Selah~Day 215

My 27 Thanks:

1. Besides Sunday, today is my last day of work for 2 weeks.

2. Time off.

3. There is always a light at the end of a very busy tunnel.

4. Gary went Christmas shopping for two dirty Santa gifts. Even though I gave him an idea of what to get, he did great picking out gifts.

5. Judah got to play with Morgan and Abby today. He loves having his cousins over to his house to play.

6. They played really well together all day.

7. My sweet friend, Debby, gave me the sweetest Hallmark ornament. It has a special meaning between two friends too.

8.Some of the Kidz Ministry team and I are teaming together to provide meals for the Mosley family this week. Both mom and dad Mosely had surgery. It feels so good to serve others.

9. We had an awesome Creative Meeting today. Lots of discussion and we are already planning Easter 2014.

10. Miss JaQuisha and Miss Mindy made Judah a superhero cape. It is a super creative idea. Judah loves it.

11. Judah pretended to be a superhero all day today. I love pretend play.

12. Pastor Ted bought us all suckers from Sees candy. It was amazing.

13. Some of my family ended up getting Christmas Train tickets for tomorrow night. It is such a fun experience and I am so glad they get to go.

14. Cherryl, one of my teen leaders, sent me an email today informing me of her inability to serve during a scheduled time. Her email was so appreciated and well-written. She takes her position in kidz ministry seriously and always wants to do a great job. She is growing up to be such a mature, Godly young woman.

15. The kidmotion team got together for dinner at Johnny Carinos. It is so nice to hang out away from a church activity.

16. Johnny Carinos let us have a nice, big, private room.

17. Our service for a large party was exceptional.

18. We played dirty Santa. It was the quickest dirty Santa I have ever played. Not very many of us wanted to steal.

19. Madi Gramling came over to our house to watch Judah. I am so glad he got to spend the evening at home.

20. Madi is so good with kids. Judah loves her. I am so glad she is old enough, super responsible, and super kid friendly.

21. Gary’s Christmas present arrived in the mail and it looks better than I ever expected.

22. Pleasant surprises.

23. The entire Kidz Ministry team blessed Gary and I with a giftcard to a Spa Resort. I still can’t believe it. We are so blessed and so honored to serve with them.

24. They all signed a card for us and said the sweetest of things.

25. Christmas Cards.

26. Gary told me I looked beautiful tonight.

27. After a very busy production season, I am finally caught up with my 10k reasons journey blog.

Selah~Day 214

My 27 Thanks:

1. My sparkling gem devotion was exactly what I needed to read for today.

2. God always seems to deliver what you need to hear at the right time.

3. God designed a perfect plan for me.

4. The blueprint for life that He laid out in the Bible always leads us to success.

5. When you BLESS those who speak ill will of you, you release God’s power and anointing to work on your behalf.

6. Judah is always happy to see me and greets me with a big smile and an even bigger hug.

7. My job requires me to get out of the office at times.

8. I had to run lots of errands for Kidz Ministry and the weather was beautiful.

9. Gary, Judah, and I enjoyed a lunch break at Pei Wei.

10. Natasha let me borrow her Sam’s card. She has such a sweet spirit. She is always willing to help someone out.

11. It’s Christmas. People should be prepared for crowds and long lines at checkout. I have been in front of some of the crankiest and rushed people. I am so glad that I prepare my mindset for the environment I am choosing to walk into and I don’t let stuff ruffle my feathers.

12. Gary took my car and washed it for me.

13. I have a vehicle and it is paid off.

14. Judah took a great nap today. He has been so tired and I am so thankful that he had the opportunity to rest.

15. Abby and I accomplished great work together.

16. She learns quickly and loves to be efficient.

17. Wednesday Night kids was super fun tonight.

18. We had a great time playing Christmas ABCs together.

19. Kids get so excited when playing games. I love their energy and excitement.

20. My girls group helped us make over 200 snowballs for Sunday’s big snowball fight.

21. The kids are super excited for this event on Sunday. Snowball Fight and hot chocolate.

22. The youth snowball fight was a huge success. I loved seeing all the kids covered in flour! It seemed to be such a fun time and super messy.

23. The Sweeten Family blessed Judah with a light saber sword. He loved it. They made him feel so special.

24. Judah thinks he has to wrap everything and put it under the tree for Christmas. I love how he is trying to process and understand this whole Christmas, and wrapping, and presents.

25. Judah acts more and more like his daddy.

26. Ava Hatton has done an incredible job organizing and executing the Angel Tree project.

27. Several families were blessed big time tonight through the Angel Tree Project.

Selah~Day 213

Monday, December 16

My 27 Thanks:

1. Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. I am learning this important truth and putting it into practice.

2. God is giving me opportunities to be quiet and realize that I don’t always have to share my opinion.

3. The Lord knows the intent of my heart. As long as I please Him, I am good to go.

4. I had a great morning phone conversation with my friend, Amy Hoover. She always brings such encouragement and fun to my life.

5. Mike McCall blessed the entire staff with FREE 10-Minute neck massages.

6. My massage was so relaxing and nice. Even 10 minutes of relaxation can do a body great good.

7. Angela was back at work today. She has been out sick for a while and it was so good to see her back in action.

8. Abby has hit the ground running. She is so eager to learn, excited to apply all of her schooling, and ready to change the world one kid at a time.

9. Gary came up to the church and helped me put the FINAL “wrap” on Christmas production.

10. I was able to leave work early to attend Judah’s school Christmas program.

11. It was his very first stage appearance. He was TERRIFIED. He didn’t move, blink, or possibly breathe the entire time he was on stage. And, they put him front and center. I wanted to go and rescue him, but made him suffer through.

12. At Judah’s school, they memorize scripture, sing songs to Jesus, and learn Bible stories everyday. The foundation for every part of their education is built on the Word of God. I love this preschool.

13. The staff at Antioch are precious. Judah’s teachers are so amazing and kind.

14. The program was super cute and we all laughed a lot! Wow, there is a lot of laughter in my life.

15. The staff Christmas party was the best ever this year.

16. The Stuffed Olive closed their restaurant and made it available only to us.

17. The food and service were exceptional.

18. Kayla came up with the best games. It was so nice to see a majority of the entire staff participating. Those who game together, stay together! Ha Ha Ha

19. One of the games led to a marshmallow food fight. Throwing marshmallows at Brandon and Pastor Ted was a highlight to my year! All in fun, All in fun.

20. The owner of the Stuffed Olive recorded our marshmallow fight and put it on facebook. I am really glad she thought it was hilarious too. We CLEANED it all up as well.

21. Gary and I had a great evening hanging out with adult company.

22. We enjoyed conversation with new and old friends.

23. Laura, my sister-in-law, kept Judah for us. He loves hanging out with Aunt Laura and Morgan and Abby.

24. They took him to Wal-Mart and he picked out Christmas presents for Gary and me. I am so excited to see what he picked out.

25. Bedtime snuggles with my sweet Judah.

26. Sleepy Time Tea. It works and is so soothing to my throat.

27. My mind is NO longer laying awake at night crossing t’s and dotting I’s concerning the production!

Selah~Day 212

Sunday, December 15th

My 27 Thanks:

1. I get to teach kids about Jesus.

2. My team is equally excited about teaching kids about Jesus.

3. Wise men still seek Jesus.

4. There is always more to know about God.

5. My heart longs to know Him more.

6. The historical facts in the story of Jesus’ birth are so amazing. I love studying this true miracle of God.

7. Abby is officially serving in kids ministry once again!

8. Lori Rowin is an amazing Preschool Director. And, she is on my team!

9. Lori always has a smile on her face. She hates cold weather even though she is originally from Wisconsin. But, even when it is really cold, she is smiling.

10. We got out of church before 1:00.

11. We were able to go home for a couple of hours before heading back to church for our final run through and performance.

12. Every one was on time for our final run through.

13. The run through was flawless. We were in the ZONE!

14. My in-laws have been superb in helping us with Judah during this busy week of production schedules. They kept Judah at their house for several days, so he didn’t have to live at the church. Huge Blessing!

15. The tech booth is usually a stressful place for me; but, I had a blast with the guys tonight!

16. I saw many new faces in the crowd tonight.

17. I saw some familiar faces too. The events of the season always bring people home.

18. The energy of the crowd was so high tonight. Lots of laughter filled the room.

19. We almost lost focus in the tech booth because we were laughing so hard.

20. Final production went so well!

21. The actors took some liberties and added some improv lines. It was hilarious and added so much spunk to the piece.

22. People who love to laugh bring a smile to my face.

23. People from all walks of life, and both young and old, offered sweet accolades about the production.

24. Paul let me use his in-ear buds. They were so soft and comfortable.

25. I didn’t have to run lyrics and call cues tonight. Israel rocked it on Pro Presenter.

26. Kayla and Leslie gave us an incredible cast party at the end. The food and fellowship were both awesome.

27. Jesus is the reason for EVERY season. And, I celebrate Him everyday.

Selah~Day 211

Saturday, December 14th

My 27 Thanks:

1. We slept in this morning.

2. We had a lazy, relaxing morning at home.

3. I finished addressing 150 Christmas cards.

4. We finally got to go to the movies together. Judah was so excited to see Frozen.

5. Judah sat on my lap for part of the movie. 2 hours were a little too long for him.

6. The storyline in Frozen was beautiful. I loved some of the lines like, “Love can melt any frozen heart.” and “You are worth melting for.”

7. Gary laughs more animation movies than most kids.

8. True love and good endings. Acts of True Love are So POWERFUL.

9. Captain Merrell sent me a really sweet text thanking me for “allowing” Gary to work for him. His son was playing in the state semi final football game and he was supposed to work. Gary, however, had the shift off. But, Gary went in and worked for Captain Merrell so he wouldn’t miss his son’s game. I am so glad we were able to bless him.

10. We get to be a blessing to others everyday.

11. We survived 19th street traffic in Moore.

12. I no longer live in between 19th and 4th street in Moore. The traffic and congestion are horrible.

13. Gary and I chose not to be Bah Hum Bugs. However, we did encounter a few out shopping today. We just smiled and went on our MERRY way.

14. Bell ringers for the Salvation Army. I have seen so many different kinds of people participating in this great cause.

15. People who choose to spread Christmas Cheer are some of my favorite people.

16. My friend, Holly, is having the most successful decorating season. She is already scheduling appointments for next year.

17. Judah took a long nap and got some good rest. He has been so busy with our schedules and needed the rest.

18. Gary went back in to town and picked us up Chili’s to go.

19. Dinner was delicious and the environment perfect…you really can’t beat eating dinner by the fireplace in your living room while wearing pajamas.

20. We had hoped to go out on a date tonight. But, plans fell through and I am so glad they did. I enjoyed my evening at home with all three of us.

21. After dinner, Gary took Judah upstairs to play in the playroom.

22. I got to stay downstairs and watch a Hallmark movie.

23. And, wrap Christmas presents. I am the worst at wrapping presents. But, I really took my time and they don’t look bad at all. Judah is so excited about Christmas this year and I love the way he says, “Christmas presents.”

24. We sang Away in a Manger as our bedtime song.

25. Our singing turned into a family game of “Make sounds of all the animals you think were in the manger.” We were laughing hysterically by the end of the game. Then, we had to do it again! It was either really funny, or we were tired because it was 11:30 at night.

26. Jesus left His throne in Heaven for a manger in a stable on earth.

27. Because He loves me.

Selah~Day 210

Friday, December 13

My 27 Thanks: A blog dedicated to my thankfulness for the act of worship.

1. Worship expresses worth to my Lord.

2. Worship takes me into the Presence of God.

3. Worship brings comfort to my life.

4. Worship gives me peace.

5. Worship, no matter how I sound, is pleasing to the Lord.

6. Worship brings delight to my Lord. The Word says, “He delights in the praises of His people.”

7. Worship ushers in the presence of the Lord.

8. Worship is a form of giving.

9. I am an active worshipper.

10. All kinds of music that lifts up His name can bring worship to the Lord.

11. People chose to use their gifts and talents to bring worship to the Lord.

12. Worship prepares you for battle against the enemy.

13. Worship empowers you.

14. Revelation and insight come when you worship the Lord.

15. Worship will be a part of our every day existence in Heaven.

16. Regardless of how we feel, one can still worship.

17. You can praise Him through any circumstance.

18. Worship is not based on your condition, like love, it can be given unconditionally.

19. Worship creates an environment in which one never wants to leave.

20. Worship is a time where I can offer love and respect to the Lord.

21. Worship helps renew my mind.

22. Worship softens my heart to forgive.

23. Worship brings me closer to Him.

24. Time in worship to the Lord can change my perspective.

25. Problems seem to minimize when I worship the Lord.

26. He is my Creator–He deserves to be worshipped.

27. God draws near to me in worship.

Selah~Day 209

My 27 Thanks:

1. I slept last night. Usually, I have a very hard time sleeping after a big day. But, I slept well.

2. I woke up feeling great and rested.

3. I spent the morning getting the service plan ready for KidMotion. Even in the midst of a busy production time, my kidmin team continues to host great Sunday morning services for our kids!

4. I am excited to teach this Sunday’s lesson. Wise men seek Jesus. We should always seek Him. And, the more we seek Him, the more we realize that there is more to discover.

5. He is an ever interesting God.

6. I desire to know Him more.

7. The kids will really enjoy the games we have planned and the activities prepared for them.

8. We had a great creative meeting today.

9. Pastor Marc was in the zone and spit out all kinds of ideas and details to go along with it.

10. Easter is in the works. I am excited for the direction we are going.

11. A special guest will be coming to Crossroads this Easter…so pumped!

12. Anticipation.

13. Greater things are ahead of us.

14. Supernatural…I heard my Pastor say that this word keeps stirring in his spirit. 2014 will be a supernatural year.

15. I started feeling really sick in Creative meeting. I thought it was from taking a new vitamin even though I ate before taking it. Well, I had to leave work. I am thankful that I didn’t throw up in my car on the way home.

16. As soon as I got home, my body rid itself of whatever caused it to get sick. I am so glad God put a “throwing up” mechanism inside of us. I felt so much better after I rid my body of everything!

17. Whatever weird bug attacked my system, left as quick as it came. It only lasted about 12 hours.

18. I slept a lot today. My body needed rest.

19. I tried to keep Judah away from me. I didn’t want him to get whatever it was that I had. He hated not being able to sit on my lap. He is a mommy’s lap kinda boy and I love it. So, I gave in  and we snuggled together in the recliner.

20. I was able to hold down some soup for dinner.

21. Gary ran to the store and got me crackers and apples. I usually eat 2-3 apples a day. Yes, I love apples.

22. We enjoyed a movie together.

23. Our neighborhood developer, Paul Odom, came by our house last night. He delivered us a beautiful Poinsettia and thanked us for building a home in his development…who does that? I guess Paul Odom does.

24. Even though I am 33, I will always be my mom’s baby girl. She cares about me and hates when I am sick. She calls and checks up on me and prays for me. I am so blessed to have such a caring, compassionate mom.

25. Two good friends moved out of my life in the past year and a half. Literally, they moved out of my life and went to other states…ha ha ha. But, God is so good. He is moving back two of my great friends…Lindsay and Abby.

26. Abby Darrah is on her way home to OKC. I am so excited about her coming home to OKC and Crossroads Church. Kidz Ministry-watch out- Abby Darrah is back in town!

27. I had great conversation with my friend Debby today. She is doing so well and God really shed some light in a dark place in her life.

Selah~Day 208 “Laughter does a body good!”

Laughter and happiness are natural immune booster. Wikipedia defines laughing as an involuntary reaction to certain external or internal stimuli. Laughter can arise from such activities as being tickled, or from humorous stories or thoughts. Most commonly, it is considered a visual expression of a number of positive emotional states, such as joy, mirth, happiness, relief, etc.

I love to laugh. And, events that took place this past year tried to steal my laughter. If you read this blog, you have noticed that I am often thankful for laughter. Like milk, it does a body good. So, I purposefully love to laugh, love to be around people who make me laugh, and love to experience entertainment that makes me laugh. The Bible too is very clear about the importance of Joy. It even says the JOY of the Lord gives my body strength.

When Lorry Gail and I sat down to write out this year’s Christmas production, I told her that I wanted to call it Celebrate Christmas and I wanted to make people laugh. Many of us think the holiday season is full of fun and friends and family. For most of us, it is. But, there are also people who find this time to be very lonely, sad, and a reminder of loss. Unfortunately, the true meaning of this most beautiful season is lost in their sadness and despair. So, people need to experience laughter…they need JOY.

I am so glad that Heaven will be filled with laughter and joy and fun. In kid’s church, our number one rule is to “Have Fun in Church.” I want our kids to want to come to church because they know that serving God is the coolest, best decision that they could ever make. You see, when you invite Jesus into your life, He becomes your true source of Joy. When happenings steal your happiness, they can never steal your joy because it comes from the Lord who is alive and well on the inside of you.

On opening night of our Celebrate Christmas Production, joy filled the room. I heard lots of laughter and people left with big smiles on their faces. I heard comments like, “this was so fun” and “I laughed so much.” It was a fun night and too top it all off, people invited the true source of JOY into their lives-they received Jesus.

My 27 Thanks:

1. Laughter.

2. Laughter is a natural immune booster.

3. I recently read an article that shows science supports this idea “people who live upbeat lives with positive perspectives will live longer, healthier lives.”

4. God is a God of celebration.

5. Jesus is the source of Joy in my life.

6. Happenings may affect my happiness, but they never steal my JOY!

7. Judah had a great day back at school.

8. He learns so many great things. And, they use the Word of God to teach him great things.

9. Gary and I enjoyed lunch on the main sanctuary stage while wrapping production Christmas presents together.

10. The work that Jonathan and Jameson have done on the sound system is amazing. It sounds spectacular and balanced throughout the entire sanctuary. Who would have thought that there is an incredible amount of math involved in running sound. Yikes…I knew there was a reason I need to stay away from that booth.

11. Lindsay Crow-Snider is moving back to the Oklahoma City area. I am so glad to have Lindsay, Jared, and sweet Brooklyn close by. I can’t wait for them to get here.

12. My Christmas cards finally arrived. I am so impressed with the quality of Wal-Mart cards. This is the first year that I used them. Wow, I got a great card for a much cheaper price.

13. I am so thankful for Teri Darrah and Tami Miller. I have had a great time working with them on this production. Both ladies are class acts!

14. Before the show, everyone was excited, a little nervous, and having a great time with one another.

15. People where taking group pictures with one another…capturing memories for years to come.

16. Lorry Gail is an amazing makeup artist. She is a great talent and I have enjoyed working with her immensely.

17. Opening night of Celebrate Christmas production went well.

18. We had very few technical difficulties and managed well through them.

19. I work with a great team of techies.

20. Gary could have been a surgeon. He is so calm and manages his movement so well. He is running so many technical aspects of this show and it could be so nerve-wracking, but he is so calm and collected.

21. People laughed a lot.

22. People had a great time with their family and friends.

23. After our production, several people asked Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of their life.

24. When you go fishing, you use several different types of bait to catch different types of fish. Jesus told us to be fishers of men…we can use different types of bait too.

25. People, both young and old and everyone in between, found something enjoyable with the production. I am so glad that it crossed generational lines and provided a Christmas Celebration for every age.

26. I am so proud of Molly Gramling. She made a BIG, grown up decision tonight within a split second. She was supposed to do a trick flip, but realized if she went ahead with her part, she would collide with the two other girls and cause a big crash. Molly chose not to do her trick, but rather adapt to the situation. She is a GREAT kid and a wise one too. I am so proud of her selfless act…

27. Jesus chose to leave His throne in Heaven and come to earth in a manger in a stable…Why? Because He loves me!

Selah~Day 207

Tuesday, December 10

My 27 Thanks:

1. Gary got up before me and turned on the bathroom heater so it would warm up some before I went in there.

2. Small tasks that express great thoughtfulness. Sometimes it is the smallest of things that make marriage so rewarding.

3. Warm, clean water. I benefit from this luxury everyday. I am well aware that there are parts of this world that don’t have clean water.

4. I can office anywhere. This week, the tech booth has been my office. I enjoy the change of scenery.

5. Gary and I were able to run our tech cues one last time before final rehearsal.

6. I am so thankful that I get to work next to my husband for this production.

7. I am so thankful that I get to work along with Lorry Gail in this production. I love her energy and excitement for the stage.

8. All production props are complete. I should not have to go back to Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart again.

9. Gary, Judah, and I got to have lunch together at McAlisters. I have missed my little man so much the last few days. So, this nice lunch break was needed.

10. The sun in shining today.

11. The ice is melting off the roads.

12. Although Gary and I have both slid multiple times on the road, specifically in our neighborhood, we have not wrecked or hit any mailboxes.

13. God’s protection and provision.

14. Judah got a much-needed nap today. Our schedules have been so involved and it has caused him to be so tired. I am thankful that he got some rest.

15. My in-laws have been so good to keep Judah every night of rehearsal. He has such a fun time playing over there. But, he has cried for Gary and I every time we have dropped him off. I don’t like that he cries, but I do like that he would always rather be with us.

16. Productions are hard work and require much time. But, through it all, great friendships are developed and funny memories are made.

17. We had the best final rehearsal ever tonight.

18. We are officially done with production practices. Been working since August on this piece and it feels good to be on the last stretch. We are ready to go!

19. Pastor Ted enjoyed the show. We made him laugh out loud too!

20. Daniel Draper has worked so incredibly hard with the music portion of this production. He has a great voice and a great heart to serve. I love how he worships the Lord through song.

21. When we resist the devil, he must flee. He can’t stick around. He has to tuck his tail and run away.

22. There is great power in the name of Jesus.

23. My mom is starting her own blog. It isn’t a 10k reasons journey, but I am sure it will be a fun read, full of her thankfulness to the Lord for all that He has done in her life and brought her through.

24. Writing is a catharsis. A purification of the soul.

25. My body is healthy and holding up well.

26. Gary, Judah, and I ended our long day with a family movie in bed.

27. Every day is filled with God’s provision, protection, and promise. He is a good God.

Selah~Day 206

Monday, December 9

My 27 Thanks:

1. My muscles didn’t ache as much this morning as the night before. I am so thankful that rest does a body good.

2. I can walk, run, jump, skip, and hop. I can move. I am so thankful that I don’t have any type of handicap that would make those things difficult or impossible.

3. I was able to get some much-needed work done before I went to work.

4. One of my kidmin kids, Patrick, had an emergency appendectomy. He made it through surgery just fine.

5. He was released from the hospital today too. Wow! He recovered so well.

6. My brother-in-law made it through surgery just fine today. He has a longer road to recovery, but he will feel so much better in the long run.

7. Aaron and Jameson spent most of their day tying up loose ends of the production. I appreciate their work.

8. Pastor Tami came up and helped me clear out the stage even more. It looks so good and simplified. It’s also fun to chit-chat while you work. Guys don’t really care for the chit-chat as much as another woman! Ha Ha

9. Gary helped me finalize props and prepare the details of the production for the practice.

10. We are having a Monday night practice because everyone asked for it. I am so glad they all want to get in as much practice time as possible.

11. I met a new member of the orchestra tonight. His name is Dillon. He told me how much he enjoyed playing the music in the show.

12. I took a chunk of skin out of my finger tonight. I was putting the puppets into their place and hit the puppet crate rather hard. I bled on the roll of gaff tape I was holding. My sweet little friend, Peyton, quickly offered to run and find me a band-aid. She did too.

13. We had a great, smooth rehearsal. Each night of rehearsal gets better and better.

14. I am so thankful for willing hearts to serve.

15. Dustin has great creativity with lights. I love how he is using lights to enhance parts of the production.

16. Michelle made banana nut bread for Gary and me. It is yummy and a much appreciated snack.

17. The school cancellations have worked in my favor. Several of my performers had different after school events scheduled this week and they were going to miss final rehearsals, but when school is cancelled, so are after school activities.

18. Great attitudes and flexibility.

19. Everyone has been working really hard on their parts and it shows.

20. The spirit of a team.

21. Pastor Tami, Chemise, and I had a very funny moment. It will be a moment that I remember for a long time. I like moments like that!

22. The prayer team prayed over me tonight before rehearsal. I love corporate prayer.

23. My black Friday boot purchase arrived in the mail. They are exactly what I hoped they would be…cute, comfortable, and they were cheap!

24. My in-laws kept Judah tonight during our rehearsal. It was nice to not have him up at the church for such a long period of time. He enjoys playing at their house in his PJs.

25. They offered to let him spend the night, but he didn’t want too. He wanted to spend the night with his mommy and daddy. When I picked him up, Judah said, “Mommy, I was crying at mom-moms because I just wanted you!” He makes my heart smile.

26. Bedtime snuggles with my little love. He keeps me balanced.

27. I walk with Peace.