Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Drum Roll, Please . . .

My new blog is FINALLY up and running! You can access it HERE. Or, if you just want the address, it's:

See you around!!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Coming Soon . . .

Well, I and my amazing computer skills have managed to completely ruin this blog. So . . . I am in the process of creating an all-new blog - (NOT on Blogspot!) I'm hoping to have it up by December. See you in a month!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

They Did Not Love Their Lives

I've been participating in a study on the book of Revelation these past few months. Over the summer, reading through the book, this passage has both inspired and haunted me. Currently we are studying Revelation 12, where these verses are found, and after reading over them - again and again and again - I simply had to share them with you! You cannot imagine the way God has used these words to impact me personally . . .

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12 "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time."

Praise You, Jesus!!!!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hello, Old Friend

Somewhere, amid the soccer games, homework, trip to NC, stomach flu, apple pie-making and general busyness of life, I've neglected an old friend. Several, actually. While most of these relationships can be repaired with a simple phone call (which I plan to make shortly), there is one that requires me to sit down and string dozens of words together in some kind of coherent fashion; and over the past few months this daunting demand, I regretfully acknowledge, has resulted in communication that can be called scattered, at best. But the fact is . . . I miss you, dear Blog.

I never saw it coming. I've not had September and October knock the wind out of me - completely kick my hiney is more like it! - the way they have this year. And ironically, during this most busy, stressful time, I fizzled out on 2 of the best stress-relievers I've ever had: running and blogging.

I'm presently re-grouping, re-evaluating and trying to de-clutter our lives. I haven't figured it out yet, that delicate balance between the good and the best; between ministry and family; between what is wonderful and fun, and what is just a little bit too much. When I do figure it out, you'll be the first to know; but I have a suspicion that every human being joins this complicated dance early on, and very few ever really find complete resolution.

So, to my dear friend of nearly 5 years, all I can say is . . . I'll try not to let this happen again. The allure of Facebook and the chaos of life will not diminish my resolve! Already I've begun to spend more time with my Savior - a refreshing cup of water to a dried-up soul! And this mom is on a mission to simplify life, beginning with the holidays. We'll see how that goes . . .

Friday, October 01, 2010

Why I'm Glad We Didn't . . .

. . . order school pictures!!!!! Although, this expression is pretty true-to-life for the Beef Man . . .

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fastest 54 Minutes of my Life

On Saturday, September 18, 2010, I completed my first 10K! I've been training for this event since the beginning of July - after a crazy friend of mine talked me into registering for the Wright Patt AFB Marathon 10K in Fairborn. I never thought I'd get up at 4:30 to run 6.2 miles. To tell you the truth, 18 months ago I never thought I'd RUN. Period. But here we were - Janal Livingston (the crazy one), Kati Stephens (the ridiculously fast one), and me, arriving at the AFB at 6:00 am. And it was worth it.

Despite our jittery nerves and complaining bodies, it was a beautiful race. The weather was perfect - about 55 degrees. And since the race began at 7:15, we got to watch the sun come up as we ran. The first 2 miles or so seemed to be all uphill, and I began to wonder if this was such a great idea after all. But after that, the course evened out and actually became enjoyable. I pushed myself a little beyond what was comfortable - my goal was to finish in less than an hour. And I made it!! I had to wait until I got home to check my official results online (there were 1,700 who finished the 10K, and we started with the marathoners, so I didn't cross the start line until 2 minutes after the gun went off), but was pleased to discover my time was 53:53, and that I finished 10th out of about 125 in my age category and 62nd out of nearly 1,000 women.

The only bummer about the day was that Danny and the kiddos couldn't be there. managed to successfully get them up, dressed, fed and ready for soccer practice, which he coached for 2 hours. I am continually blown away by him - he's a wonderful father and husband who I truly don't deserve.

Almost as exciting as running the 10K, was successfully completing a 10.8-mile run 2 weeks ago!! Since the longest distance I ever ran when in track my freshman year of high school was 9 miles, this is officially the longest distance I've gone so far! So . . . now I'm trying to decide whether or not it would be completely insane to run a half marathon on October 30th. Or maybe I'll just wait and run the Wright Patt AFB half next year. In any case, I'm thankful for the ability to glorify Christ in everything, including running - thankful for the ability to run; for good friends who challenge me; and the greatest family EVER, who encourage me. Now . . . I'm going to give myself a few days off from running.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Of Birthdays and Backpacks

My little Rachel . . . . I simply cannot believe she's eight! This year she has grown in so many ways. She's grown in stature, as evidenced by the fact that suddenly none of her jeans or shoes seemed to fit anymore. She's grown in compassion and empathy for others. She's grown in her love of holding babies (I didn't think that was even possible!). She's grown academically, as she's developed a passion for reading books of all varieties. Last night, she read until the light was turned out, slept with her book, and began reading as soon as she woke up! If anything, we have to get on her case about reading too much. She reminds me of myself as a kid. I wonder if we'll ever ground her from reading, as my parents did me!

The biggest growth in her life this year has been spiritual awareness. This summer she's asked dozens of questions: about Christ, about salvation, about suffering, about heaven - you name it, she's asked it! And a couple of months ago, she took the step of voicing her trust in Christ out loud in a prayer. It is SO wonderful to know that she understands and believes that Jesus died to save her from her sin, rose from the dead, and is sovereign over her life. And so cool to hear her articulate it. Our Shrumshine.

Each year, I appreciate more the responsibility we have to train her in godliness. I find myself torn between the thrill of watching her bloom and grow, and the desire to keep her exactly as she is; continually aware of the bittersweet reality that in a short series of moments, I'll find her grown and ready to fly on her own. *sniff*

And then there's Bop Bop. Mr. Moo began referring to Karis by that title, and somehow it stuck! I love the picture of her in the princess dress on the bike, because it really kind of sums her up: the tomboy princess. She loves everything sparkly and girly, but I've seen her beat on her older brother and sister pretty effectively. She's a little toughie. In some settings, she quiet and almost shy. In others, I can't get her to take a breath between sentences.

This year, she's become quite the little Daddy's girl. She loves to snuggle, and some days informs me that "Today, I'm giving Daddy ALL of my snuggles." At which point I act so sad and dejected that she relents and decides to give me "just a few snuggles." The hardest thing for her about having short hair has been the loss of her pigtails. The reason? Danny loves the piggies and was sad to see them go. She's been heartbroken over this, until a few weeks ago, when she was elated to discover her hair had finally grown back enough to reinstate them.

Her favorite birthday gift was Baby Alive, who she's named Baby Ellie. On the days she goes to Kindergarten, she leaves Mr. Moo with instructions on how to care for Ellie, who turns one about every other day. It's so sweet to see her nurturing side - until she decides it's time to be a tomboy again.

And now for some back-to-school pictures. Rachel is in a new building this year, and Karis started school for the very first time. Thankfully, we had the option to send her every other day, so she attends on Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other Friday. She absolutely LOVES it - her class, her teacher, everything! Rachel is enjoying her class and teachers as well, and adjusting very quickly to the concept of having different teachers for different subjects (3). Zeke . . . well, he has his ups and downs, but I'd say overall he's had a good couple of weeks!