Follow the Herd!

Well, school athletics have begun….

In the past week we have gone to:

  • Meet the Buffs on Monday night

  • JV Volleyball (3 games) on Tuesday night

  • Jr. High Volleyball (10 games total) on Thursday night

  • Pep Rally today

  • Fundraiser dinner at the school before the Football game

  • Football game tonight

  • 5th quarter tonight after the Football game

We have just begun!!! πŸ™‚

Here’s to the Giddings Buffaloes!!

A Prayer for You

This is a beautiful prayer I found on someone else’s blog. It’s perfect, not only for teachers but for anyone who works with students, children, youth, etc.

It was certainly a blessing when I read it (working with children and youth)

Lord, let me be just what they need.

If they need someone to trust, let me be trustworthy.

If they need sympathy, let me sympathize.

If they need love, (and they do need love), let me love, in full measure.

Let me not anger easily, Lord but let me be just.

Permit my justice to be tempered in your mercy.

When I stand before them, Lord, let me look strong and good and honest and loving.

And let me be as strong and good and honest and loving as I look to them.

Help me to counsel the anxious, crack the covering of the shy, temper the
rambunctious with a gentle attitude.

Permit me to teach only the truth.

Help me to inspire them so that learning will not cease at the classroom door.

Let the lessons they learn make their lives fruitful and happy.

And, Lord, let me bring them to You.

Teach them through me to love You.

Finally, permit me to learn the lessons they teach.

School starts tomorrow for our school district. I have put my name on the “sub list” for the elementary, intermediate, and middle school campuses. Substitute teaching at RLISD was not a good experience (7 years ago) but I am hoping that this year will be different. I think (and hope) that it will be better because I am older, not a newlywed anymore, and I think the administration at Giddings is SO MUCH BETTER than at RL.

I probably won’t start subbing anytime soon (not too many teachers miss the first couple of weeks) but it will come sooner than later….

Youth Back to School Party

Tonight we had our back to school party for the youth….I really enjoyed it, and I think everyone had a good time!

Thank you, Warren and Amy, for hosting it….

Jaycie and Victoria

Victoria, Jaycie, Macie, and Madi

Warren and Paul

Dominick, Victoria, Jaycie, and Jasmine





Henlee and me




Dallas, Zane, Walker, and Holden were there, too, but I didn’t get any pictures of them…..

We are now lifting up the new 7th graders in our prayers, as they join us “officially” tomorrow in the youth group!










Mark Your Calendars!!

There are A LOT of things happening at the church over the next two weeks!! πŸ™‚ Please….mark your calendars!

1st: Youth Back to School Swim Party

2nd: Promotion Sunday

We’ll be getting a few new 7th graders in our Youth Group…..I pray for them daily. I pray they will feel loved, accepted, and safe.

3rd: 1230

On Wednesday nights, starting August 29th, Paul will be starting a small group bible study (called 1230) for the youth that want to attend. It will be a more “intense” focused bible study, for those who are ready and willing to make that next step in their walk with the Lord.

4th: 5th Quarters

The first football game is Friday, August 31st. FBC will be hosting the first 5th quarter. Paul is hoping to partner up with 2-3 other churches around the community, praying that they will also help host 5th quarters as well. There are 5 home games this season. As far back as anyone can remember, FBC has always hosted the 5th quarters (which is fine). But, wouldn’t it be great to get the church community involved–break down some of those “denomination walls” and just come together to love and support our kids….

5th: Sunday Night RESONATE

Starting Sunday, September 2nd, Our Wednesday night bible study “RESONATE” will be moving to Sunday nights from 6-7:30…’s a time for the youth to come together to play games, worship, hang out, and have bible study. It’s a much more relaxed atmosphere for our youth and any visitors that want to come!

5th: Children’s Sermon

Starting Sunday, September 9th, we will be having a Children’s Sermon during each Sunday morning service, for ages 3 and up! We will also have “Children’s Bags” available during the church service for the “older kids”–it will be filled with children’s books, coloring books, activity pages, and crayons….

6th: Extended Session

We will be starting Extended Session up again, starting September 12th.

8th: PB&J Kids

Our Wednesday night Children’s Activities is going to be called PB&J Kids (isn’t that cute–I can’t take credit, though)….

So, as you can see, the next two weeks will be filled to the max with some wonderful opportunities for our church family to get involved!! πŸ™‚

Please keep Paul, me, and FBC in your prayers….all of these events that are happening directly affect us because we are leading out in Youth activities, as well as Children’s…..




Birthday Weekend

On Thursday morning Paul asked me what we were doing this weekend.

Nothing, I replied.

In response to me saying “nothing” he planned a very busy 24 hours!

We left around 2:45 on Friday afternoon and drove to Lampasas. The Giddings football team had scrimmages Friday there, so we went to watch.

Paul supporting the Buffs!

Paul has a Giddings shirt, but I don’t have one….yet! I have to remedy that soon (football starts on August 31st)….

Doesn’t everyone have a sno-cone at a football scrimmage!?

We don’t know a lot of the boys who play football, but we do know two of the boys (pretty well) b/c they are members of our church. Their dad, Chris, is the Athletic Director. The Jones family is very sweet, and we look forward to getting to know them more, as football season starts!

Tyler (he’s a junior at GHS)

Kyle warming up (he’s a ninth grader)

Kyle (he’s the quarterback on the Freshman team)

Tyler playing quarterback

I love this picture of Chris and Kyle walking together—I’m sure Chris is giving Kyle wonderful advice!

After the game was called b/c of a CRAZY lightning show and storm (with torrential downpour), we drove to Hamilton to see Paul’s parents. I haven’t been to his mom’s house in 3 years (since before we moved to Illinois), so it was nice to see the house again.

We stayed up way too late, as they reminisced about old football times (Mike, Paul’s dad, was a H.S. football coach). Then, this morning, we drove over to Stephenville and ate at Jake and Dorothy’s.

Paul talks about Jake and Dorothy as if they are relatives. (I think he wishes they really were)….

Jake and Dorothy’s…..

They are famous for their Chicken Fried Steak and Waffle Fries… was pretty good, I do have to admit (I’ve been a couple of times before)….

After going back to Hamilton we took our obligatory Saturday afternoon nap at his mom’s house and then headed to Georgetown. I have to say that I am glad we do not live in Georgetown–we would be BROKE!! They have a great shopping area that has tons of store. This is tax*-free week*end in Texas, so we braved the stores. Because we didn’t get there until 5:00, the crowds were not bad AT ALL!

We went to Old Navy and Target….After shopping we went to eat at Chick-Fil-A!

We got home around 8:15 tonight–it was a wonderful little trip to continue my birthday celebration!

And….today is August 18th. Exactly 7 years ago today, Paul and I met for the first time!! πŸ™‚ I love you, Paul.

Our “Garden” Culture

I’ll admit; I don’t know much about gardening. I love to reap the benefits of home grown vegetables, but I’ve never actually grown my own. My mom has had a garden for a few years now, and she enjoys it. But, it is hard work….

When we lived in Illinois our neighbor, Shannon, had a garden, and again, she worked a lot of hard, long hours in that garden. Often I would drive by her house and wave to her as she was using the hoe to tear out the weeds that were consuming her garden. Shannon knew how important it was to rid the garden of those things that sucked life out of her plants, both that were above and below the ground.

Our friend, Bob, e-mailed me the other day about something, and it really got me thinking….

In Galatians 6, Paul is speaking to the church of Galatia.

In verses 7-10Β  Paul says, “A man reaps what he sows.Β Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Shannon could’ve easily given up gardening after the first two or three weeks, frustrated with the bugs, the weeds, the deer, and the coyotes that came in, trying to destroy her produce. She could’ve gone back to enjoying her quiet time (while her kids were napping) inside, but instead, she saw what the benefits were and what the garden would produce, if she stuck with it and didn’t give up.

I especially like verses 9 and 10.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

It has been somewhat of a discouraging (tiring, really) couple of weeks for us. Paul is tired. I am tired. Summer makes you tired. Even though the kids don’t admit it, I can tell you that our kids (in the youth group) are getting irritable and really ARE looking forward to school starting. They may not like it, but I think they thrive on schedules. Order and structure are better for our lives in the long run.

But, more importantly than order and structure is the idea of learning to and loving others.

And it’s hard to love ALL the time….it’s hard to encourage ALL the time…’s hard to support ALL the time……it’s hard to reach ALL the time….it’s hard to work ALL the time……it’s hard to sow ALL the time……and yet….

We do not give up.

We do not grow weary.

We may never see what we sow, but we are trusting God for that part of our ministry.

Words from our friend, Bob.

“Unfortunately, Paul (and myself) are reaping a ‘culture’ that he did not sow.”

The culture (and society) that our kids have grown up in is so different from when we were teenagers. When I speak those words it makes me sound so “old” and unconventional, but it’s so true. I would not want to be a teenager now….I couldn’t handle it. It’s frustrating and heartbreaking to me to watch them, and I’m not even living it….

Our kids live in a lonely world.

Even though our kids say “Oh yeah, I’ve got lots of friends…”, they don’t. They may think they have friends (500+ friends on FB), but they live in the loneliest world.

  • They crave real attention.
  • They crave real friendships.
  • They crave attention (both positive and negative).
  • They have been allowed to “act out” to get what they want.
  • They have been taught in this world of “entitlement” and instant gratification that they can have anything they want, without working for it.
  • They live in a world of brokenness.

(And, I’m talking about ALL kids, not just our kids here in Giddings).

The kids have obviously been allowed to behave like this for some time, so they are part of a cycle that continues over and over.

“It takes time to reverse/change a culture….”

(Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?)

But, we are hopeful (and praying) that if we can reach one or two of the “leaders” in our group, perhaps, over time, progress can be made.

I have tried to instill in our kids (over the last couple of weeks) through just casual conversation the mantra: “Represent HIM Well.”

What I mean is this: Just be a good representative of Jesus Christ. If you are a believer and have Jesus in your heart, then represent Him well. Be proud of who you are and allow people to see Jesus in you.

(If someone new comes to our youth group or when the new 7th graders promote “up” at the end of this month, allow them to feel welcome and safe in the environment that you are creating for them. Let them feel comfortable and blessed by being there).

And, of course, that goes for myself as well. I can get tired. I can get frustrated. I can allow Satan to get the upper hand….but

verses 9 and 10 again:

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

My Birthday Day!

Today is my 32nd birthday…..

I had a good day celebrating with family and friends…..

It’s a beautiful thing being so close to family now. My mom drove down from Waco to spend the “day” with me. She joined my friends and me for lunch at Los Patrones.

Mom and me

After lunch we went and got pedicures. A little girl from our church told me I should get “bright orange” on my toes, so….that’s what I did!

After mom left I took a “birthday nap” and then got ready to go out to eat. Paul told me we were going to K-Bob’*s in Brenham. He told me I had to be ready by 6:30. So, at 6:30 I’m ready to go. At about 6:40 I told him it was past 6:30, and we needed to go. He told me….”a few more minutes.” Well, 7:00 rolled around, and we STILL weren’t going….he was just playing computer games, so I couldn’t figure out why he just wouldn’t stop playing…

At 7:10 someone banged on our door (at the apartment)….no one was there. Then Paul said, “OK, we can go!” (Very strange…..)

We got in the car and I heard this “giggle” coming from the back….Paul denied that I heard anything and just turned the music up. I heard it again and then Victoria “popped up” from the backseat! Followed by Jaycie! So, our birthday “date” was with two 15 year olds!! πŸ™‚

The girls certainly made our dinner a lot LOUDER and definitely made us LAUGH!!

Paul and I at dinner

Most of the following pictures are fuzzy because either: 1.) the camera was on the wrong setting or 2.) Victoria was laughing so hard while taking a ZILLION pictures that she kept shaking the camera and everything was out of focus!

Victoria, me, and Jaycie

I love this pictures except for the glare on my glasses….

Paul and I enjoying my free dessert

The peach cobbler at K-Bob*’s is WONDERFUL!! πŸ™‚

notice anything on the ticket…..

Apparently Paul now signs his name with a heart and XOXO! πŸ™‚ (The girls actually signed the ticket for him)!

Victoria eating ice cream from Scoop’s

Paul and I eating at Scoop’s

after our night out with the girls

I was very blessed by birthday gifts and birthday phone calls!

Here’s to another year……






Youth Trip to Six Flags

Yesterday we took 13 kids to Six Flags/Fiesta Texas. It was our last Youth “Wtrip” before school starts next week! It was a very long day but I think the kids really had a great time! πŸ™‚ It was a perfect day to go….we didn’t have to wait more than 20 minutes in a line and by 3:00 in the afternoon we didn’t have to wait at all! πŸ™‚

in the bus on the way to Fiesta Texas*

We finally have the church bus back. It’s been in the shop since the last week of June. Paul has tried to take his CDL driving test 2 different times, and each time, the bus has been broken. So, he’s on the list to take it this Thursday!Β So, because he doesn’t have his license yet, Coach Buck had to go as our bus driver. He’s been a wonderful friend to us and really has helped a lot with transportation over the past couple of months! πŸ™‚

Dallas took my camera and captured a “self-portrait”

Bailey (and Audrey)….

waiting in line to ride RoadRunner Express (Bailey, Audrey, Jaycie, Dominic and Jasmine)


Dominic, me, and Jasmine (proof I was there that day)!!


This was probably my favorite roller-coaster. I rode the roller coasters for about 6 hours straight (with a little bit of time at the water park).

Morgan eating lunch at the park

The Looney Tunes show

After going on The Goliath (which was HORRIBLE) we rested inside the Food Court. Jasmine, Dominic and I were easily entertained by the Looney Tunes show! πŸ™‚

Dominic and Jasmine

They are both cheerleaders/tumbling, so they have the “cheerleader” SMILES!! πŸ™‚

Dominic and Jasmine on the log ride

Between 5:05-5:45 Dominic, Jasmine, and I rode the log ride 4 times in a row! πŸ™‚ (and we had already ridden it earlier that day)!

Emergency STOP button

Yep, I accidentally leaned back against this button!! STOPPED THE RIDE!!!! (Luckily they hadn’t really started yet…..)

me waiting in line for the log ride

getting ready to leave the park

Paul in the bus, on the ride home

Eating at Taco Bell/KFC/Pizza Hut (Bailey and Audrey)

The older boys

Jaycie, Walker, and Jasmine in the game room at the restaurant

The kids had just as much fun in the game room as they did at Six Flags, I think!

Wesley and Jaycie


Audrey and Bailey on the bus on the way home

Wesley on the way home

the back of the bus (they were a little loud on the way home)–hyped up from 8 hours at the park!

2 important lessons I learned yesterday:

1.) I am getting TOO OLD for 6 hours of roller coasters! My stomach hurt so bad after the 5 and 6th one…

2.) I saw WAY TOO MUCH SKIN at the water park yesterday. I’m just going to be honest: there are certain people in this world who should NOT wear two-piece swimsuits!! Yikes!!! People have no concept of modesty….

We got home around 9:45 last night and I was up at 8:30, cleaning house!








Yo*u Are Wo*rthy

For most of my teenage life (even into college) I struggled a lot with my worth. What was I worth? Where did my value come from?

Sure, I was a Christ-follower: going to church, going to bible studies, teaching Pre-School choir, and even working at the church, and yet, I tried to find value and worth in everything BUT where my true worth lied.

(And, if I’m honest, I still struggle with it sometimes today, just in a different form).

I’m not exactly sure what the teenagers in our town struggle with (beyond the obvious), but I do know that I would not want to be a teenager now–18 years later. I started H.S. exactly 18 years ago this month. I thought life was hard back then (and it was) but to be a teenager now is just unfathomable and heartbreaking.

They are being brought up in a society and a culture that does not value anyone.

They don’t value themselves.

They don’t value each other.

They don’t value family.

They live for the moment.

They live for themselves.

They live for instant gratification.

They live for temporary happiness and not eternal joy.

Sometimes it’s heartbreaking. We don’t know how to reach them. We don’t know how to love them. We don’t know how to open their hearts to find THE truth.

And yet, here we are. God has placed us in this place, in this moment for this time. And so we praise Him.

So….tonight I was just thinking:

If I could tell them anything, I would say…

My worth does not need to come from what others think of me. It is in what God thinks of me. . . and do I understand what He thinks of me? Do I know my worth to Him? If I do, I will not reach and pull and pursue trying to find my sense of worth in other things or people.

My worth is found in Christ alone.

Maybe you’ve faced negative people, judgmental people, maybe people who isolated you, or rejected you.

Maybe you believed your worth came in what you could do, be, looked like, acted like, or didn’t do. Because that’s when others gave you affirmation. Possibly you thought you couldn’t be loved by God because of your failures, your past, or what someone did to you.

Maybe there were people in your life who claimed to love God but showed you anything but true love. So you thought God’s love was like theirs. We can rest assure that God’s love is not like that. It’s not tainted by idolatry, manipulation or based on what we do for Him.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christβ€” by grace you have been saved. . .” Eph. 2:4-5

My soul rejoices because MY God loves me and died for me.

My soul rejoices because MY God is very much in charge of the relationships in my life.

My soul rejoices because MY God brings me into HIS presence and HE is all I need.

That’s what I would say….


There is a new “thing” going around on Facebook that is….tbh (it’s for students/kids/teenagers)–you write tbh on someone’s wall and then you write something “honest” that you think about them….

or supposedly it’s “honest”–I really doubt it, though.

For example, you can write:

–I think you’re the best __________ (cheerleader), you have the best _________ (smile)….whatever you want to write.

But, I do think it’s funny, though, because surely these same people who write “honest” stuff about you on your wall are the very people who probably talk bad about you behind your back. So, if you really were honest, you’d probably say something like…

You drive me crazy when you __________ (are late to everything), I hate it when you ___________ (make jokes when I’m trying to talk to you)….

So, here’s my TBH:

1.) To Be Honest….it drives me crazy when people are late for church. If church starts at 6:30, why do you think it’s OK to show up at 7:00?

2.) To Be Honest….it drives me crazy and makes me frustrated when people go out of town every weekend. Don’t you ever get tired of traveling? Why can’t you stay home and bring your kids to church instead?

3.) To Be Honest…I laugh and roll my eyes almost everyday because our upstairs neighbor does not have a bed. He sleeps in his recliner in his living room and SNORES very loudly….

4.) To Be Honest…I’m super frustrated with myself because I’ve gained a couple of pounds. Diet Dr. Pepper, ice cream, and chocolate are my nemesis.

5.)Β  To Be Honest…I get super frustrated when people can’t commit to stuff. You may have to make sacrifices in your schedule, but where are your priorities? Really?

6.) To Be Honest…I don’t understand why teenage girls like to hang out in the bathroom together. It just doesn’t make sense to me. (And why they think they have to shave or take a shower at my house–RIGHT THEN)

7.) To Be Honest….I’m super excited b/c I asked for an HEB gift card and/or $$ for my birthday. Isn’t that sad?! (But, honestly, I am very excited about it)!! The way to my heart is through grocery shopping! πŸ™‚

8.) To Be Honest….Being a minister’s wife is HARD WORK! Especially when you have a strong opinion, like I do.

9.) To Be Honest….It drives me crazy when kids/teenagers do not listen and obey the 1st time….how hard is it?!! If I ask you to stop doing something, STOP DOING IT!

10.) To Be Honest….I wish, just once, I could get past the “fake smile” and “Doing fine” conversations I have at church…..they are so artificial and scripted….they drive me crazy!! (And yet, I’m guilty, just as much as the next person)….

11.) To Be Honest….I’m excited about the new Children’s activities we have planned for the fall. I just hope people are willing to step up and help!! πŸ™‚ (See #5)

12.) To Be Honest…Keeping my mouth shut and biting my tongue (when my opinion is NOT wanted) is very hard (especially when I want to express my opinion)….

So, the next time you see “TBH” on FB, just remember….they’re probably not being completely “honest”–their “honesty” list is probably something a little different in their head.