Selah~Day 231

Saturday, December 4

My 27 Thanks:

1. I had some nice, quiet time in the morning to read the Word. I am enjoying reading the New Testament at a rapid rate.

2. Judah and I snuggled in the recliner and watched some morning cartoons. I love that he always wants to sit on my lap.

3. Gary bundled up and went outside for day 4 of Swing Set install.

4. My in-laws came back over to help out.

5. The weather was beautiful.

6. The cold weather didn’t arrive until the evening. So, they got a full day of work completed on the swing set.

7. I got caught up on laundry. I don’t think it matters if you are a family of 1, 2, or 20…the laundry never ends and always seems to pile up. My mom does laundry every single day. But, I like to do it once or twice a week.

8. I don’t have to go to a laundry mat. I am so thankful for a washer and a dryer in my home. In College, I had to go to a laundry mat to wash and dry my clothes. I am so glad I don’t have to do that anymore.

9. Judah was outside when I folded laundry, so I didn’t have to fight to keep him from knocking down my folded “towers.”

10. I enjoyed the sunshine. Sunshine always makes a body feel good.

11. The swing portion of the set is complete.

12. I had so much fun pushing Judah on the swing. He kept saying, “this is so much fun!”

13. I ran into town and picked up lunch for everyone. Braums sounded so good. We all enjoyed lunch together.

14. Braums sells great quality products, like hormone free meats and granola with NO-GMOs.

15. General Mills has now released a NON-GMO free Cheerios. I love that our culture is demanding healthier eating options.

16. The youth group has had a blast on their ski trip.

17. Gary and I loaned our ski clothes to some friends and they said they worked out great for them!

18. Gary and I worked together on putting together the loop slide for Judah’s swing set. I helped Gary work some power tools. It was so fun.

19. Judah counted out and brought us the nuts, bolts, and washers we needed. It was so cute to listen to him count out four bolts, four nuts, and 8 washers. He did so good.

20. Family projects.

21. Working together.

22. Gary’s parents are super helpful and super patient. They gave us their entire Saturday and were a huge help. It took about 3 hours to put together the loop slide. They didn’t mind helping us at all.

23. I am super excited about our new series launch tomorrow morning.

24. Every weekend, I still get excited for Kids Ministry.

25. Judah fell asleep on my laugh.

26. Gary and I enjoyed a movie together.

27. Early bedtime!

Selah~Day 230

My 27 Thanks:

1. A very dear friend of mine texted me this morning and delivered an awesome praise report. She had to go back in for another mammogram after the first one revealed “something of interest.” She was scheduled for another mammogram and a MRI. But, after the second mammogram, the radiologist came into her room and said, “We don’t need to do the MRI…that spot is GONE!”

2. I serve a God of the miraculous.

3. My friend is breathing a sigh of relief today.

4. I got to spend several hours this morning reading the Word and publishing some blogs that had been stewing for days.

5. Completed tasks.

6. Gary started working on Judah’s 120 page instruction manual swing set.

7. Gary can handle cold, windy weather.

8. While Gary was working on the swing set, Judah and I painted pictures on his new art easel.

9. Coloring and painting have become very relaxing activities for me. I love doing it. I might need a grown up art easel.

10. Judah loves to paint and he loves to paint our entire family in the picture. He never wants to leave anyone out.

11. My brother, Kyle, came over after work and helped Gary with the swing set.

12. He brought his boys over and Judah was thrilled to have playmates for the afternoon.

13. My husband and my brother are super handy and great with tools.

14. Gary is incredibly precise and loves details. He is a step-by-step, instruction manual kind of guy and I am thankful.

15. When I hang out with my brother, I am always taken back to the days of our childhood. For the most part, we had a great relationship. If we wouldn’t have ever had to share a bathroom, we probably would have been best friends. He still loves to pick on me even in adulthood.

16. Kolt, one of my nephew’s, told me that I am a good cook. He loved the meatballs I made for him. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that they were out of a package and I just warmed them up!

17. My friend Lindsey and her family are packing up today for their move back to OKC! Super excited.

18. My in-laws came over for a bit this evening to help Gary with the swing set too.

19. I had a great time visiting with my mother-in-law while my father-in-law froze outside with Gary.

20.  My in-laws are always willing to help out.

21. With both Kyle and my father-in-laws help, Gary was able to get at least half of this project completed…maybe even more than half.

22. We had a chance to say goodbye to Kelli and Kaden and Natalie today. Tears were shed. It is highly likely that we won’t see them for 4 years. They are our sweet military family and will be heading overseas for a 3 year tour this summer.

23. Military families who make great sacrifices for the freedom of us all.

24. Freedom.

25. I am attempting to read the entire New Testament in 40 days. In order to accomplish this task, I have to read at least 7 chapters a day. So far, I am doing quite well.

26. The Word of God.

27. I didn’t leave my house today.

Selah~Day 229

My 27 thanks:

1. Gary and I are celebrating 9 years of marriage bliss today.

2. Gary didn’t sleep at all last night at the fire station. He fought two fires at the same location. But, he wasn’t too tired for our fun-filled day.

3. Gary brought home a super sweet card and a single rose that represents something special. When I walked into the kitchen, it brought a sweet surprise and smile to my face.

4. Gary is a great writer. I love that he loves to express his love through words. Did you follow that one?

5. Judah is so excited about his tree house swing set. Unfortunately, he has no concept of the time involved to put it together. He thinks we can have it done within the hour.

6. It is a beautiful day filled with sunshine.

7. Gary and Judah went outside and started working on the swing set. The instruction manual is 120 pages long. I am so glad Gary is a patient man.

8. Patience.

9. Instruction manuals that are reader friendly.

10. I helped Gary with a portion of the swing set.

11. I laid in the grass and soaked up some Vitamin D from the awesome sunshine.

12. My mom wrote her first of many “healthy living” blogs. I helped her edit the contents. She is excited about it.

13. I got to talk with Pastor Marcia on the phone today. I haven’t seen her or talked to her in almost 2 weeks. It was good to hear her voice and Dorothy’s voice too.

14. Judah took a much-needed nap today. He isn’t one to take naps at this stage in life, but he needed one today. I love when he is rested.

15. Abby is super excited about our upcoming kids series, Robots, Inc. She has been running errands for the stage design.

16. Judah loves getting to play with Madilyn and Molly. They are great babysitters and Gary had them scheduled to come over so we could go out on an anniversary date.

17. Gary made reservations for us at Deep Fork Grill. I have always wanted to eat there. They reserved a special spot just for us.

18. Our server was incredible. He blessed us with a complimentary appetizer in honor of our anniversary.

19. Gary and I played a fun walk down memory lane game and revealed our favorite moments of the last 9 years of marriage. Judah’s entrance into the world won first place.

20. Gary and I both tried something new and loved our meals.

21. I didn’t over eat. I could have, but I chose not too. I feel so much better when I don’t get overly stuffed.

22. We ran to Dillards after dinner. We only had about 15 minutes to shop before they closed for the night. Gary found two incredible pairs of shoes for a steal of a deal!

23. Gary and I don’t always need to be entertained. A simple drive through the City and simple conversation, brings joy and fulfillment.

24. Communication.

25. Pastor Ted is feeling better. After a horrible bought of sickness, he is on the mend.

26. I get to do life with my best friend.

27. God created marriage.

Selah~Day 228 “The Resolutions of Jesus”

Each year, the people of the world make resolutions or decisions to do or not do something in the New Year. Resolutions made at the beginning of the year make mega bucks for gyms, weight loss programs, and fitness stores. Because of resolutions, church attendance will double, Bibles will be dusted off, and counseling sessions to help cure “hurts, habits, and hang-ups” will begin. Spending sprees will slow down, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace classes will fill up, and people’s work ethic will rise. People begin every New Year with the hopes that they will be better, physically, spiritually, financially, and emotionally.

Even though these resolutions are made with a firm determination to complete, the resolve  seems to DISSOLVE into an after thought come February or March. Our busy lives take over and we reluctantly allow our resolutions to become an “I will get to that tomorrow” list item. I am one of those people. Over the years, I have made many resolutions and unfortunately many were not checked off as “completed.”

As I reflected upon the New Year, I decided that I will work hard at becoming a better me as a whole: physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. But, I am not making any “resolutions.” Instead, I am going to focus on the resolutions of Jesus. His sole reason for leaving His throne in Heaven for a manger in a stable on earth, was to bring RESOLVE. Resolve is the root word of Resolution. If you look up the definition of the word resolve, it states: Settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter). Decide firmly on a course of action. Jesus came to earth to RESOLVE or SOLVE or SETTLE our problem-Sin. Because of His resolve, mankind could choose to receive eternal life.

I am so thankful for the Resolutions of Jesus. Thankfully, He didn’t quit! Nope, He settled it, solved it, and dissolved it. His will was to FINISH the work that His Father had laid out before Him. He resolved it all for us. Now, my sole resolve is to trust Him.

My 27 Thanks:

1. He resolves to bind up the brokenhearted.

2. He resolves to bring freedom to the captives.

3. He resolves to bring light where there is darkness.

4. He resolves to bring comfort to all who mourn.

5. He resolves to place a crown of beauty on my head instead of ashes.

6. He resolves to bring the oil of joy instead of morning.

7. He resolves to place on me a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness.

8. He resolves to bring restoration where there was devastation.

9. He resolves to repay for all that the devil tries to steal.

10. He resolves to bring grace where there was shame.

11. He resolves to be the way, the truth, and the life.

12. He resolves to be your portion, your God who is more than enough for whatever it is that you may need.

13. He resolves to be your healer for sickness and disease.

14. He resolves to be your strong tower, an ever-present help in time of need.

15. He resolves to be your Prince of Peace. He is the One who walks with you through the fires of life.

16. He resolves to bring you salvation.

17. He resolves to pay your debt in full.

18. He resolves to purchase eternal life for you if you believe.

19. He resolves to make a way for you to go straight to the Father.

20. He resolves to provide all that you need. He is the ram in the bush for Abraham. He will be whatever you need.

21. He resolves to be your banner. He is your shield, defense, and protector.

22.  He resolves to be your High Priest.

23. He resolves to be your sacrifice lamb. He has saved you from the curse of the law.

24. He resolves to be your counselor. He is your guiding light and your answer to every question.

25. He resolves to be your best friend. He is the One who will never leave you or forsake you or talk bad about you.

26. He resolves to make you a display of His splendor. You are like an oak of righteousness , a planting of the Lord. He is delighted in you!

27. He resolves to destroy the powers of the devil.

Selah~Day 227 “Finding Beauty in the Ashes: 2013 Highlights”

This past year, 2013, was one of the most emotional year’s of my life. It was a year that presented many tests, many trials, and many moments of tears. But, through it all, I learned how difficult; yet, how important Paul’s writings in Philippians 4:4 were to carry out. He states, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” He is emphatic that even though our circumstances may not give cause to celebrate, we should still rejoice or revel or have a party in the Lord.

In Biblical times, one would have ashes thrown upon their head to symbolize a time of mourning. But, we learn in Isaiah 61:3 that our Lord bestows a CROWN of BEAUTY instead of ashes for those who mourn. We are children of God, joint heirs of the most High Prince of Peace. Our role is one of royalty. Because of this, we can always find beauty in the ashes.

My 27 Thanks for 2013:

1. Gary and I kicked off the 2013 year celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary at the Scurvin Hotel in downtown OKC. It was a great night away and we loved staying in an old, Historical landmark.

2. Gary held my hand and covered me in prayer during one of the most difficult, trying times of our lives. Several close friends became even closer as they covered me with their prayers, words of encouragement, and daily scripture texts. I am so thankful for friends and family.

3. We became closer as a married couple and learned what the depth of our vows to one another truly meant when we said, “In sickness and in health, in good times and bad.”

4. I stumbled upon a 10K reasons blog written by Sarah Blount. Sarah’s blog spoke to the depths of my heart. Through it, I was inspired to begin my own 10K reasons journey and walk down a road of victory, not destruction.

5. Psalm 34 became my life support. It was a chapter that I read on a daily basis for a few months. The words written brought life to my soul. He is truly close to the Brokenhearted and He rescues them.

6. My 33rd birthday in April was a difficult day for me. Gary was at the fire station that day and I was having my very own emotional pity party. Gary surprised me and took off the second half of the shift. He always does sweet things to bring a smile to my heart. It was a simple act of kindness, but spoke volumes to my heart during a difficult season.

7. In May, a tragic tornado tore across a beloved part of my City. All of my kids,  in both Briarwood and Plaza Tower schools, were safe. Even though some of them had to be pulled from the rubble, none of them were injured. I had several friends who suffered great loss to their homes and belongings, but today, they are all stronger because of the storm.

8. Both Gary and I worked tirelessly with relief efforts. I loved seeing first hand the beautiful response to tragic events and the perseverance of the human spirit.

9. Gary survived a very scary rescue experience in the second round of tornadic weather that we experienced. While conducting a routine water rescue, his rescue boat capsized, sending him and 2 other fire fighters into the rolling waters. Thankfully, they were able to catch a few bodark trees and hang on until they could be rescued. He only suffered a few scratches from the long bodark thorns.

10. Gary and I took our kids back to Camp Wow for kids camp. We had an amazing speaker, Clayton Poland, as our guest. We were able to minister to not only our kids, but also welcome kids from the surrounding rural areas to participate. It was the best camp experience ever. Gary and I became great friends with Clayton and his family.

11. Because of our great camp experience at Camp Wow, we have been invited back again and they have asked Crossroads Kidz Ministry to put on a kids camp for several churches who are now asking if they can participate because they heard it was so awesome!

12.Gary and I moved into our beautiful dream home. We custom-built our home with Eric and Austin Cheatham. It was a great, stress-free experience. I love my home. It brings so much warmth and joy to our lives. I don’t know why, but I still stand in awe at the blessings of God.

13. We took Judah to his very first movie experience and watched Despicable Me 2. As a family, we laughed all the way through it. It was such a fun time together.

14. Several friends were inspired by me to start their own 10k reasons journey. It is a very difficult commitment. Some are no longer on the journey, but there are a few who are still writing with me.

15. Judah knows how important this 10k reasons blog is to me. He spends most mornings sitting on the arm of my writing chair while I write. He loves to be close to me.

16. In July, Crossroads Church hosted a 10k reasons night of worship. During the worship experience, people wrote their reasons to praise the Lord and thank Him for all of their blessings. Collectively, they wrote 10k reasons of praise to the Lord during that one night of worship.

17. I attended my sweet friend Valarie’s wedding. It was a most beautiful day and I was thrilled to see her walk down the aisle and join hands with the man of her dreams. She had waited so long for her wedding day and I was so thankful that I was able to experience that with her.

18. Judah started school at Antioch. He got the best set of teachers. I love the experience he is having at this great preschool.

19. As a team, we launched an initiative at Crossroads called, Generations. Through this initiative, we will not only bring Crossroads to another level of excellence in look and style, but also position ourselves to reach more people both home and abroad with the Gospel of Jesus.

20. This year, I was really given the opportunity to use my creative skills in a way that I have never used them before. I was stretched to the max in some areas and I loved it. I got to work with some very creative master minds in the area of video and design. I loved working with them and learning from them. It was a great experience.

21. In November, we hired Abby Darrah to join with me on the Kidz Ministry staff team. She has worked in Crossroads Kidz Ministry since she was a young teenager. Now, she is has an education degree and is ready to use her gifts and talents for the Lord at Crossroads Church.

22. My precious friend, Bethany, gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl named Kyla.

23. Gary and I hosted both of our families at the same time at our house for Thanksgiving. It was a great day! I am so thankful that both of our families love spending time together too.

24. I got to co-write and direct a Celebrate Christmas production that brought laughter to many faces. It was such a fun production to produce and direct. Personally, it took me to another level of production ability and I learned a lot about production and myself as an artist.

25. Gary worked closely with me on the Celebrate Christmas production. I learned that he has some amazing technical skill. It was so much fun to work right beside him in the tech booth.

26. We scheduled many days of rest at the end of the 2013 year. Through this year, I have learned that rest today is vitally important if you hope to do bigger things tomorrow.

27. Growth.