Selah~Day 261

Thursday, February 6

My 27 Thanks:

1. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.

2. God has given us a mind that has been delivered, rescued, revived, salvaged, protected, and brought into a place of safety and security.

3. My mind is guarded by the Word of God.

4. The Word of God can safeguard your emotions.

5. The Word of God defends your mind from assaults of fear.

6. The Word of God.

7. Again, I am so thankful for Rick Renner’s Sparkling Gem devotion. They are so rich with truths from the Word.

8. We got much accomplished in Creative Meeting.

9. Abby has been a huge help this week. keeping things moving forward which has allowed me to help my family during a difficult time.

10. I got to have a quick-lunch with Judah and Gary. Gary picked up McAlisters for us and brought it up to the church. I have such a sweet, caring husband.

11. We got to see Zach. He is home for a visit. Judah immediately wanted Zach to play a game of chase with him. They are cute friends.

12. Pastor Brandon and I had a great time meeting with Mindy and JaQuisha. They are a great asset to our team. And, I am so thankful for their care for our kids.

13. The future is bright.

14. My buddy Sam is home from the hospital and his recovery is amazing. He is doing well and gaining strength everyday.

15.  I got to take a gluten-free pizza to Sam. It is nice to be able to be a blessing. Sam was so thankful and excited to eat his special pizza.

16. Jennifer made my family a batch of home-made chocolate chip cookies. They were delicious and a great late night snack for my family. They were gone in a matter of moments.

17. My uncle is staying the night with us. I am glad that I have lots of room to host family.

18. I am so thankful for safety and protection on the icy roads. Thankfully, the people who I have been on the roads with are driving as safe and slow as I am.

19. I was able to go to the funeral home and help my parents with my grandma’s service.

20. John M. Ireland funeral home is a great funeral home to work with for a funeral service.

21. While at the funeral home, I sat by my uncle. There were many moments of tears and I held his hand. I am glad that I was sitting next to him.

22. Laura and Robert kept Judah for us while we were at the funeral home.

23. We made arrangements that will honor my grandma’s life well.

24. We spent several hours listening to songs and picking out ones that my grandma would love. It was nice to hear her kind of music. She had some good taste.

25. We all shared some of our favorite memories with grandma. It brought laughter to a sad time.

26. Gary was able to get off work for bereavement leave, so he can help me with some of the details of the days ahead.

27. Life after death.

Selah~Day 260

Today would be my grandmother’s last day on earth. Although she loved her life and lived it to the fullest, she is so glad to be with her sweet Jesus. In her final days, I heard her tell the nurse, “I don’t want to linger here on earth. I am ready to go.” Thankfully, Jesus granted her that desire and took her home.

For the past 20 years, she has been my only living grandparent. I have so many sweet memories with her. So, until we meet again in Heaven, I will hold on to those sweet memories of her food, fun times, and family stories.

In honor of her, my 27 thanks is for my grandma!

Wednesday, February 5th

My 27 Thanks:

1. My grandma, Yvonne Lee, made Christmas a magical time for all of us kids. My parents didn’t have much money at all when we were younger and couldn’t do much at all for Christmas. But, my grandma held no expense. She didn’t spare a dime and covered her living room with gifts for us. Nothing delighted her more than acting out in her love language-gift giving.

2. My grandmother has such a fun, active home. She had dolls and talking stuffed animals displayed in every room. Often, I would walk around the corner and her stuffed monkey would whistle at you. She loved sharing her baby dolls with us kids and watching us play with her dancing, talking stuffed animals.

3. My grandma took great care of people. She loved working as a nurse in the hospitals.

4. My grandma never forgot a story. She remembered specific details about our lives and could always share the sweetest, most fun stories about her grandkids.

5. My grandma had a swimming pool at her house when we were younger. She wanted us to come over all the time and enjoy her home. Her doors were always open.

6. My grandma loved to cook.

7. My grandma made extravagant meals for us. Her signature dish was homemade macaroni and cheese.

8. My grandma couldn’t believe that I didn’t like her macaroni and cheese and her chocolate gravy. But, she was okay because I liked everything else.

9. My grandma was super sentimental. She loved collecting and keeping.

10. My grandma gave me my first paying job. She loved how well I cleaned her home and would bless me financially.

11. My mom’s mother died when my mom was only 3 years old. But, my grandma loved my mom like a daughter. She loved making my mom feel special.

12. My grandma got to live across the street from us in Broken Bow, Ok for several years. I am so glad she got to have an up close look at our school years.

13. My grandma did her best to come to every pageant, school play, baseball game, football game, and other events that celebrated her grandkids.

14. My grandma loved to travel and before she got really sick, she got to visit many beautiful places.

15. My grandma had a messed up finger nail. As long as I can remember, it has always been deformed. When I was little, she used to tell us that a booger bug bit it off when she was picking her nose. So, we shouldn’t pick our nose either. For a while, we believed her. Her plan worked! To this day, I don’t know what actually happened to her weird, crooked finger nail.

16. My grandma loved her sons. Her boys were her pride and joy.

17. My grandma loved to shop. She loved to look her best.

18. My grandma wore the same perfume all her life. She had a specific sweet smell.

19. My grandma was so glad that I married Gary. She thought he was the cutest firefighter she had ever seen. She loved Gary and treated him like her very own grandson.

20. My grandma loved Judah. He brought the biggest smile to her face. She loved to listen to me tell stories about Judah.

21. Judah couldn’t say “grandma.” So, he has always called her “ma-maw.” Judah got to say, “see ya later” too.

22. My grandma loved movies. She would sit with us and enjoy a good animated movie as much as us kids. She loved old movies too.

23. In her final days, they were able to keep my grandma free from most of her pain.

24. In her final days, both my dad and uncle were with her at all times.

25. Her last words to me were, “Kara, I am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about your salvation.” Then, she turned to the nurse and said, “This is my granddaughter, but she is more like my angel.” Here words were gold.

26. I got to say “see you later” to my grandma. I loved holding her hand and bringing comfort during a difficult time in one of her final days.

27. My grandma loved Jesus and served the Lord faithfully. Because of her decision to follow Him, she is now resting in His arms.

Selah~Day 259

Tuesday, February 4

My 27 Thanks:

1. I woke up ready to take on the day.

2. I taught in staff chapel and I didn’t pass out. Despite what some may think, I actually get quite nervous speaking in front of an audience of my peers.

3.Policies and Procedures that give us direction, guidance, and boundaries.

4. Gary ran to the store for me and picked up the items we were contributing to the Staff Family lunch.

5. Our church team family lunch has been resurrected.

6. Everyone pitched in to both setup and tear down. Together everyone accomplishes more and the help of many make the work seem few.

7. Gary and I sat by Pastors Ted and Tami. We had a fun discussion about parenting. They even gave us some tips.

8. One of my teen leaders, Maci, is such a sweet girl. Her heart is so pure. Her smile alone shows her love for Jesus. I have so many great teens on my team.

9. We spent an hour focused on the dynamics of our Easter service. We are close to having it complete!

10. Opportunities to work ahead.

11. Favor with community venues.

12. My dad and uncle were able to get my grandmother settled in a beautiful, well ran hospice facility.

13. Hospice Care.

14. My dad has more peace now that his mom is settled in a good place.

15. My parent’s are really healthy and take very good care of themselves.

16. Lorry Gail paid me a surprise visit at work. She blessed me with a free coupon to try out a really cool, new online product.

17. Gary got to visit and tour his new fire station assignment today. He is really looking forward to his promotion.

18. Gary loves to make a positive difference where ever he goes.

19. We had Papa Murphey’s pizza for dinner. Quick, easy, and delicious.

20. My morning devotion was so rich with the Word and good information to apply to one’s life.

21. I can put on the full armor of God.

22. God goes before me and protects me.

23. I can be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…Ephesians 6:10

24. God gave me spiritual weapons to use against the schemes of the enemy.

25. I have the victory.

26. Today is Maxton Gramlings 12th birthday. This kid has been such a blessing to our lives. There is truly not another kid on the planet like Maxton Gramling. His future is bright.

27. Rest.

Selah~Day 258

Monday, February 3

My 27 Thanks:

1. Today is my friend Ava’s birthday! I am blessed to call Ava a friend. She is a bright light who always shines even in the darkest of moments. Ava is a “glass half-full” kind of gal. She is rock solid and a pillar in her community! She is also a great mom, a great leader, and a great friend. Her smile lights up the room.

2. My buddy Sam came home from the hospital. I am so glad this procedure is done and behind him. He is doing well and eating real food.

3. Medical interventions that make life more enjoyable when things go wrong.

4. I got many items knocked off my to-do list before lunch time.

5. Starla let me borrow her floor heater. I was freezing and that heater provided great warmth.

6. Starla and I had a good conversation about a deep topic. It was nice to hear her insight.

7. Abby found her keys. It bothered her greatly (our keys are very important).

8. Judah had a blast at school. He hates going, but once he gets there, he has fun.

9. I had a nice chat with another Antioch school mom. We are going to plan a play date for our boys soon.

10. I came home from work today and entered into a clean, pine-sol smelling home.

11. Gary doesn’t mind rolling up his sleeves and helping with house work.

12. Judah told me all about his school day. He was so proud of his paper that he cut. He is now learning how to use scissors. He also started writing his name.

13. Judah loves to learn.

14. Judah is an active learner.

15. My sister had a successful lasik eye surgery. I am so glad she finally got this done. She did have horrible eyesight. But, now she can see.

16. My grandma was able to sit up on the side of her hospital bed. She had to accomplish this task in order to qualify for a skilled nursing unit.

17. My dad and uncle spent the day looking for places that will care for my grandmother.

18. I am getting to teach my team in staff chapel tomorrow. I had time to prepare some while at work today.

19. I love to read. The more I read, the more I learn.

20. You can model the behavior you desire.

21. Gary and I pray specific things over Judah’s life every night.

22. Consistency.

23. We can talk to God and He hears us.

24. I was able to pray with a friend today and really encourage her.

25. Be Transformed, a new Monday night small group, started tonight. I am so excited that we are partnering with Scope Ministries. Be Transformed is going to change the lives of so many.

26. Change.

27. I am caught up on my Selah blog. I am thankful for this commitment.

Selah~Day 257

Sunday, February 2

My 27 Thanks:

1. We woke up to beautiful, huge snowflakes falling to the ground.

2. The roads were not too bad for travel.

3. Almost every one of my leaders made it to church. They are rock stars!

4. We had a great morning of ministry in every department.

5. Mr. Dan, one of our security leaders, bought me a breakfast bar at the coffee shop. It was completely unexpected and so kind of him. He is a super faithful leader and is passionate about his work. We are blessed to have him on our team.

6. Dan’s kids are so sweet! They are kind and so well-behaved. Every time I see those kids, they give me the best greeting and big hugs.

7. The KidMin team loved the new t-shirt design. They were so excited to have their new shirts.

8. My teen leaders especially loved the new t-shirts. I am so glad to have the best teen leaders on my team. They bring so much energy and fun to our team atmosphere.

9. Several of my kids are really showing spiritual growth. I love watching them grow in the things of God.

10. We debuted our medley song from Kids on the Move. It is a compiling of the hit songs we do in Kidz Ministry. The kids loved it and it wore them out!

11. I am so thankful for ministries who have the means to produce amazing songs and graphics for Kids Ministries and then they give those away for free.

12. We made it to and from church safely.

13. Gary, Judah, and I had a relaxing afternoon at home.

14. Gary and I got to enjoy a movie together.

15. We had fun playing chase in the snow. Judah had a blast throwing snow at us. We shared lots of laughs.

16. Gary stayed out in the snow a little longer for Judah. I didn’t last that long.

17. We ended our fun evening with a family movie. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 was cute and brought laughter to our home.

18. Judah sat on my lap the entire movie. He loves to sit on my lap and I treasure every moment because I know it won’t last too long.

19. One of my friends, Deborah, slid off the road and into the ditch on the way home from church. Thankfully, she wasn’t hurt!

20. Gary was supposed to go and check out his new fire station today. But, the roads weren’t great and he decided to stay home with Judah and me. I am so glad we had this unplanned day together.

21. Gary always puts his family before himself.

22. We say “I love you” all the time.

23. I told a new bedtime story to Judah tonight. He loved it and wanted me to tell it to him again. I love these precious moments with him. He helps me foster creativity and impromptu storytelling.

24. Unconditional love.

25. Affection. My family loves to show one another affection.

26. I really let my mind be at rest this afternoon and evening. Sometimes it is very difficult for me to shut off my mind, but I did today and it felt good.

27. Our words are so important. We can use our words to bring comfort and healing to the lives of others. I work hard at choosing my words wisely.

Selah~Day 256

Saturday, February 1

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and Gatlin woke up early because they were both excited to play with each other. I am so glad they are having this time together.

2. Gary is off work today and he will get to see my grandmother too.

3. My grandma was alert when we got there to visit with her. Time is precious right now.

4. I happened to be in the room when the doctor came in. It was nice to hear the information first hand.

5. I am able to help my parents gather information as they make plans to transition my grandmother to a nursing home facility.

6. My family had a nice lunch together.

7. We had a very relaxing afternoon.

8. Gary and Judah both got to take naps.

9. My mom and I enjoyed watching hallmark together.

10. Pastor Marcia gave me a lot of great insight and information in the skilled nursing home search.

11. I enjoyed some great conversations with my sister. I love getting to visit with her.

12. My husband is so kind, gentle, and caring. He always puts others first.

13. Family support through difficult times.

14. Caring facilities that care for the elderly in their final days. This takes a special calling and I am so thankful for places that have the elderly at the heart of all that they do.

15. Nothing has gone as originally planned for my weekend. But, I am okay with that.

16. We realized he hadn’t paid close attention to the weather forecasts when we went shopping at Crest tonight. It was crazy packed. I am so glad Gary and I went together. We work well as a team and cut our time in half.

17. The management at Crest has a superb team of supermarket employees. I am so impressed with their facility and their attitude towards the community. All lines were open and everyone was friendly and it was chaos.

18. Clean public restrooms…I know…I have mentioned this before, but it is big in my book.

19. The medical staff was able to get my grandmother comfortable after a very tough evening of pain.

20. God’s truth is a powerful weapon against the schemes of darkness.

21. Light always pierces the dark.

22. There is life even after death.

23. Jesus gives us eternal life.

24. Technology in weather forecasting.

25. My mom and sister decided to leave late in the night to avoid the bad weather coming in. They made it safely.

26. I am so glad they decided to leave when they did or they would have been snowed in with us and my sister would have missed her lasik eye surgery appointment.

27. My car is parked in the garage tonight! I love my garage.

Selah~Day 255

Friday, January 31

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and I had a super relaxing morning together.

2. My family is making a sudden trip to Oklahoma City. My grandmother isn’t well at all. I am so glad my family is able to travel to see her.

3. My dad had to rush to OKC. He made it safely.

4. My grandma is finally alert.

5. The Canadian Valley hospital is top-notch. You should never underestimate a small town community hospital.

6. Judah was great in the hospital.

7. My dad made several balloon chickens out of surgical gloves. It entertained Judah well.

8. I am so glad I got to see my grandma alert.

9. She had some moments of panic while I was with her…when I rubbed her hand, it calmed her down.

10. My grandma told the nurse that I was “more like an angel.”

11. The nursing staff was incredibly kind and had excellent bed side manner.

12. The doctor was awesome too. He specializes in hospital services, so he will be my grandmother’s doctor the entire time she is there.

13. My grandmother told me that she was so glad that she could rest assured knowing my salvation. I am also thankful that my grandmother knows the Lord.

14. When you know Jesus, there is NO death!

15. My parents blessed Judah and I with dinner.

16. My nephew Gatlin got to come home with us. We don’t get to see him all the time, so it was so awesome to have him as our over night guest.

17. Judah and Gatlin talked the entire way home from the hospital. They were so excited to be together and never stopped talking. We had lots of laughs with their fun, hyper conversations.

18. Children laughter and excitement.

19. Gatlin and Judah play so well together. They are both very sweet and thoughtful.

20. They wanted to sleep in the same bed together. We tried it for about 5 minutes. But, never one of them could settle down. They laughed and laughed and laughed. I remember those days… bedtime laughter with your best friend.

21. My friend sent me another home-made card. She has no idea the timeliness of her card.

22. I love the worship song by Hillsongs, Oceans. That song has really ministered to my spirit lately.

23. God has my best interest at heart.

24. God is a good God.

25. My faith can be made stronger.

26. Trust is a choice and I choose to trust Him.

27. Hopeful.

Selah~Day 254

Thursday, January 30

My 27 Thanks:

1. After a horrible night of sleep due to a really bad headache, I woke up excited for a new day.

2. My headache had subsided substantially.

3. My allergies seemed to be more controlled today.

4. Gary made breakfast for Judah and me.

5. Judah gave me a giant hug on the way out the door.

6. Gary and Judah had fun at the Y again today. I am glad they get to use its awesome benefits. I don’t know how to work it into my schedule yet.

7. I have spent the entire work week working on future projects.

8. I get to work with Amena Brown for Easter.

9. Working ahead.

10. Pastor Marcia can read me like an open book.

11. She knows exactly what to say to me to help out during frustrating times.

12. Wise friends.

13. Gary and Judah brought me lunch.

14. They had lunch with me.

15. Gary worked on our Robot. It now has a head and ears.

16. We were able to clean out some more of our kidmin closets. We have been blessed with such great space.

17. Our brand new kidmin shirts are in, sorted, and ready for distribution on Sunday. The team is going to love the new shirt design.

18. Kidz Ministry is blessed with an awesome budget from the church. We don’t lack.

19. Jesus is > lack!

20. Judah ate a big dinner. I was so glad that I didn’t have to fix multiple mini meals to try to find food he would eat to fill his tummy.

21. We made a huge fire station out of Legos. Judah talked the entire time, explaining the whole process.

22. Charlie made me an awesome new banner which reads, “The Greatest Kids in the World Walk these Halls.” I truly believe that and it looks great in our kidmin hallways!

23. The greatest kids in the world go to Crossroads Kidz Ministry.

24. My buddy Sam made it through a pretty big surgery and is recovering well.

25. Jesus gives us peace.

26. I had some time this evening to work on my writing. It has been a very busy week and I have not been able to stay ahead with my personal writing time. I love moments when I am able to sit, think, and write.

27. Jesus never leaves me.

Selah~Day 253

Wednesday, January 29

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah was super helpful with his morning routine. He didn’t seem too disappointed to get out of his PJs and into his school clothes.

2. We are blessed with really warm coats in very chilly weather.

3. Laura helped me gather a lot of material from Antioch school. I am working on a big project and her information was super helpful.

4. I am so thankful for people who have gone before us and paved the way. You can learn so much from both their mistakes and successes.

5. Abby likes to get things right. She isn’t satisfied unless it is right. I like that about her.

6. Jameson and I had a great conference call with Amena Brown and her husband. They were so kind and flexible. I am excited to work with their great talent.

7. Flexible people.

8. Several teenagers are signed up for Youth Fine Arts. I am excited to see our youth actively involved in activities.

9. Lorry Gail agreed to help me write one of the Fine Arts dramas to help out Pastor Marc.

10. My mother-in-law picked up Judah for me from school. Thankfully, I was able to work a little longer without breaking up my day.

11. Judah got to play with his cousins and he loved it! Plus, it was warm enough for them to go outside and ride bikes for a bit.

12. A couple of my kidmo kids brought their home-made Robot to church tonight. They named him Gasket and wanted to show him off. It was super cute. I am so excited that the kids are so excited about this series.

13. Kids make church fun!

14. We honored our girls and Rainbows tonight at church.

15. Our kids were so proud to be honored. Big smiles shined across their faces.

16. Mr. Matt was to kind to come and fill in for Gary while he is at the Fire station. I am so thankful for his willingness to help out in one of our boy’s classes.

17. Mr. Jose did a great job leading our opening ceremony game on the fly…pro presenter crashed and we lost our videos for the opening ceremony. So, Mr. Jose jumped up and led our words with friends game like a champ! I am glad he is on my team.

18. Abby and I were able to pick up 4 girls and take them to church tonight for CYM Cram.

19. I had great conversation with these young ladies. It is always encouraging to find hope in the future generation. These ladies were classy, well-spoken, mannerly, and kind..and they were in the 9th grade!

20. CYM Cram night was a HUGE success. All the kids had a superb time.

21. Pastor Marc has great ideas and is a part of our team.

22. My 6th graders loved Cram night. I am so glad we are finally doing more to bridge the gap between youth and kidz ministries.

23. Many lives were changed at the altars tonight.

24. Crossroads Youth Ministry has a great team of youth sponsors who are invested in the lives of teens. I love to see their excitement and passion for leadership in that area.

25. Even though I had a pounding headache, I made it through a successful night of ministry and the drive home.

26. Jesus is > headaches.

27. I have a great chiropractic pillow that helps align my neck!