Selah~Day 310

Friday, March 28th

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and I both woke up excited that we didn’t have to go anywhere unless we wanted.

2. We declared it PJ day until noon.

3. We had lots of snuggle time in the recliner.

4. Judah loves to sit on my lap still.

5. I am so thankful for yummy, gluten-free products. I love my Kind bars. Now, I wish they could make the products more affordable.

6. My sister is in town to get her hair done and spend some time with me.

7. We had fun shopping a little together. I am excited to spend some one-on-one time with her.

8. Gary got out of his class early again. What a nice surprise.

9. We mailed off our taxes. I am so glad tax time is only once a year.

10. We have been adjusting our withholding each year, trying to get a perfect balance where we don’t owe anything and we don’t get anything back. I think we have almost found that balance. Thank God we don’t owe what we owed the year prior! Ha Ha Ha.

11. I am an American and better yet, I am an Oklahoman.

12. Gary, Haley, Abby, and I all went to the movie theater.

13. We enjoyed a fun night out with friends.

14. Madilyn watched Judah for us. She is a great girl who is a superstar babysitter. Judah loves having a night out with Madilyn.

15. I received some encouraging snail mail today. I love getting letters in the mail.

16. The written word.

17. My little friend, Peyton Stimson, is home safe and sound after a horrible fall that resulted in a bad broken arm.

18. Over 300 people from around the community have “Liked” our Jr. Academy page on Facebook.

19. Over 6,300 people have visited our Jr. Academy page on Facebook. I love the free publicity that social media provides.

20. Proverbs 3:26 states that God has a plan to keep us from the traps of life.

21. The place of the cross, although a dreadful, horrible place, represents life for me!

22.The place of the cross is a place where unbelievable suffering took place for Jesus, but it is a place of absolute freedom and victory for me!

23. Regardless of what we have faced, God has a plan!

24. God is our Father and we can approach Him as His children. I can crawl up on His lap and talk to Him.

25. God cares about me…all of me!

26. He is not a respecter of persons, yet He knows how to meet my needs and that may be different from the way He meets the needs of another.

27. God is in the DETAILS.


Selah~Day 309

Thursday, March 27

My 27 Thanks:

1. It’s windy, but it’s warm.
2. I wake up every morning knowing 3 most powerful truths: God loves me, Gary loves me, and Judah loves me.
4. Judah spent some time with me in my office. He needed me and I am so glad to have the flexibility to be his mommy even during working hours.
5. Abby did some more math manipulatives with Judah. He is so smart and I love watching him learn.
6. Laughter.
7. Modern day convenience.
8. Cleanliness.
9. Judah and I went out for lunch together. After Gary, Judah is my favorite date!
10. We took our lunch back to church and ate with Mrs. Debby and Mrs. JaQuisha. We enjoy each others company and share great conversation.
11. Judah took a long nap.
12. He woke up crying and incredibly upset for no reason. I am so glad that there were two mini cupcakes leftover with his name on them!
13. Judah just wanted me to hold him. There is a special bond between a mommy and her child. He just needed me to hold him and speak softly to him. The Word is so true, ” a soft answer always turns away wrath or brings calm to a storm.”
14. The April curriculum crate is complete! I am so excited to put our new teaching into action.
15. Both Mrs. Lori and Miss JaQuisha are vital parts of our preschool ministry. They voluntarily work so hard to make our department the best. I don’t know if they will be able to actually wear their crowns in heaven because the jewels will be so heavy!!!
16. Volunteers who serve the kingdom.
17. Even though I am the Kids Pastor, I am invited and included in the creative process for Big Church! I love being able to collaborate on projects with my fellow creatives.
18. Gary got out of his class early today. We thought he would be in class the whole time, but surprisingly, they let out a little early.
19. Gary ran by the grocery store and picked up a few items for our dinner at home!
20. My New tree, October Glory, is beautiful and already has a ton of buds on it!
21. I worked in the yard with Gary. It feels so good to have my hands and feet in the dirt.
22. Judah had a blast playing in The dirt.
23. I was swinging Judah high on his swing and said, “You are like a superhero.” Then, Judah had me stop the swing. He said, “Mommy, I have to go put on my superhero costume then!” I love my little boy!
24. Gary and I sat on our porch swing, held hands, and watched our son play.
25. I live the “Happily Ever After” life.
26. Sunrises and Sunsets.
27. God is a beautiful, creative God. He is the ultimate artist and He let me be a part of His most magnificent creation.

Selah~Day 308

Wednesday, March 26

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah was really exited that Mom-Mom was going to take him to school with his cousins, Ethan and Evan.
2. Mom-Mom took Judah to school, so I could get to work early for a conference call.
3. I can’t say enough how thankful I am for the in-laws I am blessed with. They are so special to me!
4. We had a very successful conference call with our Easter guest, Amena Brown.
5. She is an artist who is flexible, easy to work with, and loves Jesus.
6. Easter is planned.
7. We got rain.
8. My desk sits in front of a giant window. I totally have the corner office with a view. I love my office space.
9. Mrs. Debby fixed Giddy Up’s leg. Giddy Up is Judah’s special stuffed horse. He loves Giddy Up and was so happy to have the hole in his leg sewn up.
10. Mrs. Debby and Miss JaQuisha work so well together. They love teaming up and ministering to our kids!
11. I have peace that surpasses my understanding.
12. Mom-Mom also picked Judah up from school today. Her help gave me a few more hours of work time.
13. I made it to my brother’s chiropractic office in time for an adjustment. He really helped my neck and gave me some tips for how to help reduce the problems I am having.
14. Kids forgive easily. They have such sweet, soft hearts.
15. My kids were excited to recap what we learned on Sunday about forgiveness. I love to see how excited they get when they remember the Big Answer or Bottom Line.
16. Gary is finally off from working Wednesday shifts! It is so nice to have him back in Wednesday night ministry.
17. We have a lot of fun in KidMotion.
18. We had a well-staffed, peaceful night.
19. All Wednesday night services went well. People got saved and lives were changed.
20. We are doing a very different creative element on Sunday for the kickoff of Pastor Ted’s Jesus > _____ series.
21. Thinking outside the box and trying new things!
22. The people participating are excited and energized to be a part.
23. We have a very interesting mix of people involved!
24. Diversity.
25. A new friend of mine, Ms. Dana, is helping make the smiley face masks! She is saving me so much time.
26. Jesus > Your Happy Face. You are unmasked before Him.
27. Jesus loves me this I know!

Selah~Day 307

Tuesday, March 25

My 27 Thanks:

1. Oh the Blood of Jesus…I love that song. It brings so much power.
2. The blood of Jesus washes away my sin and makes me whole.
3. There is so much power in your blood.
4. Jesus is NO respecter of persons.
5. He came for everyone.
6. Pastor Tami did a fabulous job teaching 6 chapters in the book of Acts in 30 min.
7. We shared lots of laughter in staff meeting.
8. More kids enrolled in the Jr. Academy today!
9. I had a great conversation with Talena, our youth Pastor’s wife. I really like her. She has such a sweet, fun personality.
10. I brought my lunch from home again. Gary and I are doing so well eating up all the food at our house.
11. Clean, accessible water.
12. I get to work with people who I like.
13. I rarely have car trouble. I am so blessed with a good, reliable, paid off vehicle.
14. Financial blessings.
15. Grace.
16. Judah had such a fun day playing with Aaron and his friends.
17. Miss JaQuisha made them all sausage and waffles. She is awesome!
18. Gary got home much earlier than expected.
19. We grilled out hamburgers and they were so good. I love grilling season.
20. My brother blessed us with a whole bunch of amazing organic, grain fed beef!
21. I am having to plant a tree in my small front year per the neighborhood developer. Thankfully, we found the tree that I wanted and it is ready to plant.
22. I am getting an October Maple.
23. I got a big work project completed.
24. My friend Amy is home resting after surgery due to miscarriage.
25. Jesus > Miscarriage.
26. There is no one like my God.
27. Hope is Alive.

Selah~Day 306

Monday, March 24th

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah was so sad that we couldn’t find his fire fighter necklace for show and tell today at school. But, we settled on taking Giddy Up, our stuffed horse, instead. I am so glad he was excited about showing his friends, or possibly making a presentation in class.

2. Conversations with a 4-year-old. Judah makes me laugh. I love experiencing the world through his awe and wonder.

3. A sense of wonder.

4. Excitement over little things.

5. Starla is feeling better and made it back into the office today.

6. Lori came in today and worked on our new preschool curriculum. We are getting so close to our April launch and couldn’t be more excited.

7. I came across some awesome ideas for engaging environments for kids ministry. I am so thankful for awesome sites like Pinterest!

8. DIY projects that are well done, but don’t cost much.

9. Abby found a Montessori Outlet for awesome buys on school manipulatives. I am so excited to start purchasing items for the Jr. Academy.

10. Preschoolers are enrolling daily at the Academy.

11. I finally received some much-anticipated mail from A Beka. I am so excited to dive into their curriculum.

12. OKCFD trains their firefighters well. Gary is taking a two-week HazMat course. I am so glad that he at least knows how to handle hazardous materials if and when he gets exposed to them.

13. God protects His kids.

14. Mondays are always super productive days for me. I love Mondays. They help me get my week off to a great, productive start.

15. Mr. Bob, one of our dear friends and fellow kidmin leader, finally got a report and a plan of action back from his doctor. I am so glad he is getting answers to solve this medical mystery! He is headed in the right direction now!

16. Bob and Debbie Thomas have served alongside Gary and I for 7 years in Kids Ministry. They are solid and faithful. We appreciate their love and support. We love them so.

17. Sam, Starla, and Abby all agreed together today that I am bossy. Abby then restated that, “You aren’t really bossy, you just know what other people should be doing.” Well, I am so thankful that she cleared that up. Ha Ha Ha. I love my team!

18. Michelle Hopkins has been volunteering at the church front desk a few times a week. She is such a sweet spirit and really loves people. I am so thankful for her faithfulness to serve and to be a bright smile to those who enter our church doors.

19. Gary, Judah, and I played chase in the backyard and played on the fort. I love moments of play with my family and I love to feel like a kid again.

20. Gary and I changed our nightly routine. We played outside with Judah for quite a while after work. Then, we came right in and I cooked dinner while Gary gave Judah a bath. Because of this, we ate dinner late. But, Judah ate dinner! He ate it all too. So, I guess our child prefers to eat at 7:30 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m.

21. Judah was ready for bed and actually went to bed at 9:00 p.m.

22. I had time to work on today’s Thankful blog today! Usually, I have to do it the following morning. But, I am so thankful for the time tonight.

23. Judah is doing so well in writing his name. He has shown improvement every week. I am so proud of my sweet, brilliant little man.

24. I have been blessed with the role of raising Judah. I may not be raising Superman, but I am raising a boy who will become a super man! His potential is limitless.

25. Parents can speak promises and purpose over their children.

26. The grass is turning green once again….goodbye BROWN and hello GREEN!

27. I picked up lunch from McAlisters today. The girl who waited on my was really sweet and soft-spoken. After she had taken my to-go order a woman approached the counter and pushed her drink towards the cash register. She coldly asked, “Would you please fill up my cup with water?” The young, timid cashier took the cup and filled it up with water. As she was handing it back, the costumer replied in a degrading tone, “Did you put ice in my drink?” The cashier said, “Oh, no. Did you want ice.” Coldly, the lady responded, “Ummm….yes, I did!” As an outside perspective, I could feel the disgust and hateful attitude of the other customer. Her approach and tone were completely uncalled for. I could not believe the way in which she chose to handle herself and speak to another person. The rudeness of some people is truly heart-breaking. After the ordeal, I made a point to smile at the young girl and say, “I am sorry that you deal with that on probably a daily basis.” She said, “It’s okay. You are right, it’s all the time.”

I am so glad that I CHOOSE to be friendly. I CHOOSE to give people the benefit of the doubt. I CHOOSE to extend much grace because much grace has been extended to me. I CHOOSE to not make a big deal out of “ice in a cup” or a wrong order or a slow line . I CHOOSE to NOT be one of those costumers who is a nightmare for those working on the other side of the counter. I CHOOSE my attitude.

Selah~Day 305

Sunday, March 23rd

My 27 Thanks:

1. After a sleepless night, I woke up ready to get my busy day started.

2. I always have stuff to do. Boredom is a choice and I choose not to be bored.

3. Angela covered Starla’s position for me.

4. All staffing positions worked out.

5. Holly ran check in by herself and was amazing! I am so thankful for her willingness to serve and her faithful commitment to our team!

6. Our new KidMotion service design went much smoother than the week before. We got into more of a groove.

7. I serve with a team of leaders who always want to get better.

8. Dustin was able to help us out with some sound issues before our service started. I am so glad we did a mic check early, then all could be fixed before showtime.

9. I had a $10 off coupon at Johnny Carinos! I was able to feed my training wheels Sunday school team and Sunday night team a great lunch at a great price.

10. My right hand man, Gary, was at the fire station today. So, I was really thankful that Abby helped me out with my full schedule. She even kept Judah for a while during my training session.

11. Judah and Abby are friends. They seem to like each other well.

12. Mrs. Lori is 100% better. I am so glad to have her back and well. She is vital to our kidmin team.

13. My in-laws kept Judah for me during the second half of my day. I didn’t want him to be at the church for 12 straight hours, so it was a nice relief when I was able to take him to their house for a while.

14. We are putting together something special for Pastor Ted’s upcoming message, Jesus > Your Happy Face. I had 20 willing participants show up for the practice.

15. People excited about supporting the message through drama, dance, and acting.

16. Chemise Stancle is so fun to work with and be around. She makes me want to do a “Happy dance.”

17. New people are participating in creative elements of the service.

18. Pastor Tami is always encouraging of my creative work.

19. There are times when Kidz Ministry gets to be a part of the whole community of the church. For example, we don’t host kidmin services during a business meeting. I am so thankful for a church that supports kids in the main sanctuary. Kids of all ages! And, I appreciate understanding parents who realize that everyone should get to be a part of certain church events.

20. Business meeting went well. Every one seemed to be in good, light-hearted moods.

21. Spiritual covering.

22. We always provide a checks and balances to our church systems. Brandon and the Admin team did a great job with both the information and the aesthetics of the 2013 business plan review.

23. My dad made a quick, surprise visit tonight. I was so thankful to find out that he was coming into town and would stay out my house.

24. After tomorrow, all my grandma’s affairs will be settled.

25. My dad was so excited to talk to me about his worldwide crossfit ranking. Currently, he is ranked 23 in the WORLD in his age group! Wow…he is a hard-working, competitive, determined man!

26. I have a very healthy family!

27. Today is almost over and I can’t wait for tomorrow. I love life.

Selah~Day 304

Saturday, March 22

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and I had a great night’s rest!

2. Gary came home from the station and we got to visit for a bit before he headed back out.

3. He was able to help some of our friends move into their new home.

4. Our friends got a wonderful deal on a great house!

5. Gary loves to help other people.

6. Judah was so excited to spend the day with his cousins.

7. We got to watch Morgan and Abby so their mom and dad could go to Texas for a wedding.

8. Laura was able to borrow my jewelry to spice up her outfit. She loved it and I love to share.

9. Accessories!

10.  Judah, Morgan, and Abby immediately changed into Judah’s superhero costumes! They love playing super hero dress up!

11. I am so thankful that Judah has cousins who are his same age. It will be fun times growing up together.

12. Gary got a lot done in a quick amount of time and was able to spend the afternoon with us.

13. The kids had a blast at chick fil a indoor play area.

14. I met a very friendly mom in the play area. I love it when people are equally friendly to strangers.

15. Grocery shopping is done.

16. I live really close to Crest! I love the friendly, clean, family owned environment of that store.

17. I started reading Pat Schatzline’s new book, The Remnant. It is so good and so full of rich soul food.

18. Gary watched the kids and gave me some time in the evening to rest, clear my head and read and worship.

19. When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. Psalm 34:6

20. Kairos moment’s or God Moments take place in our lives. He interrupts our live with the supernatural.

21. We have a personal invitation to spend time with not just anyone, but with the ONE.

22. I am excited about the message in KidMotion tomorrow. When we don’t forgive, we miss out! I live a life of forgiveness and grace.

23. I have a desire to be the Remnant.

24. God knows me.

25. Psalm 139:16

26. God desires every aspect of me.

27. I may be weak, but His Spirit is strong in Me.

Selah~Day 303 “Don’t Blame the Resistance”…an excerpt from Steven Furtick’s blog

Friday, March 21

Steven Furtick, Lead Pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC and one of my favorite communicators, wrote an awesome article on the power of resistance. It really spoke to me and I wanted to share it here.

Although we’ve got to be aware of Satan’s schemes (2 Cor. 2:11), some Christians are obsessed with them to the point where it’s counterproductive. They blame everything on the devil and give him far too much credit and power. Don’t ever become so focused on the enemy that’s against you that you forget about the God who’s for you.

Still, our enemy is smart. And there’s one strategy I’ve seen him use in the lives of countless Christians to hold them back from God’s purposes for them and dislocate their potential:

Not only does he offer resistance, he convinces you that the resistance itself is a sign that you’re not in God’s will.

Your job is tough and demanding. It’s a challenge for your faith. So it must mean you’re not supposed to be there. It must be time to quit.

Marriage has to be easier than this. You must have married the wrong person. So divorce is now acceptable.
You planted a church and it’s not growing like you thought it would. You must have misheard God. Time to go to plan B.

I think we need to alter our framework. Resistance isn’t a sign that you’re out of God’s will. It might actually be a sign that you’ve never been more in it. That the devil is fighting you so hard because you’re so close to what God wants.

Don’t use The Resistance as an excuse to quit. Use it as motivation to push through.

It’s not: “I’m facing a lot of resistance. I guess it isn’t meant to be. I quit.”
But: “I’m facing a lot of resistance. I guess this is really meant to be. I can’t quit”

Now I’m not saying that just because something is hard that it means it’s the will of God. Sometimes it’s absolutely wise to abandon something because it’s just not worth the effort.

Nevertheless, I think we wrongly assume that if God is in something, it has to be easy. That God’s will and plan for you is marked by the path of least resistance. Tell that to Joseph, Moses, David, Nehemiah, Paul, and Jesus.

If you’re encountering resistance right now, don’t back down or sell out. And don’t blame the Resistance for resisting you. Acknowledge it for what it is. Take it as a sign that you’re heading in the right direction because the devil is running at you and not in the same direction as you.

And then push through to what God has for you.

My 27 Thanks:

1. Unfortunately, Judah woke up not feeling well and we had to cancel our Zoo plans. But, we ended up having a wonderful time relaxing at home.

2. We spent the entire day at home.

3. We got to enjoy tons of couch time and snuggling.

4. My home is a relaxing, comfortable place.

5. My brother, Kyle,  bought a cow. We got to go in on some of the meat. It is an organic, grain fed cow. I cooked some of the meat and it was super lean and very tasty. I am so thankful that we got to be a part of this blessing. I love eating clean.

6. My other brother, Jake, drove to the City today to pick up his meat. We enjoyed a nice visit. I miss my family, so every opportunity to see them is a blessing.

7. Jake is a great dad and husband. I am so proud of him.

8. Even though my family is scattered in Oklahoma, we all live in the same state and can drive within a few hours to see one another.

9. I got to spend some time outside working in my flower beds.

10. My yard is landscaped. It is one of my favorite things to do.

11. Both Gary and I have a “green thumb.” We love to work in the yard. I find it to be very relaxing.

12. I was blessed with my grandma’s garage refrigerator. I am so glad I have it because my freezer is so tiny and I wouldn’t have been able to get the beef in it.

13. Once Judah started feeling better, we got to play with bubbles and balls outside.

14. My neighborhood is so quiet.

15. I have great neighbors. We all help each other with different small tasks. Every Friday, we have an unspoken competition to see who can out up each other’s trash cans first. I lost today.

16. I love living on a cul-de-sac. Judah and I love the extra concrete space.

17. Judah and I watched Frozen together. The songs are so catchy, even Judah was singing them.

18. Love can melt the coldest heart.

19. Love wins. Love always wins. Love, Love, Love.

20. Resistance is a motivator. It is not a sign that you should quit.

21. When things, events, circumstances, resistance, comes against you, it doesn’t mean that you are out of the will of God. Instead, it could mean that you are in the very center of His will and the devil is working overtime to make you quit.

22. Persistance.

23. The devil may be against me, BUT my God is for me.

24. If God is for me, than it doesn’t really matter who is against me.

25. I enjoyed a very relaxing day after a MOST BUSY week.

26. I got to share the vision of Crossroads Jr. Academy with more families today. They were really excited about the school. One by one, we are signing up kids to be the beginning class of an awesome preschool!

27. My heart is hopeful.

Selah~Day 302

Thursday, March 20

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and Gary had a grand morning laughing and playing together.
2. Judah’s laughter.
3. Gary and I shared some quiet devotional time before Judah woke up.
4. Dreams.
5. Everything great begins as a dream.
6. Life lessons from Thomas Edison. Every time I hear about Edison’s journey to invent the light bulb, I am inspired.
7. Edison failed thousands of times, but he learned from every failure and DID NOT quit. Because of his passionate pursuit, he basks in the glory of one of my favorite inventions!
8. Gary helped me run errands for our day at the mission.
9. Pastor Ted gave me a trophy in honor of my 7 years as a Crossroads staff member.
10. We had an awesome day with our kids at City Rescue Mission.
11. They loved the story of Esther!
12. Ice Cream and Bubbles were an excellent favorite for the kids too.
13. My Kidmin team had a blast too.
14. The kids asked us when we would be coming back to see them. We all had a great time together.
15. A Director at the mission told us we were the best group she had ever seen work with the kids.
16. I got to work with a really great videographer.
17. The weather was beautiful and we got to play outside with the kids.
18. Tag, chase, and bubbles are games that never grow old.
19. Disney is awesome, but it will never hold a candle to relationships and quality time and investment into the lives of others.
20. Partnerships.
21. Hope is on the rise in OKC.
22. Life change.
23.Gary’s friend and fellow firefighter, Edmund, came over for a visit.
24. I don’t get easily offended.
25. I chose to be a peacemaker.

26. Sweet dreams.

27. Abraham and Sarah, from the Bible, are great examples of holding fast to your dreams. Through big challenges, family problems, rough circumstances, Abraham and Sarah could have used many excuses to wave the white flag of surrender and give in to defeat and discouragement. But, they didn’t! They held fast to the dream that God has placed in their hearts!

Selah~Day 300

Tuesday, March 18

My 27 Thanks:

1. The Peace of God surpasses our understanding.

2. It’s windy, but it’s warm.

3. We are reading the book of Acts as a team. I am really enjoying reading these chapters and discussing them.

4. Terry Williams taught in staff chapel today.

5. Terry was nervous, but he did it and he did well.

6. The Spirit of Determination–Do it Afraid!

7. Courage.

8. I had an amazing team of kidmin leaders join me for our City Rescue Mission outreach.

9. We had time to spare after we unloaded and setup. Everything worked out perfectly.

10. My husband is a phenomenal help…always.

11. Judah was happy to stay in staff childcare. We were going to take him with us, but I am glad we didn’t. It made our roles much easier and more effective at the mission.

12. The OKC Thunder remodeled the City Rescue Mission gym and it is beautiful. I am so glad they have such a nice place.

13. The Mission of the City Rescue Mission is beautiful and effective. They are doing great things for OKC. Hope is on the rise in our great City.

14. The kids loved Gary. He had a group of about 10 follow him around the entire time we were there.

15. It was nice to have some time away from my desk doing ministry.

16. Janelle handled Jr. Academy enrollment for me while I was away.

17. For Day One of the mission, we taught about the super ower of Confidence and that we can Always Count on God! We can! We can always count on Him.

18. The story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den is a powerful and effective story for kids. Daniel showed so much confidence when thrown into that pit. I bet he didn’t wonder for a second if God would show up on his behalf. Wow, I want to be that confident too.

19. The kids loved acting out the story of Daniel and putting together the super hero masks.

20. I had a really nauseous stomach when I went to work, but I was determined to get through the day. When I arrived at the mission, my tummy ache was gone!

21. Pastor Marc is an awesome team player. He is always looking for ways to help take some of the load off of a fellow teammate.

22. Gary grilled food for dinner and we enjoyed a very relaxing evening at home.

23. My son has both a mom and a dad in the same home together.

24. We are happy together too. And, we really enjoy being together.

25. I have a home.

26. I have never wondered where my next meal would come from or where I would lay my head to sleep at night.

27. Today marks day 300 of my journey!