Monday, October 26, 2009

2 Years...4 Years...Too Long



A few weekends ago Lex & I drove to Dallas. The purpose was reunion with one of my best friends Lindsey McDaniel.
Lindsey has spent the last 2 years in Prague. She went as a journeyman with the International Mission Board. If you know Lindsey you know she has a heart of gold. A true disciple of Christ who longs to see His hand over every facet of her life. There is nothing she does that isn't covered in God's blessings & guidance. We got to see her for 24 hours last Christmas when she flew into Lubbock to meet Annerson. Besides that we have only written, emailed & occasionally SKYPED for a LONG 2 YEARS. It is so nice to have her back in the states where we can be in consistent contact with her.
Her plans now are to gain a master's degree in missions from Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth. She will then return overseas (to a warmer location than Prague!) to continue living out the great commission (Mt. 28:18-20).

Who's the boy you ask? His name is Adam.
He's Lindsey's neighbor and maybe more.
Lindsey, I'm just saying.


Her cutie seminary housing.
Her apartment is adorable.


Lex & Linds...oh the days when they were Challenge partners
and I stalked Lex through Lindsey!
Ha!
I'm serious.


LuLu & Anners


I'm so glad that Annerson can get to know
Lindsey now!

4 LONG YEARS...

4.5 years ago I graduated from Tech. I was living with Lindsey & a girl named Chavon Perry. Things in the apartment had gone sour to say the least. Looking back I'm still not sure what happened between us. Mostly it was Chavon & myself letting Satan make the worst of a sticky boy situation that Lex & I were kinda in the middle of. Lindsey didn't have a part in it really but she was indirectly affected by it all since she lived there. It was so dumb looking back. We were all immature about it because we let pride & hurt feelings get in between friendship. All to say, we both moved out without so much as exchanging a single word of goodbye & left the apartment and our friendship in the rearview.
We hadn't had contact with her since then until this past summer when she Facebooked us. I guess FB is good for something after all. I am absolutely sure that the Lord ordained this reunion at the most perfect time. I had just given birth to Annerson. My heart was softer than I'd ever known it to be. You know that feeling new moms? When Lex told me that she had sent us a message I leaped for joy & cried because I knew God was behind whatever it was she had to say.

Since then we have talked, apologized, laughed & healed.
Oh for healing.
We thought we had killed our friendship but there is a time to heal as Ecclesiastes says. This has been the sweetest healing because it has been absolutely the Lord in every way.
"Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise."
Jeremiah 17:14

God wants to bring healing to areas of our life where we have sinned. This was definitely an area of known sin that I had been carrying around for years. I deeply regretted the way things turned out but didn't know what I could do about it.
I let myself sit in defeat.
Praise God that He desires victory and wouldn't let us settle for defeat.

When we visited Lindsey Lu we were able to arrange a dinner date between the 3 old roomies. This was the first time any of us had seen each other in over 4 years so it was a time of sweet reunion and healing. We all got to meet Chavon's husband Casey...AMAZING MAN. They've been married almost a year and a half now. Chavon got to meet our little Annerson, which was very special for me.
The night couldn't have been more meaningful for me & Lex.


Joy

Healing

we love him already

We had an amazing weekend as you can see. I did get to spend time with another dear friend of mine Laura. We actually stayed at her & her husband's home in Dallas. I don't know why I don't have pictures of them. I really wish I'd taken some. They are expecting their first baby in November.

Here is a pic of Laura's belly! She's absolutely tiny & precious!

Baby Boy Moon (their last name...NOT the baby's first name!)


And one more pic from the weekend.
Annerson's first official RED RAIDER GUNS UP!
(of course she accidentally purposefully did that)





Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Peace like a river

On Tuesday morning I hit a parked car. Sure did.
By Tuesday afternoon Satan was laying it on thick.
By Tuesday night I had overcome his guilt & self pity tactics with the peace of God.

There was a spiritual battle going on above me over this one. First off, I felt horrible for causing this sweet innocent lady the headache of having to get her car fixed. For all I know she could have been parked at Target because she was having an awful period and went in to buy Midol & tampons and then out she comes to drive away with her goods only to discover that some not so careful driver hit her bumper when pulling into the spot behind her. I mean, who does that really? So that was the biggest guilt of all. She didn't ask for me to damage her car & now she has to spend time & resources getting it back to how it was before it met me.

Of course there's the fear of insurance going up and the how much is this going to cost us scenarios that started to play out in my mind.

But I didn't let it. God really showed me something. He showed me that I could have peace as I dealt with the consequences of what happened. First off, not once did I cry. Accomplishment these days.

I immediately began fighting the urges to get all frantic and worked up with rational thinking & truth.
Accidents happen.
There are bigger tragedies occurring right now than a scratched bumper.
This is why people have insurance.
Be a witness for Christ to this woman by showing her OF COURSE I'LL LEAVE A NOTE W/ MY NAME & PHONE NUMBER on a Subway napkin because as easy as it would be to drive away without her ever knowing, 1.) God knows 2.) If he can't trust me with the small things then He'll never trust me to handle the big eternity changing things & 3.) I have to take responsibility for my actions...she didn't ask for a scratched bumper, I just offered it (this lady actually THANKED ME for leaving my contact information & wasn't mad at all because of how grateful she was I didn't just hit & run like the last car that hit her. That's so sad that integrity is so far & few between)

So praise God for small victories that have huge impacts. God's power is real and it's meant to be used in huge life crisis moments as well as small yucky day to day moments like this one. He desires to bring truth to the innermost parts of our lives and not just the overarching umbrella situations.

Our insurance agent, the Kory Johnson, called me today and told me it would be around $300 out of pocket to fix her bumper. I didn't even cringe. I actually said with enthusiasm, "I'LL TAKE IT!", knowing that this lady was doing me a favor by not filing a claim with my insurance. God is good isn't He? I'm not saying that I don't care if I get in car accidents because money will fix it. That's not it at all. I'm saying that with the proper perspective a little accident can stay just that...little.

Of course now I'm scared to death of parking lots & definitely did park on the last row by curb & tree only yesterday at the grocery store. :)

One more thing: I learned at Bible study on Tuesday that God didn't say He'd give peace like a pond but peace like a river. Think about the difference in a pond and a river. One is calm and serene. The other is constantly moving, changing, flowing, anything but controlled or protected like a pond is. He offers His peace in river, the middle of the storm, the craziness of life.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In the furnace


Christ is teaching me.

I've always been hungry for knowledge, specifically truth from the Word. I am constantly enjoying the Bible, books about Jesus, sermons or anything that pours out wisdom & understanding into my heart & mind.

But God has been pressing me in a different way the past several months. It started this summer when I realized how lazy I had become in my pursuit of Christ. See I can't claim to be a Christian unless I know Christ. That's like me saying that I am part of the Obama family because I know who they are and support the President's efforts (I didn't vote for Obama in case you are wondering). Just because you know Jesus via growing up in the church or whatever, doesn't mean He knows you. That's a side note.

But I do want to clarify what I'm saying before I explain what God has been doing in my life. I hear a whole lot of talk about people being Christians but not a lot of people stick their neck out there these days and say, "I'm a disciple of Christ."

Look at Acts 11:26-"The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." So which came first, the Christian or the disciple? It is evident to me that we have it backwards because we want to fall into the "Christian" category without having to wear the mark or discipline of an actual disciple of Christ. It's like the term disciple bears more responsibility than the sweet term Christian. I remember thinking that disciples were for the ultra God lovers, like a varsity team. Uh huh. Nope. The two are not separate groups. I am a Christian BECAUSE I am a disciple and if I am not a disciple than I am not a Christian.

The word disciple carries a lot of weight. This is what Jesus has been pressing on me so much lately. Like I said, it hit me this summer that I was neglecting several areas of spiritual growth. I wasn't memorizing scripture. I wasn't praying like I believed in prayer. I was reading my daily Bible but not studying it. And on and on I could go. So I sucked it up and asked a dear friend of mine (her blog) to be my accountability to a specific list of things that I wanted to start doing, or in a few cases stop doing. She became iron to me and her knowledge of my struggles began to sharpen me into a more disciplined disciple.

Here are a few of the questions she asks me every week:
Are you spending time in the Word at least 5 days a week?
Are you praying?
What scripture did you memorize this week?
Have you disrespected Lex in any way? Have you asked him for forgiveness?

She asks me about finances, my intimacy with Lex, my intimacy with God. The really really hard stuff that I'd rather just keep private, ya know? But guess what happens when that goes private...I DON'T GROW & I'M NOT SHARPENED. When I know that Beth is going to ask me about certain things I am immediately more aware of them. There's a reason that we're called to live in deep community with other believers. (Gal. 6:1, Heb. 10:24-25) There's a reason we are told to confess our sins to one another. (James 5:16)

I am so glad that I have finally tasted the benefit of having an accountability partner. I just can't do it on my own & Christ new that. That's why the body of believers is designed to be one. God never intended for us to live out our faith alone. (John 17:20-21)

Disclaimer: I'm a sinner.
Therefore: this method hasn't made me perfect in any of the areas I'm seeking to grow in, but I am growing. I'm not stale or stagnant in my walk. That's what the Christian faith is all about. The world looks at us and sees a lack of perfection & therefore a bunch of hypocrites. The believer looks in the mirror and sees a filthy rag who desperately needs a Savior day after day. I don't have to struggle to earn God's favor or salvation, but instead make the choice to freely receive the grace Jesus offers as atonement for my sinfulness. The only reason grace is a free gift is because there is nothing we can do to earn it, no amount of holiness or "goodness" that we can present to God to buy it, and definitely not enough church attendance that we can trade in for it. Once grace is received, there's a huge cost to being a disciple of Christ. Anyone who argues otherwise is a fraud. You want proof? Read the Bible. Start in Genesis.

Ultimately, I'm falling more in love with Christ. I'm letting Him mold me into a disciple. Will the process ever be complete? Not until Heaven it won't. Until then, I am enjoying the aches and pains of it all. The continual struggle of flesh and spirit is a battlefield. I don't always win. Actually, I can barely make it to lunch time without a few reminders of how weak I am. But when I taste those victories...they are good. He is good through it all. I see that. I know that. I'm learning that over and over again.












Sunday, October 11, 2009

Don't be fooled

I had a friend tell me that I needed to update my blog. Well.
This isn't an update. It's a pre-update.
I will update tomorrow.

I must mention however that Annerson pooped in the tub again tonight. Not sure what's going on here. Based on the evidence (2x the amount of terds at a much quicker rate) she apparently was more relaxed than the first time it happened.

Not funny.

I was so close to getting the camera but Lex's words rang out in my head & I thought better of it.

"You didn't take a picture of it did you...If you did...." That was after the 1st time.

Peace out.

Monday, October 5, 2009

THANK YOU for not coming

Gandy (Grandpa Joel) didn't come to Lubbock this past weekend for the Tech game. We always love it when he comes to visit, but this weekend we were able to use his season tickets and see Tech beat New Mexico. Last season we took her to a game and she slept the whole time. This time she wasn't interested in sleeping or watching the game. Although we missed seeing Gandy, it was fun to get out in the rain & watch Annerson run all over section 118. Lex & I both took turns keeping her occupied. At one point Lex took her to go get us a drink. It took them forever...like an entire quarter it seemed. Come to find out it's because Annerson made some fans and had 6 different people take pictures of her.

So THANKS GANDY for the tickets. As much fun as the game was we'd rather see you. So hurry and come to Lubbock this weekend already!!!!


Friday, October 2, 2009

Poop & Colds


So...Annerson had her first floating terds in the tub tonight. Did I just type that?

I should have known she was pooping b/c she was sitting funny, but she's never done that before so I didn't even consider it until I saw 3 terds floating behind her. At that point I guess it wasn't really a consideration, more like a "AH! What do I do?" moment. I actually said that out loud & then looked at Annerson and said, "Don't you move!".

I grabbed her play cup and started corralling the little nuggets toward it. Looking back I realize that I should have gotten her out of the tub right away but all I could think about was the poop gone wild floating all over the place. Somewhere in there I drained the water and one little terdy escaped the cup of doom and got stuck in the drain. Quick thinking led me to grab a disposable razor and stick the end of it down into the drain to pull it out. It really was poop on a stick. Don't worry, I threw the razor away.

So finally I got Annerson out, bleached the tub & we started the bath routine all over again. I made it very clear that we don't poop in the tub, but I know that she's gonna go when she's gotta go so I just have to be ready, right? I think next time I will respond a little less franticly...well, can one ever really be prepared for tub poop? I sure wasn't tonight.

I know you are all expecting a picture to go along with this post, but I have to let you down. You read how I handled this people. There was no thought about grabbing the camera during that chaos. I do however have a picture to share that captures why my nose is bright red & about to fall off.


pile of kleenex after 1 night of blowing

All 3 of us are fighting colds.
I'm just thankful I don't have the flu.
I'll take a cold any day over the other stuff going around right now.