Selah~Day 281

Wednesday, February 26th

My 27 Thanks:

1.  Today is my childhood best friend’s birthday!
2. Kristi and I had so much fun together as kids. She is a wonderful friend and she wonderfully loves The Lord.
3. Kristi and I grew up in church together. Her dad was our pastor. I learned a lot about prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit at that church.
4. Kristi loves music and she would make me stand for hours in the CD aisle while she searched through all the different options. I wish iTunes would have been around back then! Kristi is very talented in the area of music.
5. Kristi and my brother Kyle shared a love for baseball cards and collecting them. I would throw a HUGE fit when they went into baseball card mode. I didn’t like sharing Kristi’s time and I wanted them to be interested in my rock collection instead of baseball cards. Yes, unfortunately, this is a true story! Ha Ha Ha…memories.
6. God did NOT send Kristi to a remote area in Africa to be a missionary. (Oh…another really funny story).
7. Kristi’s parents, VO and Beverly, were like 2nd parents to me. They love me dearly and had great influence in my life.
8. Recently, VO called me and spoke a powerful word of Wisdom and Encouragement into my life. I haven’t seen them in such a long time, but I know they still pray over my life.
9. Even though it was a small church, they blessed me big time financially. They helped sponsor my summer internship to Washington, D.C. when I was in college.
10. Kristi and I don’t see each other ever anymore and our talks are rare. But, when we do get to catch up, we pick up right were we left off.
11. I have a rich history of good, Godly friendships.
12. My friends from the younger years were amazing, positive influences in my life.
13. Good investments that have been deposited into my life throughout my 33 years.
14.
15. Kids Ministry went well tonight.
16. We have a new girl in kids ministry. Her name is Rebecca. She has many special needs. Two of my older 6th grade girls have taken Rebecca by the hand and have made her feel very comfortable and very much a part of our group. We didn’t ask them to do this, but they saw a need and filled it.
17. Kids who realize that they are a part of the church right now!
18. A child, who is in the foster care system, shared a prayer request tonight. The request was, “I don’t have a home and I  want to find a home.” The lack of parenting in our society today BREAKS MY HEART!!!! It is in moments like this that it is reaffirmed how incredible blessed I am. I never had to pray for a home.
19. I get to minister to kids from all walks of life.

I will never have it “all knowed up!” But, I have learned some very valuable lessons concerning the “truth.” There are always three sides to every story: your story, my story, and the truth. When I would teach a piece of literature, I would tell my students that we would all interpret different parts of the story differently. Even though we were reading the same text, our past experiences or lifestyle would “jade” our perception of the story. And, our perception is our reality. It is truth to us. Thankfully, in literature analysis, there isn’t always a right or wrong answer. Inference is based more on how you feel. If you “feel” it then it must be right…right? Even though the great William Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage and we are all merely players in it…” we don’t truly live in a Shakespearean piece!

Therefore, we can’t go by our feelings or our perceptions. Often times, they will lead us astray and away from the truth. So, before I jump to conclusion on a matter, I must understand that there are 3 sides to this story: your side, my side, and the truth. Pushing feelings, emotions, and perceptions to the side…let’s search for the truth because it sets us free.

20. I have learned a good deal about perceptions. There is always 3 sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth. I am thankful that I have grown in this understanding.
21. I do a better job at responding well to situations of information than reacting emotionally to it.
22. I try really hard not to make assumptions based on only one-side of information.
23. Gary rubbed my neck. I had such a bad neck ache, but his massage helped alleviate the pain.
24. I don’t take medicine. I would rather have some pain now than suffer future side effects of pain relievers. (Personal preference)
25. I have a family.
26. I have a home.
27. I have never had to wonder where I would lay my head down at night to sleep.

Selah~Day 280

Tuesday, February 25

My 27 Thanks:
1. Gary made me toast for breakfast.
2. When leaving for work, Gary always tells me how beautiful I look.
3. Staff chapel was fun.
4. Personality test.
5. I know who I am…ha ha ha. I am a theorist, a dreamer.
6. We have a well-balanced team.
7. Every part is an important part.
8. Janelle has done an amazing job helping me with the Watoto event. She is a blessing.
9. Gary and I got to have lunch together!
10. He also helped my uncle clear out more of my grandma’s house.
11. I found someone to give a full size bed to!
12. Opportunities to be a blessing.
13. My new neighbors blessed us with their nice moving boxes. They will be a huge help this weekend when we move out of my grandma’s house.
14. Gary bought groceries today. His work schedule is often a blessing.
15. We are going to be reading the book of Acts together as a staff team.
16. God gave us a perfect model for church growth and move of Holy Spirit through the book of Acts.
17. Gary and I cooked dinner together.
18. Judah sat on my lap and we watched Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
19. Gary and I finally hung the last of our pictures. I can’t believe we have had some sitting in closets since our move in last July.
20. Judah fell asleep early (for him) and quickly! He had such a fun day.
21. Vacation plans are in the works.
22. I look forward to going home to my family every night. I still get so excited and even have butterflies in my tummy when I get to see Judah and Gary after a long day apart. I love them.
23. My family loves to be together. Together is the most wonderful place to be!
24. My friend, Laura, found a house that she loves and is making an offer. I love to hear about the exciting times in her life.
25. My friends, The Mondragon family, are overwhelmed with blessings from God. He is working everything out on their behalf. They are getting a NEW home.
26. What the devil means for bad, God turns around for GOOD.
27. Second Chances.

Selah~Day 279

Monday, February 24

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah still clings to my leg when I drop him off at school. I am going to cherish the moments that he would rather be with me than anywhere else.
2. My work allows me to drop off Judah at school even though it makes me a little late to work.
3. We launched our Announcement for the Jr. Academy coming this Fall.
4. People are really excited about it.
5. Christian Education.
6. Crossroads Church has amazing space for a school.
7. Progress.
8. Abby brought me lunch so I could keep working.
9. My mother in law picked Judah up from school for me.
10. I watched Judah play t-ball for a few minutes. He was so cute swinging the bat.
11. Judah’s hand/eye coordination is amazing.
12. He has so much energy for life.
13. Gary was presented with his Sergeant shield from Chief Woodard.
14. Chief Woodard has been such a blessing in our lives. We are so thankful for his encouragement and support.
15. I met all the guys at Gary’s new station. They seemed like a great group of guys…I wonder if they will be as wonderful as the guys at station 8Red.
16. Gary forgot to tell the guys about his peanut allergy! Thankfully, I thought to tell them. They were glad I did because they use a lot if peanut stuff for cooking and snacks! Men….
17. Gary is learning so many new things with the department. He loves to learn.
18. My in-laws came with me to the shield presentation. They have a reason to be so proud of all their kids…Great kids, Great parents.
19. Gary sent me a really sweet text thanking me for coming and supporting him.
20. Holly came over and decorated my house for spring and summer.
21. Opportunities to catch up with friends.
22. God has blessed Gary and I with a most wonderful home.
23. Bedtime prayers and stories.
24.  Inwardly, I am so beautiful and majestic that the Holy Spirit wants to take up residence inside of me!
25. God has made my heart His home.
26. My friend Lindsey Crow Snider is another year older today. Now that she lives in OKC, I hope we can hang out more. I really like that girl! She is a mighty woman of God. I am thankful for her.
27. I am overwhelmed with peace tonight as I lay down.

Selah~Day 278

Sunday, February 23

My 27 Thanks:

1. I was able to help a child work through a difficult situation this morning.
2. Mrs. Stella had waffle Sunday-the hallway smells amazing on waffle Sunday. Stella makes her class full of fun. She is a blessing to our team.
3. We had a great kids service.
4. My team is so much fun.
5. Judah wanted Pei Wei for lunch. How can one say no to that? So, we made a quick trip to Pei Wei. Judah ate his entire meal.
6. Power naps.
7. Gary and Jose practiced an acoustic set for Kidmin worship.
8. Kids worship.
9. We are celebrating two kids decisions to make public their faith in Jesus tonight. I am honored to be a part.
10. Abby and I dress alike. We found it quite funny that we both wore the EXACT same shirt to church tonight. We got a few looks.
11. Gunner and Abigail are two great kidmin kids who have a bright future ahead of them. I am so proud of their decisions tonight.
12. Crossroads Church has the sweetest ladies who faithfully help with water baptism.
13. Marc’s message was excellent and timely.
14. He passed out warm, chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate chip cookies are so good.
15. I love our church security team. They are so kind and caring, but also provide a great sense of security and care.
16. I have opportunities to speak into people’s lives.
17. I have opportunities to pray for the needs of others.
18. We are all many parts, but one body. Every part is important.
19. I am a part of a great body.
20. Gary and I enjoyed our show, When Calls the Heart,  together
21. Conversations with Judah are so fun and interesting.
22. Judah loves to color pictures for me.
23. He loves to use the color green because its my favorite.
24. God hasn’t forgotten me.
25. He knows my name.
26. He is Hope for the Hopeless.
27.  He is a Father to the Fatherless.

Selah~Day 277

Saturday, February 22

My 27 Thanks:

1. My parents are here for another weekend visit.

2. We all worked together to clean out my grandma’s house.

3. Compared to others, Gary and I live a pretty simple, clutter free life. I am so thankful that I don’t have a ton of stuff.

4. I was able to bless someone with my grandma’s clothes.

5. The person LOVED them. They were the perfect fit and style for her.

6. Judah was such a big help. He spent most of the beautiful day inside a home while I worked.

7. My mom and I worked together. It was nice to roll up my sleeves and work beside her. We kept saying…”just look at one thing at a time.”

8. We got the kitchen and one bedroom packed up!

9. Salvation Army.

10. The Salvation Army does personal pick-up.

11. Many family members stopped by and picked up special items from my grandma’s house. It is sweet to see what people choose as their “memento” to remember my grandma.

12. My dad bought us all lunch.

13. I have enjoyed this time with my parents.

14. Sweet memories.

15. It was an absolutely beautiful day.

16. Sunshine.

17. Gary and I are far from perfect, but we did make good decision in our past that have led us to a very enjoyable present.

18. Fear doesn’t have to be bigger than my Faith!

19. “What ifs” are NOT reality.

20. With Jesus, we can face any situation with promises and purpose!

21. The promises of God are yes and amen!

22. His Word doesn’t return void.

23. I am a Friend of God.

24. He makes all things new.

25. New, fresh opportunities.

26. Gary is learning more and more about his job.

27. I am laying down in a warm, comfortable bed tonight!

Selah~Day 275

Thursday, February 20

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah spent an hour hanging out with me in my office.

2. Judah loves to laugh.

3. Judah and Abby have so much fun together. Abby loves to use her teaching tools on Judah and I love to watch and learn.

4. Abby has brought great skill to our kidmin team.

5. Judah is really enjoying playing with his new buddies Aaron and Olivia.

6. I am a life-long learner.

7. Things work together for good.

8. Love.

9. Joy.

10. Peace.

11. Patience.

12. Kindness.

13. Gentleness.

14. Faithfulness.

15. Self-Control.

16. Goodness.

17. We have opportunities everyday to use the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit is just as important, if not more important than the gifts.

18. My in-laws were more than happy to keep Judah for me while I made a presentation at the board meeting.

19. Judah LOVES going to his mom mom and papa’s house.

20. My in-laws live less than a mile from me.

21. I was invited to share vision on a project at the board meeting.

22. They were excited about it.

23. Pastor told me “good job.” It is nice to be appreciated for hard work.

24. Gary is really enjoying his new assignment at work. He is working so hard to catch on.

25. Gary has never shied away from hard work.

26. My weekend starts tomorrow!

27. Weekends…rest is truly from God. He rested too.

Selah~Day 276

Friday, February 21

My 27 Thanks:

1. We were all off work together today.

2. We enjoyed a most relaxing morning.

3. Our house is clean.

4. I got out my spring decor. I love this time of year.  I had fun setting it back up in my home. It’s like sunshine all the time on the inside too.

5. God uses interesting, creative ways to showcase His power and ability.

6. The Old Testament.

7. Strategy.

8. The Holy Spirit gives us strategy that is superior to any other!

9. The battle of Jericho was interesting, unique strategy…but, they trusted God and look what happened!

10. Worship comes before the battle is won.

11. God operates on a level that is higher than us.

12. My friend, Deborah, had a great interview for dental hygiene school.

13. Gary and I got much accomplished today.

14. We finally hauled off an old, broken fridge. I am so thankful for free dump sites.

15. I was able to bless someone with my Grandma’s clothes.

16. Gary, Judah, and I enjoyed a quick-lunch at Panera. Judah loves Panera too. He likes all of my favorite places.

17. Judah gave me sweet kisses. He still doesn’t mind kissing me in public!

18. The admin team made Standing Ovations, A Night to Honor those who Serve, beautiful.

19. We have hundreds of awesome servant leaders at Crossroads Church.

20. The food was amazing and the leaders loved the door prizes.

21. The people felt really honored.

22. I got several compliments on my hair. People are not used to seeing me with my hair down. I am usually rocking a pony tail and jeans and a t-shirt for kids service.

23. John Stimson is on my team. He makes us all laugh.

24. We had a great time washing hundreds of dishes…we worked together as a team.

25. Many hands make quick work.

26. Judah helped me tell his bedtime story tonight. I love his sweet imagination.

27. Rest.

Selah~Day 274

Wednesday, February 19

My 27 Thanks:

1. I wake up every morning to a sweet little boy who calls me “mommy.”

2. Judah loves to snuggle. He is still mommy’s little boy.

3. Gary got to enjoy a day free from a lot of to-dos.

4. I had a most enjoyable, long overdue lunch with my friend Debby.

5. Healthy friendships.

6. Transparency.

7. Honest conversation.

8. Abby and I have fun working together.

9. Starla has done a great job organizing seeking sitters for our event. I am glad both parties are flexible.

10. Teamwork.

11. Oakcrest Church of Christ gave me a tour of their facility. They are a sweet staff.

12. My SIL, Laura, has been an amazing help with a current project I am working on.

13. Self-Control.

14. Opportunities to walk in love with people.

15. A soft answer always turns away wrath.

16. I have always had an easy time offering forgiveness. I know that I want to be forgiven, so I chose to forgive others easily too.

17. I love the song, “Let it Go.” It is my current theme song and just flies right off the tongue and fits most situations…ha ha ha.

18. Judah got in a quick nap before Wednesday night church. Naps always make the drive home from church more peaceful.

19. Flexibility.

20. Adaptability.

21. Understanding when there has been miscommunication.

22. Dreams.

23. Vision. I can see years down the road.

24. Possibilities are endless.

25. Church was fun and smooth.

26. The best kids in the world go to church at Crossroads.

27. I get to do ministry with people I love.

Selah~Day 273

“My Baby Mattered…27 Lessons from Loss.”

An extra excerpt for Tuesday, February 18. 

I can’t believe a year has passed since grief knocked at the door of my heart. The details of that cold, dark night on February 18th are still vivid in my mind. Even though I delivered a baby at 14 weeks and it had no viable life outside the womb…that baby mattered to me. At first, I questioned God of the baby’s purpose. I asked Him many tough questions. I was mad and angry…

But, over the course of a year, I have learned that my baby mattered and even in death, you can find reasons to celebrate life.

The 27 Lessons from Loss:

1. God is Faithful.

2. He is close to the broken-hearted.

3. He speaks in mysterious ways.

4. Even when you don’t feel Him close, He is truly there.

5. Friends will surprise you.

6. Grief is a process.

7. I am so blessed. I have learned to appreciate even more what I have instead of focusing on what I don’t have.

8. Having a baby full term is truly miraculous.

9. Miracles happen everyday.

10. Even in your darkest hour, you can find reasons to rejoice.

11. The Name of Jesus is sweeter to me now than ever before.

12. People will say ignorant things without thinking. But, you have to just “let it go..”

13. In life, we truly have little control.

14. Life goes on. For you, it may have stopped for a while, but for others, it keeps going. Others moving forward can hurt when you just want to stand still. But, you have to move forward too even if you don’t feel like it.

15. Things don’t always work out the way you plan, so you have to come up with a new plan. You have to find a way to “be content in all things.”

16. There is great power when you decide to Trust God even when you don’t understand.

17. Crying is good for me. It is truly cathartic.

18. I can be down, but it doesn’t mean I am destroyed.

19. Many women share a similar story of loss.

20. When I am weak, He is strong in me.

21. Gary and I have a strong, solid marriage. It is in times of greatest tragedy that we are our strongest together. We would rather be together than apart.

22. I am blessed with a husband who loves to cry with me, laugh with me, and hold my hand through every step.

23. Every moment with Gary and Judah is priceless. I don’t take anything for granted and try to be very present in every moment with them.

24. Bad things really do happen to good people. But, …

25. There is always hope for the hopeless.

26. If you look for it, you can find victory even in the land of defeat.

27. Joy comes in the morning.

Selah~Day 272

Tuesday, February 18

My 27 Thanks:

1. Some adjustments were made to our Tuesday staff schedule and the adjustments are SO MUCH BETTER.

2. A willingness to change.

3. A desire to always improve.

4. I work with a team of people who wants to be good stewards of working hours.

5. Gary was able to get my in-laws truck and help clean out some more items from my grandma’s house.

6. We were blessed to keep some of my grandma’s lawn tools.

7. I got several compliments on my spring time outfit.

8. Pastor Marcia shared an awesome praise report with the team this morning. God is working on her behalf.

9. Today is Pastor Marcia’s birthday. I am so thankful that God blessed our world with her presence.

10. Pastor Marcia is such a blessing in my life. She has such a beautiful heart and is a true model for “walking in love” with all people. I have learned so much from my time with her.

11. I am working with DHS on a project and the person I was assigned to for help is awesome. I am super thankful to be able to work with someone who was thorough in explanation, professional, and kind.

12. Abby had a great tour of the City Rescue Mission and worked out some details with them. We are so excited to host a VBS for the kids at the mission over Spring Break. We have decided on a Superheroes theme.

13. Things are just working together.

14. Jesus > Heartbreak.

15. Jesus > Loss.

16. Gary, Judah, and I had a quick in office lunch together. I treasure every moment I get to spend with them.

17. When I got home from work, Gary met me in the garage. He told me to close my eyes and then he led me into the house. The kitchen was covered in candles. It was beautiful. And, he had grilled filet mignon steaks, baked sweet potatoes, and grilled asparagus (My favorite).

18. Sweet surprises.

19. Gary loves to make me smile.

20. Gary cares deeply for my heart.

21. He wrote me the sweetest of all cards to date. He is a great word smith.

22. There is beauty found even in the ashes.

23. I am not where I want to be, but I am not standing still.

24. Moving forward.

25. Gary, Judah, and I enjoyed a nice walk around the neighborhood.

26. We live in a safe neighborhood.

27. I smiled a lot today.