! I think I'm done and caught up. Now I need to go read everyone's blog and catch up on what you've been doing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

After work on Friday, Bryan and I headed to NW Arkansas with his parents for a small family get together. On Saturday morning, we got to meet my very first blogging friend, Kelly and her husband Scott.

We met at Mimi's (where else would there be?? :>). The food was great but the company was even better. It was so neat to sit by Kelly knowing I had met her through blogging. It seemed surreal. They are an amazing couple and I felt honored they would meet with us. Kelly is incredibly sweet and very friendly. We loved meeting Scott too! I loved to hear them both laugh. It was great to be with them. Bryan has family near them so I hope some day we can see each other again. I would have loved to talk more and become more familiar with each other but I didn't want to keep them from their day and we also had to get to Bryan's family gathering. Can I also add, Kelly is very beautiful and radiant. She is a wonderful creation of God!! Thank you Kelly and Scott for taking time out to be with us!! We hope we didn't scare you too much.
While driving to Arkansas we had quite an exciting experience and then again while we were at the hotel. We stopped in Chandler, OK at a small diner for supper and when we left, my mother-in-law's car would not start!!! Chandler is a small town and it was late at night. Luckily, Bryan and his dad jiggled some wire and it started.Bryan and Eddie "discussing"

The exact same thing happened again in Arkansas. It made me nervous every time we got in the car. This is a new car so it was frustrating to have this happen.

Bryan jiggling something again!!!!!

The trip to Arkansas was initiated to get my mother-in-law and her siblings together. It was great to see some of Bryan's family we had not seen in a long time. His aunts shared stories and one of them even sang for us! And we got it on video which I think will be cherished among her family for years to come.

Bryan's mom and her brothers and sisters.

Us with Bryan's parents, Ed & Donna

Bryan's Aunt Cindi and Uncle Danny who live in NW Arkansas.

They hosted the family gathering. Aunt Cindi is an incredible cook!!! She made the best breakfast casserole and I'm not about to tell you how much I ate....way to much!! I would have posted a picture but I didn't stop eating long enough to take one!!! She was so kind to open up her home!

I am taking a week off from blogging. During this time I hope to focus more on reading God's Word, Praying, and quality quiet time. I will be back next Monday evening!! Have a great week!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blogging Friends and Blogging Break

Kelly Stamps


These two girls have a very challenging blog today. I really appreciate Caroline's words on the narrow gate. God sent that right to me. I have had so many obstacles around my gate. I believe I have somewhat quinch the Holy Spirit. But I am so thankful for God's grace and long suffering. Kelly had mentioned yesterday she was going to do a blog fast. I think that is an excellent idea and I want to do the same. I think others have mentioned doing it as well. I want to challenge everyone to do it for a week. When you feel the need to blog or read someone else's blog, use that time instead to pray or read in God's word or read a devotional book. After the fast, report back how you heard from God and what you experienced. I think it would be so exciting to see what marvelous things God communicates to each of us.

I am very excited!!! This weekend Bryan, myself, and his parents are going to a family reunion in Arkansas and I am going to have the privilege and blessing to get to meet Kelly and her husband!! Kelly's Korner was the very first blog I read!! I understand her heart of wanting to have a family and I've experienced the same emotions she has had. I am ecstatic to meet them both.
We have a brunch date. Please pray for the logistics to work out and for Bryan and I to have an incredible ability to navigate to and fro. I don't want to get lost.
My blog fast will be Monday morning 4/21 through Monday 4/28 (my fast is not starting until I get a chance to blog and post pictures of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Stamps!!). During the fast, I plan to drown myself in Praise and Worship music, read more in the Psalms, and finish reading "Lessons I Learned In the Dark" by Jennifer Rothschild and I hope to make substantial progress on the book "Having a Mary Spirit." I have an very long prayer list and I want to pray over the names on it several times during this fast week. I cannot wait to see what God does during this time with all of us. I will be coming back so don't forget about me!!
"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." Col 3:2

American Idol Ramble

Brooke White is stressing me out!!! I didn't watch the results show last night and I just You Tubed it. I really like her voice. She has been in the bottom three for at least the past 2 weeks. I really think she is better than that. I like her better than Jason Castro (although I do like his voice but he needs a hair cut) or Syesha and definitely Carly. What is she doing wrong? Is she getting to comfortable? I'm not a big fan of Carly. Why wasn't Carly in the bottom 3? I had thought the top 2 would end up being Brooke and David Cook. I'm not sure about David A. I don't know. I just don't know.....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Retreat Recap -- Part 2

I wanted to take another blog entry to give you the highlights of Jennifer Rothschild's talk from last Saturday morning at Falls Creek. The previous post on the retreat was from Friday night. Her words on Saturday require a lot of self examination. I need to ask God to give me that free time (no errands, no social commitments, no mental distractions) to reflect back and examine myself. Life gets too busy. Her text was Matthew 25:14--Parable of the Talents and here are some of my notes from what Jennifer Rothschild spoke...

  • Are you where you want to be and if not, why? Is it because you are afraid of change?
  • Taste some of the fear and recognize God's sufficient grace.
  • What or where would I be if I didn't make the choice to live through fears?
  • Don't be dominated by fear but be dominated by Faith! (My words: Help me God!)
  • Matthew 25. The 3rd servant was a hole maker. He dug the whole & shoved the talent into the dirt.
  • Am I a hole maker, risk taker, or edge dweller?
  • Again....governed by faith, not by fear.
  • Our lives were not granted to us with shovels. It was given to take risk. Don't cling to the shovel!!
  • We cling to the shovel out of the desire to be conservative and not make mistakes.
  • Your shovel could be: control, micro managed life, bitterness, perfectionism, anger, disobedience, etc.
  • Using a shovel, we bury what could be our potential.
  • Live by faith in such a way that you have more to offer to the Master.
  • Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Not one of us has to have strong confidence, but we ARE to have strong courage.
  • Idol ends up governing you. When you are clinging to your shovel, your idol, you don't have a hand to accept/cling to God and you forfeit the grace He has for you. "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." Jonah 2:8
  • God can make it well with my soul even when it is not well with my circumstances!
At the end, she sang a song that had these lines which spoke volumes to me "Heartaches you go through are often blessing in disguise." Help me God to see the blessings!
One of the ladies who went with us made the statement she isn't holding a shovel...She said she was more like a backhoe. I need to identify my shovel or shovels. Which one are you? How much are you burying or holding onto that is getting in the way of our Saviour? How big a whole digger are you?

Pray my ability to retain what I have heard will increase. Pray I am not caught up in the moment of a retreat. I don't want to have just a weekend. I want to carry what I heard this past weekend with me every day of this week and longer. But I am struggling with various thoughts and emotions even as I write this. They are crowding out the word. I feel like I'm in the middle of the thorns in Jesus's parable right now. There are things choking out the word. I MUST BE OBEDIENT TO MY CONVICTIONS. I need to cut out so much TV and idle time and make adjustments in my life. I've watched more TV the past 3 months than I have in a long time. Why not read the Word or read a Christian book instead. Please pray.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

High Maintenance

Would anyone agree sometimes being a woman requires high maintenance? It is rough sometimes. I started getting gray hair around my senior year in college and thus began the coloring/highlighting rituals!!! Once my older sister showed me how to do the box color, I did it myself for years. Then I started keeping my hair long and wanted highlights and I was damaging my hair badly, I started having my hair stylist do the coloring. I really think if I didn't color my hair at all, I would be totally gray!!! Seriously!! Melissa does a great job and I love going to her. It is crazy.....my hair color trips are a line item in our budget!!!! I'm not exaggerating. And it seems like my gray shows more and more frequently in between salon trips!!! Frustrating!!!! I have an appointment tonight but it seems like I was just there right before Granny's party. I don't know if she will have time or not but I'm thinking of having her add more blond or lighter highlights so the gray does not show as much. But she is squeezing me in so I may just stay the one color for one more month.

If hair color wasn't enough, Brooklyn and I went to the mall yesterday to pick out new lipstick color. PICKING OUT NEW LIP COLOR NEARLY STRESSES ME OUT!!!! We went with Clinique and I think I tried on 999 lipstick colors all with q tips and then wiping it off with a tissue. My tips were so sore and puffy. I looked like I had botox or something!! I exaggerate a little. It wasn't 999...more like 7-10 different colors. Brooklyn and I both settled on the same color...."Shy" I think I'm going to like it. It was nice to have her with me. She is completely honest on how a color looks. Thanks Brooklyn! And, it was fun!!! It was nice to squeeze in some time together.

On top of hair color and lipstick, there is fashion. After reading multiple blogs, I have concluded I'm not too exciting and I can't keep up with fashion trends. That's it.....I'm not very trendy. I tend to wear the same thing. Jeans and cotton tees from Gap, Old Navy, Wal-Mart, JCPenney's. I'm trying to branch out a little this year though.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Women's Retreat Recap

I started my weekend off great!! I ended up driving myself to the retreat. I was running a tad behind and before I left town, I had a choice between filling up with gas or getting a green tea frap from Starbucks. I opted for the green tea frap. Once I had the frap, I hit the interstate and cranked up the praise and worship music!! It was great! This view greeted me as I drove in the gate at Falls Creek and it set the tone for the weekend...

This illustration came to my mind as I took several pictures of the cross. The farther away from the cross, the smaller it is. The closer to the cross I drove, the bigger it got. That is true with our view of the cross of Christ and His sacrifice. The farther we move away from the cross of Christ, the smaller it is in our lives. The closer we walk and get to the cross of Christ the bigger it is to us and the bigger the impact. Just a thought.
Falls Creek is a beautiful facility. I took a few minutes on Saturday to walk around and look at the remodeled cabins and some of the falls. The scenery is beautiful and aids in a relaxing atmosphere where you can fill/sense the Holy Spirit. Here are so more viewsThe old tabernacle was torn down and a state of the art conference facility was built in its place. The old tabernacle was open air and the new is enclosed and air conditioned....great for cold or hot.

Here is a taste of the praise and worship. I love "Everlasting God" The words are incredible and God used music once again to put me in my place with Him. God is our hope, our deliverer if we only let Him. He does not faint or grow weary..even if we do. He comforts those in need!!! Thank you God!! The video is not of the best quality but I wanted you to hear/see what I experienced. The video does not do justice in portraying the amazing experience of hearing 2,900 women praising our God and Saviour. I only recorded for a few seconds. I had to sing too. The benefit of having so many women in one place was I could sing as loud as I wanted to and no one except God heard me!!! Which is a praise in itself if you knew what a bad voice I have.Jennifer Rothschild was AMAZING!!!! And she is absolutely beautiful and has an amazing voice! I could listen to her for hours. She speaks the truth. I didn't want the main sessions to end. . I didn't realize she could sing so beautifully. Her voice (both speaking and singing) was soothing to my heart and mind. I still have very personal struggles that I share only with my husband and God over loosing a second baby in February and knowing I will never have a child growing in my womb again. I desperately needed to hear many of the words I heard on Friday and Saturday morning.

Here are some main points of her lesson from Friday night:

**There is liberty that comes from realizing there are questions that have no answers. FAITH.

**When you ask is this fair always contemplate: God's grace, God's forgiveness, God's peace. We receive that which we do not deserve. Gratefully receive what He gives us.

**We can RESIST or REST. Both of these words have common letters...except the "I". Don't be consumed with the "I" or we will resist God and resist His rest. When we cling to God, we can REST in His sovereignty..

**If you ask questions expecting answers, you will not be satisfied. Ask questions to cultivate a relationship not answers.

**"The just shall live by faith." This allows you to see what you may have otherwise not seen. Faith turns the low places into high places.

**Why does it seem like we have no faith? Ans: We rely on feelings more than we rely on faith. We are called to trust God whether we understand or not.

**Trust God with the Why?.

**Praise God in the pain though the mystery remains.

I will post more on the second session with Jennifer and some of the breakout sessions I attended tomorrow or Tuesday. I'm getting sleepy and this is turning into yet another long post. But there is just so much to tell you.

Here are some pictures of some of the ladies who also went.

Tara Swinford (left) and Julie Marley (right). This was taken Saturday morning. We didn't get to sleep until after 2:00!!!

We stopped back by Joe's Pizza on the way home. From Left: Dee Scott, Melissa, Tara, Jill Johnson, Julie Marley, and myself.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The towel has been returned!!! I went to the Y for the 3rd day in a row!! I died 99 times!! My legs and arms are killing me. I am crazy out of shape!! Do you go to the gym? What do you wear and how do you look when you go? I go at 4:30/4:45 pm which is the end of my work day. But I am always seeing women with nice hair and makeup on. If they are wearing a ponytail, a large percentage of them have a perfect pony tail...no stray hairs. How can they look so pretty and cute all while running on a treadmill. They really make me self conscious!! Extra "skin" has mysteriously appeared around my stomach area!!! So I am also trying to really work that area. I do crunches at the Y. Does anyone have any other ideas or exercises I could do. My upper abs ache a ton today!!! But it is my lower abs that I really need the work on. Any thoughts? Bryan introduced me to butterfly kicks last night but my legs were so sore I could barely lift them. I'll take any suggestions.

I'm off to the women's retreat today. I'm grateful for the opportunity and also grateful for a reason not to go to the Y!!!!

Have a blessed day and weekend!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

True Confessions of a Towel Thief

I should warn you....I might be wearing this cute little outfit sometime soon!

Why you ask? Well, yesterday I went to work out at the YMCA yet again. Bryan dropped me off and then left to go take some pictures of some flooding for his job. I was at the Y for a looonnnggg time!! While there I did at least 30 minutes of the treadmill and then 3 circuits of every weight machine I am set up on!! I can hardly move my legs today!! That may not seem like a lot to anyone else but that was more than I had done in quite some time. It was after 7:00 when Bryan came to pick me up. I was chugging down water when he called my cell phone so I immediately grab my sweatshirt and walked out the door. We were driving down the street when I realized I had walked out with one of the YMCA's towels!!!! I felt awful!! We didn't turn around and decided I would just take it back there today when I go. I promise I will take it back! I wonder if they have me on camera! :) Does anyone blame me though.....I had worked my behind off (well not quite but I'd like for some of it to go away) and I had been there a long time, starving nonetheless!!

I have a busy weekend. This week is the annual Falls Creek Women's Retreat. The guest speaker is Jennifer Rothchild. She lost her sight and has written several bible studies. I have never participated in one she has written. I'm looking forward to hearing and learning more in the Word of God.

I can't decide if I am going to ride down with a group of ladies or if I'm going to drive myself, get there a little earlier, and catch up on some personal journaling. We shall see.......

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Married's Fellowship Night

On Friday night, several of the Marrieds/Young Couples Sunday School classes game together for a fellowship meal and game night. It was tons of fun!!! There was so much laughter! Our group played Pictionary.....guys against girls. And you'll be happy to know the girls won...and it was fair!!! I am appalled at how often the guys cheated throughout the entire game!! Here are some pictures. I know I have included several pictures in my previous blogs but I want you to know those in my life and it is also a way for me to "scrapbook" events. I love photos.

I want you to meet our Sunday School teachers...Todd and Toni Waddle.

I absolutely love this picture of them. The Waddles were acting a little mischievous on Friday night and right when I clicked it, Toni said she was going to pinch Todd's behind and she did!!!!

Todd and Amy Chapman are also adult leaders in our class and when Todd W is out of town Todd Chapman will teach in his place. Bryan and I love knowing these 4 people and they have been so kind to us and our class. They sacrifice so much of themselves to serve the young couples. Bryan and I appreciate their stand for truth.

The Todds

Toni and Amy
Some pictures playing Pictionary. Remember, the girls won!!

The guys being mischievous. Jeron Young, standing up in the short sleeved blue shirt on the right is our Youth Minister. He is married to my very dear friend Kristine.

Here are some pictures of other folks in our class. I didn't do a very good job of getting pictures of "Couples."

Todd Chapman and Bryan

Jeff & Vicki Sears

Brooklyn with Candi Trammel

Wednesday, April 9th

I am still alive.....barely. I went to the YMCA and park yesterday and I walked 3 miles and then worked out! I think I died 87 times!!!!!! I plan to do the same thing today. I'm not sure if I will make it! HA! HA! I am so out of shape.

Bryan and I had a busy weekend. We really have fun but I'm kind of ready for life to slow down a little bit. It seems like we had something every weekend in March and now April is looking the same way.

My nephew, Will, celebrated his 13th Birthday on Saturday. His party was Saturday but his actual birthday is today! Happy Birthday Will!!!! He got some wonderful gifts...movies, clothes, cell phone, and gift certificates. Isn't Will a handsome teenager!! His birthday cake was a dirt cake, thus the reason for the flowers! It is made with oreos, pudding, and I'm not sure what else. Jennifer, my sister, had put gummy worms down in the cake! She's a great mom!

Whitney (my cousin's wife) and I met earlier on Saturday for breakfast and then drove out to Tuttle for the party. We ended up picking something up at Panera Bread and then running to the mall to get Will's gift certificates (we were running behind schedule). After the party, we went shopping. She is expecting and is due in September so we were looking for some pants and shirts for her. We both had great luck in finding some bargains. Katie, her daughter, was visiting her dad and remember Eric is training in Georgia and Bryan was at a gun show. So, it was just the two of us. I really enjoyed my time with Whitney. We were able to talk freely and share our thoughts with one another. We had not had a chance to really sit and visit for some time. It seems like there is always something else that demands our time and/or attention. We were wiped out by the end of the day! I did find some cute shirts at JCPenney.

This is the sweet sweet baby Bryan and I have at 8:15 Sunday School. Her name is Isabella but she goes by "Bella". She is so adorable. We live for Sunday mornings when we can hold her and cuddle with her. After my surgery I had to take about 6 weeks off from the 8:15 nursery time and I missed Bella. We have been back for about 2 weeks and I really think she missed us!! Before Bryan took this picture Bella was on the verge of a minor breakdown, but once Bryan took the first click, she was on top of her game. She loved having her picture taken.

In case you think we have picked favorites, she is only 1 of the 2 babies/toddlers we have at 8:15. Our other one was not there last Sunday or I would have taken his picture too.

And yes, I did wear jeans to church. I was going to be in nursery 2 of the 3 hours I was at church last Sunday so I needed to be in something I could get on the floor in. This is also one of my new shirts from Penney's!! It was very comfortable!!!