Our First “LAST”

Well, with the news of our move, we are now beginning our “lasts”

Last pep rally….

(This is actually the first pep rally I’ve been to this year–because I’ve been subbing on the other days when they’ve had pep rallies–but, it’s almost my last)!

I can never really sit in a good spot in the gym to get good pictures, so this is all I got!

Several of our youth kids are involved in different activities: cheer, band, football, flags, so I tried to get some of their pictures….

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This is Jasmine cheering. She’s a sophomore and a Varsity cheerleader

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Melissa and Paige are both freshmen and are on the flag corps

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Colton is a sophomore and a member of the drumline. You can see Jaycie and Victoria in the background, as well.

Last Home Varsity football game….

This was our third home football game this year. The Buffaloes have a reputation this year of waiting until the last few minutes of the game to pull out the win!! It’s nerve-wracking and so exciting to watch–and we did it again last night! We were down at the half, 21-10 (I think) and then rallied back and tied the game 28-28, at the end of regulation period. So….we got the ball first in overtime and went up 35-28. Then, it was Sealy’s turn. They couldn’t make it happen on the one possession they were allowed, so we won!! It was a great LAST game for me to watch!

The Buffs warming up

The Buffs warming up

Paul and I standing in the press box....

Paul and I standing in the press box….

The infamous helmet

The infamous helmet

These next two photos are not mine (obviously, based on the quality)…..

ready to play!

ready to play!

And....we won!

And….we won!

So, thank you, Buffaloes for a great win last night! We are 4-1, which is already better than last year when we ended our season only winning 2 games, I think!

It’s a great year to be a Buff!

To answer the question, we have 2 home football games left. October 17th is the next one, and I think we’re going to be visiting Paul’s mom that weekend, and the last one is October 31st, and we will be visiting Paul’s dad that weekend!

This was also our last 5th Quarter!

Goofy girls

Lindsey, me, Paige, Lillie, Melissa, and Taylor

Goofy Girls

Goofy Girls

Overall, I had a good “LAST” football day!

Yet….Wait for Him

I have titled and re-titled this blog post about 5 times. I have no idea what to call “it.”

  • How do you put into words that your heart is about to burst out of your chest?
  • How do you put into words that you’ve kept a secret for 5+ weeks, and you’re so glad to let it out?
  • How do you put into words that you are so in awe of God that there are no words to accurately describe what you’re feeling?

I can’t.

I have waited 5 weeks to write this post. I have no idea what I’m going to write (I probably should’ve started it 5 weeks ago, just to keep my thoughts straight), but oh well. My heart is bursting with so many emotions; I cannot describe all that I feel, and no matter what I write type, I don’t think it will ever adequately explain how blessed we are.

But, before I begin…..

I’ve never actually read much of the book of Lamentations. Just knowing it is based off of the root word lament has got to be somewhat of a “Debbie Downer”–I mean lament means to express sorrow, mourning, to mourn aloud, to wail….and yet reading it today gave me hope. It gave me a different perspective on life that I had not seen before.

  • It gave me a peace.
  • It gave me assurance.
  • It gave me life.

Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations after observing what happened when King Nebuchadnezzar (king of the Babylonians) destroyed the city and took the people (Israelites) into captivity (2 Kings 24:1-17).
Although devastated by the actions of King Nebuchadnezzar (and that the Lord would all this to happen), Jeremiah remembers and remains faithful to God’s promises that He made to the children of Israel.

Lamentations 3:31-33 says, “For the Lord will not reject us forever. Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind.”

So, there is a ray of hope for Jeremiah. He sees and understands that the Lord is faithful to those who trust in Him.

Before that passage, in verses 19-25, Jeremiah speaks and says, “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.” (emphasis mine).

My eye heart was drawn to the word Yet. (vs 21a) “Yet this I call to mind and therefore…..”
Verse twenty-one is a call to hope. (vs. 21b) “….therefore I have hope.”

It’s good news….It’s a second chance…..It’s NOT over…..It’s HOPE!

***I’ve tried, over the last few minutes to use the word yet in a sentence, similar to how it was used in this passage. And, what I’ve noticed is….I can’t say the word yet without raising my eyebrows and widening my eyes. It’s a glimmer of hope. My eyes shine when I say it. You can’t help it (trust me, try it)….***

• You have been diagnosed with cancer, and yet, we have good news.
• Your car was in an accident, and yet, you have insurance.
• Your daughter was late coming home from the movies, and yet, she’s OK.
• You lost your job, and yet, you have a friend who knows someone who’s looking to hire.

See….there’s HOPE! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Jeremiah knew, despite what had happened, that God was faithful and just and He would see him through.
  • Jeremiah knew, despite what had happened, that God was a loving God and He would see him through.
  • Jeremiah knew, despite what had happened, that God was a good God and He would see him through.

Jeremiah knew.

There was hope. There is hope. There will be hope.

For those who wait on Him.

I found this great song by Jason Upton called “I Will Wait” I’m not familiar with him (or the song) but I loved the lyrics….

“I believe in the word that promises me, so I will wait another day.
I will wait for you, Jesus. You’re the son in my horizon. All my hopes in you, Jesus; I can see you now arising.
(Repeat)

I will wait for you. Oh I will wait for you. Oh the doubt may try to come in; The disillusions may try to come in
I believe oh Lord (x3), in the word that you promised (x3)
I believe it will not end. I believe it will not go

I will wait for you, Jesus. You’re the son in my horizon. All my hopes in you, Jesus; I can see you now arising”

It’s a beautiful song of hope, of promise, of redemption, and of peace, for those who wait on Him.

We have waited. For a time, we have waited. And now we “….know what is the hope of His calling….” (Ephesians 1:18a) for our lives.

Paul has been offered a job at Great Oaks Camp BACK in Lacon, IL, and he has accepted it!

So…we’re moving!!!

We could not be more excited—we have been waiting for the Lord, trusting in His timing, and it is here!

We have known since August 21st (when we were in Illinois for vacation) but told no one, except for our immediate families. Now, 5 weeks later, because we have told FBC Giddings, the news is public.

Paul’s last Sunday at FBC will be Sunday, October 12th, two weeks from today! We will have a little bit of time between finishing up our ministry at FBC and moving. We will not actually move until Sunday, November 2nd.

I’ll have more details later, but for now,

“I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.”

A Weekend in Waco

We have lived in Giddings for 2 1/2 years now. Waco, where my parents live, is only about 2 hours away. However, I really don’t go visit that often…..I think I’ve been to Waco about 4 times this year (from January until now), so overall, visiting my parents doesn’t come as often as you might think, and yet it’s nice to know that they are close, if anything happens.

Well, this past weekend I went to Waco to visit. And we had a BUSY weekend!!

Friday night we went out to eat with Mom/Dad’s usual “Friday night dinner group”…it was fun!

Saturday morning we got up at 4:45AM to go to the Race for the Cure in Downtown Waco. It was fun….it was humid, stale, and there was absolutely no wind so the run was HARD, but I did it, nonetheless. I walked the One Mile with Mom/Dad and then I ran the 5K.

Me, Mom, and Dad

Me, Mom, and Dad at the Race for the Cure

Immediately after the Race I cleaned up and had lunch with Dawn, Sarah, and Lila. I have been friends with the Derricks for 16 years, when I first started babysitting for them in May of 1998.

Dawn Derrick and me

Dawn Derrick and me

I love this picture of us! I think it’s so cute….

On Saturday afternoon we drove over to the Hilton and met up with some of Mom/Dad’s friends. James grew up next door to my mom in Mineola and was in town visiting his daughter at Baylor. So, we all just went to say hello!

Kris, James, Mom, and Dad

Kris, James, Mom, and Dad

After visiting with them we drove over to the new Stadium. I had only seen it while driving by on I-35 (and never up close), so Mom/Dad took me over there. We parked at the law school and walked over the bridge towards the Stadium.

on the bridge, walking to McLane Stadium

on the bridge, walking to McLane Stadium

I put this picture on FB and this is what I said, “Because of it being Parents Weekend at Baylor, I got to enjoy the fact that people looking at us might assume I was showing my parents around McLane Stadium, instead of the other way around. For a moment it felt good to know that I could pass as a Baylor student, instead of lamenting the fact that I actually graduated 12 years ago!”

RGIII statue at McLane Stadium

RGIII statue at McLane Stadium

It was nice; I’d love to go to a game one day, but right now all the tickets are sold out–maybe one day!

Saturday night we just hung out at home and then Sunday morning I got up at 7AM and went to church at Columbus Ave. I have not been there in SO LONG–I recognized a lot of people, but of course, after being gone for 9 years, there were tons of people I didn’t know. I went primarily to see my sweet friend, John Ray. He and I have been friends for a long time, and I try to see him every time I come to Waco. It was nice to sit with him at church and then visit with him afterwards.

After church I left Waco and drove over to College Station to have lunch with Kara, who was in town, visiting her mom. I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture together, but we had a great visit!!

So….very busy weekend! I’m glad I didn’t have to teach yesterday; it was a nice day to relax!

In Due Time

Do you ever feel so anxious about something that it consumes your thoughts, day and night? Every night you go to sleep wondering about “the unknown” or the “what if’s” (or even the “I can’t wait(s)” and every morning your prayer seems to be, “OK, God, it’s all you. I can’t do this alone. Please step in and do Your thing because I sure can’t do it.”

That seems to be a place where I was last year. On September 12, 2013 (EXACTLY a year ago today), I wrote this blog post. It was titled Joy in the Waiting.

It’s so amazing God brought that blog to my mind today, on this very day; that’s no coincidence in my mind. Thank you, Lord, for reminding me how far I’ve come. I have changed so much in the last 365 days. I am glad I am not the same person I was then; the Lord has done a mighty work in my life over the last year and continues to do so. Yes, my life has changed, my circumstances have changed, but the Lord is the one thing that has remained constant. Even on days when I am not so faithful, He has remained.
Here are some words I wrote a year ago….that are still on my mind today.

Do you ever feel like you are waiting in anticipation for God….to speed up, to hurry up, to move along, to go faster….

I’m sure we all have…..and I’m there.

But, right now, it’s not about the journey to go forward, it’s about the journey in the waiting….

There are lessons to be learned through the blessings of waiting.

In life there are certain things we want. In our selfish desires, we want what we think is best for us…NOW. We desire what we want, not necessarily what the Lord wants for us. And, sometimes I WANT to go to any lengths to make it mine. But, I can’t.

By God’s grace, I have to wait. I don’t want to be anywhere where the Lord doesn’t want us to be.

How could we do or want anything that the Lord doesn’t want for us?

“Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

And so we wait. We know what the Lord desires of us.

Right now God is doing so many incredible things in our lives….it’s amazing to see how every little piece is fitting together, like a puzzle. Yes, there are frustrating moments in all of it, but those moments are few and far between (and in them I’ve learned to laugh)….
Just the other day, during my quiet time, I was reading 1 Peter 5:6-7. This passage is one that I am familiar with, and in fact, I’ve studied and memorized 1 Peter 5:7 before. But, honestly, I don’t think I’ve every studied verse six. And yet, the Lord placed it on my heart this week, just at the right time.

1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (NIV)

As I said, verse seven may be one that is familiar to you….”Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
But what about verse six?

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.”

In due time….
• Maybe not right this moment
• Maybe not tomorrow
• Maybe not next week
• Maybe not next month
• Maybe not even next year
And….maybe, just maybe, not even in your lifetime, but…
He will lift you up…in HIS time!

I’ve shared before that I have a great desire to be in control. Paul even teases me that I am OCD in certain areas of my life (I deny it); it’s probably true. I like order. I like structure. I like forewarning. I like planning. I like details. I like control. And I don’t like waiting…..

And yet, in this very verse, Peter says, “….in due time.”

In the first few verses of chapter five Peter is speaking to the church leaders and elders giving them counsel on how to lead and serve others.
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be… but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:2-3 NIV)

In verse five he shifts gears and speaks to the young people….yes, I realize I’m not young (and yet, I’m not old either). For the purpose of this study, let’s assume I’m young and taking advice from verses six and seven (although the instruction in verses two and three are perfectly acceptable as well).

“….all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another….Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:5-7 NIV)

I think it’s so important that in two verses (back to back) Peter uses the words “humility” and “humble.”

How can we be submissive, gentle, patient, and kind without humility? How can we be willing to do the Lord’s will if our hearts are full of pride?

To be humble is a command from the Lord. From the book of Psalms all the way to Matthew, the Lord has commanded us to be humble.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 NIV)

“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4 NIV)

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22 NIV)

Developing sincere humility is a process, not something that is created overnight, but through diligence and faith it can be done- and it’s worth it!

Honoring God in patience and trust is part of being humble. If we can show our constant faith (and trust) in the Lord during periods of great joy, then it should be an honor to show Him patience and trust during the waiting as well.

In due time, the Lord says He will lift us up. Isn’t it incredible that the very God who made the universe cares about us and our needs, wants, hurts, fears, etc.?

My Prayer for Today:
Dear God,
I place all of my anxieties, worries, cares, and frustrations in your hands. I will do my best to not dwell on them and trust that you will do what is best for me and those I love. Help me to realize your timing is perfect in all things and in all ways. In due time you will make the paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV) for those who trust in You. Thank you for all you’ve done in my life and continue to do. Thank you for allowing me to see the picture as you have began to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. The picture, as a whole, is becoming clear, and I am excited! Thank you for your faithfulness.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Life Goes On

O-bla-di, o-bla-da, life goes on, bra!…
Lala how the life goes on…
O-bla-di, o-bla-da, life goes on, bra!…
Lala how the life goes on.

Not much is happening….

1.) This past Monday, the 1st, was Labor Day. Paul didn’t have to work, so we drove over to Cameron to see Kris and Heidi and to meet baby Kinley. She was born while we were on vacation in Illinois. She is teeny-tiny….but so cute!

IMG_20140901_194149This is Heidi, me, Aubrey, and Kinley when we went to dinner.

Before dinner we were just hanging out at their house, and I played a bit with Aubrey in her room. She LOVES my phone and….found the “camera button!”

IMG_36766614699216It was so cute–my phone makes a “click” sound when you take a picture….every time she took a picture she just laughed and laughed!!

2.) School has started around here, so I’m busy already substituting. We’ve been in school for 9 days (total) and I’ve subbed 5 of those days….not too bad, in my opinion! And….the best part is: I got a $20 raise from last year!! They are paying $10 more to everybody (that is a sub.) and then an EXTRA $10 if you have a college degree!! So, $20 extra for me…NICE!! 🙂

3.) School has started around here, so we’ve promoted in the Youth Group. We have 2 new 7th grade girls that have moved up to the Youth Group. Last Wednesday night we had 9 kids–not too bad for a Wednesday night, but they were ALL GIRLS! Estrogen was overflowing in that room–Paul was the lone guy! 🙂 You’d think with all those girls we could attract some MALES!

IMG_20140831_110543This is just a picture of Paul and me. It’s from last Sunday morning–I just had a really cute outfit on (and I was having a good hair day), so I wanted a picture. If you’re a girl, you totally understand….right?!!

4.) School has started around here, so football is in full swing. We were on vacation when the Varsity played both their scrimmages, so the first game we saw was the first home game, which was last Friday, the 29th. We won 52-35. It got a little nerve-wrecking in the first two quarters because they kept rallying back and forth. We would score. Gonzales would score. We would score. Gonzales would score. But, once the second half came around, Gonzales never score again, so we won pretty big! It was a REALLY LONG GAME! It wasn’t over until 10:45PM! This past Friday night, the 5th, we had another home game. We played Wimberely. We won 34-31 but only by the skin of our teeth!! Similar to last week, we went back and forth for a bit and by the time the 4th quarter came along, we were losing, 27-30. There were only about 3 minutes in the game, and I really thought we were going to lose. So, I left (to get ready for 5th quarter). By the time I got to my car we had scored again! 🙂 So, we won 34-31! The game was not quite as long as last week’s, but it was still long. It wasn’t over until 10:25! I’m enjoying the games–I’m praying that we can do well this year! Last year I think our record was 2-6. 😦

Varsity team captains

Varsity team captains

I actually stole this picture off of someone’s IG (can’t remember who) because I thought it was such a cool pic. At the beginning of August one of the H.S. students at GHS died in a car accident. He was #15 in football and was going to be a senior this year. So, for these first two games they have taken his jersey out to the middle of the field with them, as an honor to him. It was really sweet….

5.) School has started around here, so 5th Quarters are alive and well! Because we have had 2 home games in a row, we’ve had two 5th Quarters in a row! The past two years that we’ve been here, we’ve rotated and had 5th Quarters at three different churches: FBC, 1st Assembly of God, and Martin Luther. We may do that again this year, but for now, FBC has hosted the first two….

IMG_20140906_002206This is the only picture I’ve taken so far at 5th Quarter. (I’ll try to do better at the next one)!! 🙂

We kind of had a funny thing happen last night at 5th Quarter.

Each week, after the kids have played for a bit, we gather them all together for a short devotion (maybe 5-10 minutes). Well, last night Adrian, a guy from 1st Assembly was doing the devotion. Right as he started two cop cars slowly passed by the church, like they were on a stack-out. Kim (a lady from our church that was volunteering) looked at me, wondering why they were there….Uuummm…not sure, I don’t know.

Then, we turn around, and the two cop cars have come around the backside of the church and are now sitting in the parking lot and one of them gets out. (Adrian is still talking at this point, so Paul goes over to see what they need)….Well, it turns out that somebody dialed 911 (we HOPE it was an accident)….we hope (and think) somebody probably butt-dialed them by mistake and when nobody responded, the cops located the signal and then just came to check it out. Paul told them they were more than welcome to walk around and look, but he didn’t think anybody was in trouble. The cops decided everything looked fine, so they left! 🙂 (But, for about 2-3 minutes we had some excitement)!! 😉

6.) I’m enjoying a day of rest today because tomorrow, after church, I have to babysit for 7 hours!!! So, it’ll be a LONG DAY!! I’m off to take a nap–