Selah~Day 176

My 27 Thanks:

1. I don’t praise Him because of what He has done, but rather, I praise Him because of Who He is. And, that is enough.

2. His is the Great I Am in my life.

3. I awoke to another beautiful day full of activities.

4. Activity keeps you alive. It keeps you moving.

5. The Fall Festival event always brings back sweet memories of my pregnancy with Judah. I was 7 mos. pregnant with Judah when I led my 2nd Fall Festival. By the time of the event, I spent most of it in my car with my feet elevated. It was the ONLY time in that pregnancy that my ankles were swollen. I guess 10 hours on my feet wasn’t the best.

6. Festival prep went smoothly.

7. Some great friends came and helped out with the setup.

8. Because of all the rain we have received and the cooler temps, we had to move a portion of the event inside. I am glad that we have a large gym floor with lots of open space.

9. I called Heather Draper last-minute and asked her to help me make the gym beautiful with her famous paper corn stalks. She didn’t even have to think about it. I appreciate her.

10. Ronny and Diane Walls have the sweetest of spirits. They just jump in and do whatever is necessary to get the job done.

11. I love working with our newest team member, Hugo. He is such a great help and has an awesome attitude. He was a great help with the Festival setup too.

12. We were ahead of schedule with setup, so we got to take a lunch break and eat Qdoba.

13. It is not raining. It’s chilly, but not wet.

14. The trunk or treats were so creative and fun. I loved seeing individual creativity in each trunk.

15. Everyone of my volunteers showed up on time and ready to go. I know how tough it is to show up to an event at 5:15, especially if you have worked all day. But, my team makes it work.

16. Tonight, I realized that I am not perfect. 2 hours before the event, I realized that I didn’t get the 1500 buns to go along with the 1500 Franks. Thankfully, Suzanne Steele took my church card and went to Wal-Mart and purchased all the buns we needed. She is a superstar shopper.

17. Then, I realized that Sams Club click and pull is not error-proof. Instead of sending me 30 cases of 50 bags of individually wrapped chips, they sent me 30 bags of chips. So, Kayla took her church card and ran and purchased me the chips I needed. She is a superstar shopper too.

18. The team was great about my mishaps. We laughed and joked about turning the cookout portion into a low carb Crossroads Meal Night. I love my team.

19. I learned a lesson. ALWAYS check your product before the day of an event.

20. Crossroads is home to so many faces. I saw many of those faces come home tonight to Crossroads for the Festival.

21. Home is your safe place, your sanctuary, the place that you feel most comfortable, the place you know you can always come back to because its arms are open wide to receive you. I have two great homes.

22. Impact Young Adults raised close to $3,000 for the Human Sundae event. I can’t believe I won.

23. Being turned into a human sundae could possibly be the grossest experience of my life. I am glad that so many enjoyed watching the whole thing unfold.

24. Some guys from SNU came and picked up all the hay from the festival. I am so glad we were able to help them with their homecoming festivities and I am so glad they picked up all the hay for us!

25. We had so much help with the Fall Festival tear down that it only took 1 hour.

26. The event was successful and I heard many comment about how much fun they had.

27. Pastor Tami and I made some fun memories tonight after the Human Sundae experience. I am so glad that she was able to help me out. We laughed a lot.

Selah~Day 175

My 27 Thanks:

1. Gary and I were able to pray together this morning before leaving for work.

2. I took the time to blow dry my hair this morning. Wow! It makes all the difference.

3. I enjoyed the staff chapel teaching this morning.

4. It’s not about me. Glad I got that one figured out.

5. I don’t have to be perfect. I just need to desire to improve.

6. Boundaries.

7. Gary and Judah came up to the church and started helping with day one of festival setup.

8. When Judah saw me, he came running into my arms and gave me a giant hug.

9. Judah was actaully a great help. Sometimes that is not the case, but today he really helped me carry some items and saved me a few trips.

10. Judah has a heart to help.

11. On Sunday, 3 different kids brought me roses. I saw the roses again today in the KidMotion room and they made me smile. I pastor some really sweet kids.

12. Judah wanted to walk around with me. He is all about his mommy right now and I am okay with that.

13. My friend, Janelle, is doing well.

14. The team pulled together and cleaned out the gym quickly.

15. We have a big gym that can host the fall festival because of the yucky weather.

16. Pastor Marcia complimented my work today.

17. The human sundae competition is a close race. I am glad our Impact Young Adults could raise some money at our expense!

18. It’s rumored that someone will make sure the Pastor Brandon gets the sundae.

19. We get to use all the leftover cookies for the fall festival.

20. I don’t keep a lot of sweets at my house. It’s a good thing because I would eat them all.

21. Judah ate an entire hamburger for dinner. This never happens.

22. Bethany is in labor…baby Kyla will be here soon.

23. Brittni and Jacob Casaras welcomed baby Zeke into the world today. Both Brittni and Zeke are doing well.

24. My Cali buddy, Danielle, checked up on me today! She is so good at staying in touch.

25. Judah makes us laugh.

26. We are one more day closer to the holidays.

27. Some highschool friends and I shared some funny memories on facebook today. I had a great 4 years in highschool.

Selah~Day 174

Social media has created some fads with days of the week being times to profess certain things like, “MCM…Man Crush Monday” or “WMW…Woman Crush Wednesday.” It took me a while to figure out what those acronyms stood for…actually I didn’t figure it out. Finally, I asked someone and they told me. So, I wanted to devout my Monday, November 4th 10K reasons journey blog to my everyday crush, Gary.

I took the day off work on Monday just because I wanted to spend some time with him. So, if you keep reading, I want to give you a MUSHY ALERT, this blog is all about him.

My 27 Thanks:

1. Gary loves the Lord with all of his heart.

2. Gary spends time with the Lord on a daily basis.

3. I hear Gary praying over Judah and me all the time.

4. Gary is a hard-working man. He doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. He is handy and can fix everything.  Every time Judah accidentally breaks a toy, he replies, “That’s okay…my daddy can fix it.”

5. Gary is respected by his peers. People like to be around Gary because he is kind and polite and respectful.

6. Gary has the favor of God upon his life.

7. Gary is calm and patient. He handles Judah and me with Grace and Patience.

8. Gary leads our home well. Our home is a very peaceful place because of his leadership.

9. Gary understands his role as the spiritual leader in our home.

10. Gary always listens to me. He really listens too with his eyes and his ears. And, he always lets me know that he cares about what I have to say.

11. Gary desires to learn and grow.

12. Gary hates sin. He sets up safeguards for himself and us to avoid all evil.

13. Gary makes me feel very safe in our relationship. He watches carefully everything he sees and hears. He works hard to renew his mind. If an inappropriately dressed woman walks by us or if Gary sees something inappropriate on TV, I will hear him pray, asking the Lord to renew his mind or he will come and talk to me about it.

14. Gary is trustworthy.

15. Gary loves to give to the needs of others.

16. Gary is sensitive to the voice of God and to the needs of others.

17. Gary is humble. I have never heard or seen a proud, arrogant action or word come from his mouth.

18. Gary loves to have fun.

19. Gary makes me laugh all the time.

20. Gary has energy. He makes our home a place of fun for Judah everyday!

21. Gary loves his family. He treats his mother and father with the utmost of respect and care. He loves his siblings too.

22. Gary is affectionate. He never leaves one of his family members without hugging them goodbye and expressing his love for them.

23. Gary has a servant’s heart. Whether I need a dressed up character, a built game prop, muscles for heavy lifting, or a sound board for a new idea…I can count on Gary.

24. Gary never complains.

25. Gary always puts Judah and me first. He chooses us over all else.

26. Gary has held my hand and wiped my tears through some of the most difficult times of my life. And, I know he will continue to do so.

27. Gary asked me to be his wife.

Saleh~Day 173

Sunday, November 3

My 27 Thanks:

1. We got an extra hour of sleep.

2. Gary got home earlier than normal from the fire station.

3. Gary got to sleep all night, so he felt rested and ready to go for a busy Sunday.

4. Ava Hatton was the first face to greet me at church. Her sweet smile always lights up the room.

5. Ava gives selflessly. She has a beautiful, servant’s heart.

6. Miss Laura stepped in and subbed my girls Sunday School class. She was a great help.

7. Crossroads Kidz Ministry went well.

8. Even though Jeremy was gone, our tech booth ran smoothly.

9. We had to make some changes to our room staffing because of already approaching Holiday plans, but all went well and stayed relatively calm.

10. Felxible and helpful people. You can’t live without them!

11. Starla and Lori do a fantastic job helping me direct the different areas of kidz ministry each Sunday. I am so grateful for them and their leadership on our team.

12. Larry and Joy Henderson help keep the supply closet stocked and clean. I don’t ever have to be concerned with it because they do a great job making it a success for every leader.

13. Miss JaQuisha made 50 turkey crafts for our Elementary aged kids to do during the Generations night of vision.

14. The dancers for the Christmas Production continue to work hard. I am so excited about the 4 numbers we will be showcasing this year.

15. We have fun together and work really hard.

16. Charlie Burchardt and Daniel Draper are a perfect duo for skit comedy. They made us all laugh so hard!

17. Pastor Marc has great talent. He is helping me take the details of the production to another level.

18. Mike McCall and Michael Mondragon are working so hard at a very difficult role. I am so proud of them.

19. Gary is going to help me run sound board. It is a critical piece in the production and I know he can do it. He did great for his first night on the board.

20. Kidcrew Christmas practice started too. I am so excited our kids will be traveling around to nursing homes this Christmas season. They are a blessing.

21. Gary is practicing his music again.

22. Generations has been fully launched.

23. This morning, I taught Week 5 of The Sweet Life. We learned that “I Obey when I am Away!” I told the kids the Bible story about Achan. Achan thought he could take items from Jericho because no one was watching, but he forgot that God is always watching. I am glad that God is always watching.

24. God is watching because He wants to REWARD our obedience.

25. He wants us to live the Sweet Life.

26. Pastor Marcia approved my leave request for tomorrow.

27. I finally get a day off WITH my husband.

Selah~Day 172

Saturday, November 2

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and I slept in until 8:45 a.m. I don’t remember the last time this happened.

2. We had a morning full of huggles (hugs + snuggle= huggle)!

3. I always have something on the calendar for each day. But, today, I decided that our calendar is CLEAN. I made a decision that we don’t HAVE to do anything today. This is liberating.

4. We stayed in our PJs all morning long.

5. We played games on the living room floor. Games like Mousetrap and Connect Four are some of Judah’s favorites.

6. I have an active son.

7. He loves life and loves to play.

8. He loves it most when I play with him. He could have the coolest of toys, but he would rather me just play with him.

9. Revelation.

10. The Lord loves it most too when we just spend time with Him.

11. I learned long ago that “You can’t do the work of the Kingdom without the Power of the King.” What a true and powerful statement. It’s time to get close to the King.

12. He is made strong in my weakness.

13. The process sometimes seems slow, but I am always moving forward.

14. Even if you fall down on the track, you don’t have to return to the start line. You just get back up and continue on the path.

15. We ran to Walgreens to pick up some photos and Judah found the toy aisle. He loves playing in the toy aisle. I love that he never complains when I tell him, “No,” on buying certain toys. Because of his attitude, he usually gets something.

16. I let Judah get a box of tools. He is excited to help his daddy fix stuff.

17. One hour photo development is awesome.

18. I live super close to everything.

19. Convenience.

20. We had the most beautiful weather again today.

21. Judah and I enjoyed time outside together. We went for a walk around the block.

22. Judah rode his scooter. He has great balance.

23. I am so glad that I live on a quiet, safe street.

24. I am also glad that cars do not park on the street in my neighborhood. It may be petty, but I do not like neighborhood streets when cars park on both sides…it is so dangerous to me.

25. Judah fell asleep in my arms.

26. Quality time.

27. Gary and I always say, “goodnight.”

Selah~Day 171

Friday, November 1


My 27 Thanks:

1. We had a nice, relaxing morning together.

2. Gary made oatmeal. I added fresh berries to mine. It was a healthy start to our wonderful day.

3. Gary gave me a really big hug in the living room and held me close. Then, Judah wanted to be a part and we had one big family hug.

4. We are an affecionate family.

5. I had a surprise phone chat with my SIL, Meghan. It was great to chat with her. I am super excited to host Thanksgiving at my home this year. I love being surrounded by my family.

6. Making holiday plans.

7. My brother, Jake, got a big buck this morning. Maybe now he can relax and enjoy the Fall season… ha ha ha.

8. We went to TG Farms today and had a most wonderful time.

9. My mother-in-law and Judah’s cousins went to TG Farms with us.

10. The weather was exceptionally beautiful.

11. We had the farm almost to ourselves. Truthfully, we were the only ones there for quite a while.

12. Judah has grown so much. Last year he would barely participate, but this year, he led the way in every activity.

13. We got to pick some really fun looking pumpkins at the end of the hayride.

14. It was so nice to soak up some sunshine…Vitamin D is good for the soul.

15. TG Farms is easy on the pocket book and a perfect place for a preschooler.

16. We remembered to tag my car!

17. The Tag Office lady was really nice. Unfortunately, nice people and tag office don’t always go together.

18. Gary, Judah, and I went furniture shopping. We are looking for a perfect piece.

19. We don’t rush decisions. We are patient about big purchases.

20. We had a nice dinner at Outback.

21. Our dinner was free. Some friends of ours blessed us with an Outback giftcard.

22. Judah wanted to sit by me in the restaurant. We had fun coloring the kids menu together.

23. While I got Judah ready for bed, Gary ran to the grocery store and bought some essential items.

24. Judah always helps pick up after himself.

25. We make messes together, but we also clean up together.

26. My mind was completely free from work today.

27. Fun.


Selah~Day 170

Thursday, October 31

My 27 Thanks:

1. Work went by fast today.

2. I got everything setup for Sunday, so I won’t have to go into work this weekend.

3. Brandon and I had an awesome conference call with Wacky World Studios. They are so full of energy and excitement and anticipation for the great things that creativity can do to a space.

4. Creative thinkers. I love spending time with people who can look at something without life and give it amazing potential.

5. There is potential in EVERYONE.

6. The ability to think outside the box.

7. I briefly met with my architect friends today. We are super close to a final drawing of the new kidz ministry space.

8. Pastor Marcia shared her bread and PB today. Neither one of us had a chance to leave for lunch, so good ole’ filling peanut better sandwich it was.

9. I am not allergic to peanuts. My sweet husband is allergic. I couldn’t imagine not being able to eat peanut products.

10. I got to leave a few minutes early today. I couldn’t wait to get home to Judah. He was so excited to get his costume on and go trick-or-treat with his cousins.

11. My friends are going on a cruise to celebrate their anniversary. I am so excited for this relaxing time that awaits them.

12. My kidmin teammate, Deborah, is finally moving into her own apartment. This is a big step for her and I am thrilled for this new chapter in her life to start.

13. All things are working together for good for the Mondragon family.

14. Judah was so excited for the evening. He couldn’t get over the fact that people gave out candy for free.

15. Judah kept asking if he could eat more dinner, so he could eat more candy.

16. Laci and the boys came over to our house and went trick-or-treat with us.

17. Our neighborhood is a perfect, family friendly place to trick-or-treat. Most of our neighborhood sat outside their home and handed out candy.

18. I love Oklahoma. I love the people of Oklahoma.

19. All the kids that were out were polite, kind, and friendly.

20. Laci and the boys hung out with us after trick-or-treat time. The boys have a blast playing together. It was nice to visit with Laci for a bit too.

21. I have great Sister-in-Laws.

22. Company…It is nice to have guests at my house especially when Gary is away. It makes the evening go by faster.

23. Heather and Krista and their boys came over too. It was nice getting to see them and visit for a bit.

24. The weather was amazing. It wasn’t too hot and not too cold…it was just right!

25. Judah and I had fun sitting on the floor and sorting all of his candy loot into patterns. You can turn any opportunity into a learning opportunity. I love encouraging number and letter recognition with Judah.

26. He loves to learn.

27. I lived another wonderful day and enjoyed every moment with my sweet son, Judah.

Selah~Day 169

Wednesday, October 30

My 27 Thanks:

1. I enjoyed breakfast with my family before heading off to work.

2. The Halloween Paw Patrol was on Nickelodeon this morning. Judah has been wanting to watch it and it finally was on when we were home together. It was fun to watch that with him.

3. I got multiple hugs and kisses from my sweet boy before I left for work.

4. I have a good job.

5. I enjoyed fun conversation with my mom on my commute to work.

6. I always feel healthier after talking to my “health-nut” momma. My mom is a walking encyclopedia of very interesting things…

7. Lynn Steele is breaking ground on her new home! After the May tornado destroyed it, she and her husband, David, are building again.

8. Lynn told me I looked skinny. Skinny has never been a word used to describe me.

9. My friend, Lacey, continues to get better and heal quickly.

10. I had a great conversation with a new friend, Jessica. She is full of faith and a positive outlook on life.

11. Pastor Ted loves to joke…

12. I worked from home this afternoon and was able to finish the Kidmotion lesson for Sunday. I was having a difficult time concentrating, so the change of environment helped me out!

13. I got to play with Judah for a bit before heading back to Wednesday night church service.

14. I appreciate people who are willing to make some tough calls for the better of the whole.

15. I learned that the library has their own version of red box, but the movies are FREE. I found One Night with the King there.

16. The librarian assistant was super helpful and so sweet. I love sweet, helpful people.

17. Because we had to reschedule our fall festival due to the weather, we decided to open Wednesday Night Kidz with a little pumpkin bowling. I have an amazing resource closet and can come up with all kinds of fun games.

18. The kids had a blast and every one had a chance to bowl. Only one person made a strike….and, it was a girl!

19. We were not scheduled to have kidz ministry tonight, but my leaders rallied together and we pulled off  a great night of ministry.

20. The story of Esther is so powerful. I am glad we are studying it with my girls right now.

21. The Mondragon family is on the road to recovery.

22. Our Youth ministry had a fun night with the last-minute costume party.

23. People have shown so much love and support to the Mondragons. When tragedy happens, you need a church family!

24. Tonight might have been a record-breaking dismissal night.

25. Most people were understanding about the fall festival being rescheduled for next Wednesday.

26. On the way home from church, Judah saw a big pile of wood and said, “Look, that looks just like a boat.” And, it did. The pile of wood was in the shape of a boat. I love his smart, imaginative personality.

27. Home.

Selah~Day 168

Tuesday, October 29

My 27 Thanks:

1. I over slept my alarm, but I still made it out the door in time.

2. My son has never had to go to daycare. I have no problem with daycare, but I have been so blessed to not have to use that service.

3. My mother-in-law opens her home to her grandkids. Literally, they take over her house for the time they are there. Thankfully, it can be cleaned and goes back together relatively easy.

4. Pastor Ted shared his list of “11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Ministry” in staff chapel.  It’s a great list and an eye opener.

5. The freedom to laugh and joke.

6. Database systems that help you track data and run specific reports.

7. At Crossroads, our “front door” is bigger than our “back door.” More people are coming in and staying then leaving.

8. Growth.

9. My church goes above and beyond to help people in need.

10. 50+ women gather on Tuesday mornings for a women’s Bible study. This “small group” continues to grow. I am so glad this group of ladies has an opportunity to come together and study the Word and build relationships.

11. My team is being super flexible with the possibility that we will have to reschedule the fall festival due to weather.

12. Starla brought me back lunch, so I didn’t have to leave work to get anything. I love being able to knock out some to-do’s on my lunch break.

13. I have a corner office with a view and a great big window that lets in lots of sunshine. I love my office. It is a peaceful place to work…well, sometimes. Ha Ha Ha

14. I have an inside job. I am so thankful that I don’t have to work outside in the Oklahoma weather.

15. Open, honest conversation between friends.

16. Accountability.

17. When I opened my car door in my in-laws drive way, Judah greeted me with the words, “Mommy, I am growing bigger and can climb a tree.” He is getting bigger…sniff sniff.

18. He was so excited to climb his first tree. Thankfully, it is a smaller tree and manageable for his size.

19. My brothers and I had a blast climbing trees when we were young. My brother Kyle actually made me climb to the top of a “gum ball” tree if I wanted to be in his boys club! I climbed to the top and he still didn’t let me in. Those were good days though.

20. The memories I have of my childhood are sweet and good.

21. Judah had a wonderful day of play with his cousins.

22. When we got home, we enjoyed a meal of leftovers. I usually hate leftovers and won’t eat them. Gary, on the other hand, will eat anything if it isn’t older than 7 days. Well, I actually enjoyed my plate of leftovers and so did Judah.

23. Judah fell asleep at 8:00 last night. He needed the earlier bedtime because he played so hard.

24. I had a relaxing evening with the Hallmark channel.

25. Countdown to Christmas starts this weekend. I might have a slight addiction to the Hallmark channel. But, watching a cute, funny, romantic movie is truly my method for shutting off my mind and not thinking for a period of time.

26. My husband has a great job. Even though his schedule is tough on our family at times and doesn’t always work well with my work schedule, I am thankful. The benefits outweigh the negatives.

27. The Gospels. I love reading about Jesus’ ministry.