Our New “House”

“If you don’t want to move around, don’t ever marry into the military or the ministry!”

(That’s what I always say)!!

Because it has been 18 months since we moved to Giddings, we thought….what the heck, let’s move!! So, despite everything we have going on this summer, we threw moving into “the mix.”

On June 28th my friend, Gina, put a “status update” on FB that said she and her husband had a duplex that was going to be available soon…..Even though we weren’t really looking for another place to live, it never hurts to ask.

Well, it turns out, it was BIGGER and CHEAPER than our apartment! So, what did we do?  We decided to move. So, on July 1st, when I sent in our rent payment (for the apartment) for July, I also wrote a 30-day notice letter–stating we would be out by July 31st. But, because we are going to Pre-Teen Camp this week, we moved on July 26th!

So, here we are. In a new place–and it’s great!! !:)

Before I show you pictures, let’s do a little “background.”

We’ve moved 7 times in the 7 years we’ve been married (living in 8 different places)! 🙂

3 houses
2 duplexes
2 apartments
1 trailer

Anyway, here’s our new duplex!

We got keys!! :) Thursday morning

We got keys!! 🙂
Thursday morning

Unpacking

Unpacking

Lillie helped us ALL DAY on Thursday!

Lillie helped us ALL DAY on Thursday!

We have a drawer in our kitchen! (It's the little things in life that are so enjoyable)!

We have a drawer in our kitchen! (It’s the little things in life that are so enjoyable)!

We have a HUGE closet!!

We have a HUGE closet!!

Sonic break time!

Sonic break time!

Dana came over on Thursday night to eat with us!

Dana came over on Thursday night to eat with us!

Lillie and me Our 1st dinner in the new place--Pizza Hut!

Lillie and me
Our 1st dinner in the new place–Pizza Hut!

Friday morning at 6AM Paul started moving stuff!!

Friday morning at 6AM Paul started moving stuff!!

Lillie, Dana, and Melissa all helped us move

Lillie, Dana, and Melissa all helped us move

Dana helping us move in

Dana helping us move in

Lillie laying on our couch in the duplex

Lillie laying on our couch in the duplex

Lillie playing on Paul's Ipad

Lillie playing on Paul’s Ipad

Dad "helping" us unpack

Dad “helping” us unpack

How many guys does it take to install a washer/dryer

How many guys does it take to install a washer/dryer

perfecting the art of "put it at the bottom of the stairs and take it up when you go"

perfecting the art of “put it at the bottom of the stairs and take it up when you go”

our living room

our living room

our "Harry Potter" closet

our “Harry Potter” closet

Kitchen

Kitchen

other side of the kitchen

other side of the kitchen

And, in case you are wondering–we don’t live here anymore! (I accidentally drove there–into the parking lot–after leaving Wal-Mart on Saturday)!!

CAM00649There are no pictures of upstairs because it’s still a “work in progress”–we haven’t put all of our clothes, shoes, etc. up so the floor is still “messy”

We do love it!! It has a backyard and a garage!! 🙂 So much storage, it’s unbelievable!!

I really enjoy it–and I think we’ll like it!

 

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Deuteronomy 5:32

This morning I taught 1st-3rd grade Sunday School. I’ve subbed in this class several times before, but this morning I decided to do something a little different. After doing our “bible study lesson” and talking about the “rich, young ruler” we concentrated on memorizing Deuteronomy 5:32. I had 3 different “stations” for them to rotate through (during last 30-40 minutes).

Just thought I’d write it down, so other people could see it.

Station #1:

Word Search with Hidden Message

CAM00676CAM00683Station #2:

Cup Tower, Bible Verse strips, and D-E-U-T-E-R-O-N-O-M-Y cards

Zoe working on the Cup Tower

Zoe working on the Cup Tower

finished product by Perryn and Celine

finished product by Perryn and Celine

(Although it is upside down, it worked)!!

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Andres working on spelling out D-E-U-T-E-R-O-N-O-M-Y

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Aislyn working on her spelling skills

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Mason working on Bible Verse strips

Station #3:

Building the Memory Verse with Legos

Perryn, Celine, and Holden sorting their Legos

Perryn, Celine, and Holden sorting their Legos

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Teagen and his “Deuteronomy 5:32” tower

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Celine

Aislyn "building" the memory verse

Aislyn “building” the memory verse

This was probably my favorite activity, but the kids got frustrated b/c they couldn’t “find” the Lego they were looking for….but, of course, that has to do with being 7-9 years old and not “trying” 😉

I wrote the entire verse (1-2 words per Lego), mixed them up in a big pile, and then they had to “stack” them in order to make the Bible Verse.

I had 4 sets of the Bible Verse, so each kid had their own set to work on: single Lego, double Lego, square Legos, and the 3 and 4 Lego were all different sets!

Even though we ran out of time, what you can do is “take away” a Lego and they have to tell you what word they are missing in their Lego tower!

(You can reuse the Legos and put 4 different memory verses on them–because there are 4 sides of the Lego–, but it would probably get a little confusing if you had little ones)!

And, I didn’t really RUIN the Legos, other than writing on them, so you can easily still play with them!

You can also do it with Books of the Bible or really anything that you want to learn that has an “order”

 

The Island of Misfits

I don’t want to be normal. I don’t want to minister to those who are normal. I don’t want to be a part of a robotic community that comes to church, expecting to be “fed” for the week and then leave, only to return 7 days later to get re-fueled.

This past Sunday, as I was holding a 6 year old in my lap for the entire service, my thoughts wandered. With part of my mind listening to the sermon and another part trying to help Heath copy a Bible verse, I began to wonder:

  • Why do we go to church?
  • What’s the benefit to us being there each week?
  • Should we go to church to GET something or to GIVE something?
  • Should we leave different than when we arrived?
  • Why do we do what we do every week?

I’ve blogged before about church, ministry, success…….

But, again, I go back to:

If Jesus was a…pastor in today’s church, He would probably be fired because He spent three years discipling twelve people, one of which fell away from the faith. Jesus was truly the talk of the town…..but He wanted no recognition. He knew that the twelve (really, the eleven) would one day be the foundation of a force that swept the world….

“Jesus was different. Wherever He went, He looked for people who needed His ministry. Just think of Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the lepers, the children, and His disciples. Jesus didn’t ask them to minister to Him, bless Him, build Him up, encourage Him, or pray for Him. He had come to minister to others, even if others never ministered to Him…..” Gisele Yohannan, Consider Your Call.

You need to go into church with a JFK attitude….”It’s not what your church can do for you, but what you can do for your church.”

It’s true that many of us attend church out of tradition or a sense of obligation. However, anything worth practicing — and anything valued enough to perform repetitively — is worth understanding. Which leads me to a question that may seem unnecessary on the surface but that is packed with meaning for the living of our faith: Why do we attend church?

For many, the question is unnecessary — the Bible commands we go to church, so we do it. Hebrews 10:25 tells us, “….not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” –which means we should often join together and give ourselves the opportunity to join with other Christian men and women. Some Christians agree with that (that “church” is necessary for your own Christian walk) and some do not. But, I think we can agree that many people attend church because it is a part of their family upbringing or because of what the church represents to our society and our communities.

We attend church because our parents attended or because our families have been members of a particular church for years. It represents a place where we all come together in fellowship and worship. One could survey any given church and interview countless members and they would probably say the positive experiences gained at church outweighs the necessity of knowing sitting in a pew doesn’t make you a Christian, just as sitting in a garage doesn’t make you a car!!

I think we should attend church, not because it’s an obligation or a “requirement” for our faith, but because….

  • it is an act of obedience to God and it honors the Lord’s Day. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Ex. 20:8)
  • we should belong to a community of faith that includes our brothers and sisters in Christ who are trying to live out the gospel just like we are (Acts 2:42-47)
  • we will benefit from being taught and led in worship by others, rather than always depending on ourselves to read and study the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • we all need regular reminders of our standing in Christ, help in acknowledging and confessing our sins, and teaching about God’s truth (James 5:16)
  • we should desire to turn to the Word when facing the issues of life and faith (1 Peter 1:7)
  • we learn and grow by sharing stories from our past with others (allowing them to see a different perspective) (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
  • we love to share personal experiences with others (1 Corinthians 7:17)
  • God loves us, plain and simple (John 3:16)
  • the world tells us otherwise (Luke 12:34)
  • believers need help to reflect on the past week and see it as a small part of the journey of life (Philippians 3:12-14)
  • we need a conscious break from work, family problems, and self interests in order to concentrate on the Lord (Psalm 37:7)

Going to church is not what we GET out of church but what we can do to GIVE to others while at church…..

Did I miss Sunday School last Sunday because I was working on a Mission Trip slideshow that was not loading? Yes.

Did I miss sitting by my husband during church because there wasn’t room next to me (b/c I had 3 kids sitting next to me and one kid sitting ON ME)? Yes.

But, I can tell you the benefits of making that slideshow and having those kids sit next to me (or ON me) clearly outweighs the “It’s all about me” attitude that I could’ve had….

Be a “doer” and not just a “looker”…
Seek, ask, and find what the Lord has called you to do…
Be about the Father’s business…
God has not given the purpose of “I’ll-just-put-one-little-pinkie-toe-into-the-ministry” to anyone…
Listen to God….he wants you to “jump-in-with-two-feet”

Ask God what your purpose is and then LISTEN for His response….It may be something that you yourself would say no to, unless otherwise pushed by God OUT of your comfort zone. God wants us to be about His business….not ours!!!

The body of Christ has to fill all different kinds of roles and areas…and they all have to work together…(1 Corinthians 12:12-14)

Ministry is not just standing behind a pulpit on Sunday morning and preaching the gospel.  Ministry has been glamorized and confined within the four walls of a local church, but ministry is really in the trenches, on the streets, out where the people live, at work and in the marketplace. You may never preach the gospel inside a church building but that does not mean that you are not called to play an active and vital role in ministry.  Remember that you are being equipped for the work of ministry.

I absolutely LOVE the book of Ephesians. Here is a great example of “doing ministry” and reaching out to those who are in the trenches, in the streets, in the projects, at your work, in your home, at the store, etc.

Ephesians 4:1-7, 15-16, 21-24, 32

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all. However, he has given each one of us a special gift[a] through the generosity of Christ.

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

The Greek word for ministry is diakonia, meaning to… promote,  proclaim, execute the will of another.

I want to be that person. I want to proclaim God’s love….I want to execute what it means to follow Jesus in all that I do and all that I say.

I don’t want to be normal.

I want to minister to the Island of Misfits.

Mission Trip 2013-Part Five

The last afternoon, traveling home, and a Hodge podge of different pictures!!

On Friday afternoon/evening we drove over to Great Smokey Mountain National Park….the kids were able to play in the river, and we grilled out!

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Macie

Macie

Faith

Faith

Josh cooking dinner

Josh cooking dinner

Paul and Tim visiting

Paul and Tim visiting

YUM!!! Watermelon.....

YUM!!! Watermelon…..

Give me the rind!!

Give me the rind!!

Brittanie and Faith

Brittanie and Faith

Lillie

Lillie

Lillie and Macie

Lillie and Macie

Paul, Walker, and me

Paul, Walker, and me

We left around 7AM on Saturday morning to head back home!! It was a LONG trip home…..

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Victoria sleeping ON ME

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Walker reading the Word

And here’s a whole bunch of random pictures that I have collected from Brittanie and Kris, as well as some as mine….

Emilie, Jasmine, Colten, Brittanie, Lauren, and Nathen

Emilie, Jasmine, Colten, Brittanie, Lauren, and Nathen

Walker

Walker

Beautiful sky....

Beautiful sky….

Great Smokey Mountains

Great Smokey Mountains

Victoria, Emilie, Jasmine, Morgan, Lauren, and Brittanie

Victoria, Emilie, Jasmine, Morgan, Lauren, and Brittanie

Lauren, Lillie, Morgan, Macie, Jasmine, Victoria, and Emilie

Lauren, Lillie, Morgan, Macie, Jasmine, Victoria, and Emilie

Brittanie and Lauren

Brittanie and Lauren

Aubrey and me

Aubrey and me

Walker playing guitar

Walker playing guitar

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Walker and Kris ripping out carpet

Kris and me at the top of the climbing wall

Kris and me at the top of the climbing wall

Macie and Morgan walking with Aubrey

Macie and Morgan walking with Aubrey

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a guitar player in the making–she’s sitting on top of Paul’s guitar, tearing up sheet music

And, ONE OF THE BEST BLESSINGS of our trip!!! Kris and Heidi!!!

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Paul, me, Heidi, and Kris

Kris and Paul got along so well….they were definitely a blessing to each other when it came to organization, planning, asking questions, leadership, etc. Even though they did not think “exactly alike” they certainly complimented each other in their leadership styles!!

Heidi and I met the 1st day (before ever getting on the bus) but because they went in their own car, I never really saw them on the “trip up.” We got to know each other probably the 1st and 2nd day, after arriving. And, we immediately clicked. She and I are different (in some ways as night and dad) but I think we really think the same way and honor the same values when it comes to things that are important to us and to the girls in our youth group!! We certainly became “BFF’s” on this trip!! Thank you, Heidi, for who you are and for helping me along the way!!

 

Heidi and me

Heidi and me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Trip 2013-Part Four

Probably the coolest thing that happened to me while I was in Tennessee (that was completely unrelated to the Mission Trip) was I got to see Jamie….

For those of you who DON’T know….Jamie and I have “known” each other for 22 years, since I was 10 (11) years old. It all started with a Dear Soldier letter when I was in the 5th grade….

A couple of months ago Jamie told me (via e-mail) that they would be traveling around the U.S. during the summer…I jokingly asked, “Are you coming to Texas?” He said No, that they were mainly staying on the East and West coast. I asked him if he was going to be in Tennessee at all, knowing I would be there July 9th-12th. And, it was such a blessing because he (and the whole family) were going to be in Pigeon Forge on July 11th-12th,  which was only 15-20 minutes away from where I was on the Mission Trip. So, on Thursday afternoon they drove over to see me!! I was so excited!!!

The Gayton Family and me

The Gayton Family and me

Stephen (15), Elizabeth, Teddy and Christopher (9), Jamie, and me

Stephen (15), Elizabeth, Teddy and Christopher (9), Jamie, and me

Jamie and me

Jamie and me

They stayed for about an hour–thank you, God, for blessing me with Jamie and his family…..

On Thursday night we were able to really sit down together, as a group, and reflect on our time together, as three (four) different youth groups coming together. We were also able to write “encouragement notes” to each other….it was probably my favorite night of camp!

Jasmine, me, Victoria

Jasmine, me, Victoria

Lauren reading her encouragement notes

Lauren reading her encouragement notes

Colten reading his

Colten reading his

Victoria and Morgan reading their notes

Victoria and Morgan reading their notes

Clayton reading his notes

Clayton reading his notes

Brittanie reading hers

Brittanie reading hers

Brittanie reading out of God's Word

Brittanie reading out of God’s Word

Morgan and Matthew

Morgan and Matthew

Victoria and Jasmine

Victoria and Jasmine

Jasmine, Victoria, and Morgan

Jasmine, Victoria, and Morgan

On Friday morning we had one last morning of cleaning:

We survived!!

We survived!!

Paul cleaning

Paul cleaning

Jasmine sweeping

Jasmine sweeping

Walker cleaning the bathrooms

Walker cleaning the bathrooms

One more Part to go!!!

Friday night and the ride home!!!

 

Mission Trip 2013-Part Three

Day Four:

More painting, more cooking, more cleaning….

Jasmine and Macie making Mac and Cheese for dinner

Jasmine and Macie making Mac and Cheese for dinner

Kris and some of the other boys on the roof, replacing a sign

Kris and some of the other boys on the roof, replacing a sign

Lauren

Lauren

Emilie spraying the buildings for mold

Emilie spraying the buildings for mold

Cody spraying

Cody spraying

Walker

Walker

Paul

Paul

a little bit of free time after working

a little bit of free time after working

On Thursday afternoon we were able to do the climbing wall at the camp….

 

the group

the group

view from above

view from above

"Faith, do you want to DIE? I don't think so....let me get this tight!"

“Faith, do you want to DIE? I don’t think so….let me get this tight!”

Tim climbing

Tim climbing

Jasmine

Jasmine

Lillie

Lillie

Victoria

Victoria

Victoria climbing

Victoria climbing

Brittanie and Faith

Brittanie and Faith

Brittanie, Lauren, and Emilie

Brittanie, Lauren, and Emilie

Aubrey and Paul--my favorite!!!

Aubrey and Paul–my favorite!!!

Aubrey and Walker

Aubrey and Walker

Thursday night we all took our “group pictures” in our Project Knox 316 shirts!

FBC Giddings 2013 Mission Trip

FBC Giddings 2013 Mission Trip

FBC Caldwell (and Philip)

FBC Caldwell (and Philip)

Jasmine, Morgan, me, Victoria, Macie, and Lillie

Jasmine, Morgan, me, Victoria, Macie, and Lillie

all the boys

all the boys

Jasmine, Morgan, Victoria, Macie, and Lillie

Jasmine, Morgan, Victoria, Macie, and Lillie

Morgan, Jasmine, Victoria, Macie, and Lillie

Morgan, Jasmine, Victoria, Macie, and Lillie

Mission Trip 2013-Part Two

Day Two:

We did MORE cleaning and started painting and weed-eating!!

Early morning breakfast duty

Early morning breakfast duty

taking a break near the creek

taking a break near the creek

Jasmine playing in the creek

Jasmine playing in the creek

Morgan and Victoria

Morgan and Victoria

getting ready to paint

getting ready to paint

Me taping/painting

Me taping/painting

 

Victoria and Morgan paitning

Victoria and Morgan paitning

Macie, Grace, and Faith

Macie, Grace, and Faith

Morgan

Morgan

Morgan and Lauren

Morgan and Lauren

Paul "supervising" from the roof

Paul “supervising” from the roof

Tim taping windows

Tim taping windows

Victoria "fishing" for crawdads

Victoria “fishing” for crawdads

This is our fearless leader!!

This is our fearless leader!!

Emilie

Emilie

Brittanie and Lauren

Brittanie and Lauren

Paul and Aubrey having a "jam session"

Paul and Aubrey having a “jam session”

Jasmine, Morgan, and Brittanie

Jasmine, Morgan, and Brittanie

Colton weed-eating

Colton weed-eating

Day Three:

MORE Cleaning and MORE Painting…..

"Callie, take my picture, so people think I worked!!"

“Callie, take my picture, so people think I worked!!”

Me working in the kitchen, shredding 400 chicken breasts!

Me working in the kitchen, shredding 400 chicken breasts!

Emilie, Lauren, and Morgan cleaning

Emilie, Lauren, and Morgan cleaning

Jasmine and Macie making lunch

Jasmine and Macie making lunch

Brittanie and Victoria cleaning kitchen mats

Brittanie and Victoria cleaning kitchen mats

On Wednesday afternoon we were able to go to the lake and “play” for a bit…..

Emilie and Kris

Emilie and Kris

about to jump in the lake and swim

about to jump in the lake and swim

Grace going down the slide

Grace going down the slide

Emilie blobbing

Emilie blobbing

Colton blobbing

Colton blobbing

Victoria fishing

Victoria fishing

Morgan blobbing

Morgan blobbing

and here is our leader.....again

and here is our leader…..again

Kris blobbing

Kris blobbing

Lauren blobbing

Lauren blobbing