Giving to Guatemala

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Leaving the comfort of what we know

Our message at church this morning was about Jonah and his journey to Ninevah. Most of you all know the story. God called Jonah to witness to the people of Ninevah, Jonah was on his way, decided he didn't want to go, and was then swallowed by a whale. Jonah didn't want to leave the comfort of what he knew. Most of us are like that in our lives today. We're comfortable where we are, who we're with and what we're doing. Some are called to serve elsewhere, and many answer the call right away. Some wait a little bit longer until God really pulls at them. In our service today we were blessed to have the Masters family join us. They are missionaries serving in Asia. They had a remarkable story and I'm so glad I got to hear all about their journey so far. They have been living in our Mission House for the past few months and at the end of December they will travel back to their village in Southeast Asia. Please pray for their safe travels.

Tonight as I sit here close to family and friends, there is a little girl and her mom serving Nicaragua. The left out Friday and arrived safely. Mom Michelle and daughter Emma are serving at an orphanage for the next ten days. The most amazing thing about this story? Emma is only 11 years old. I have the privilege of being Emma's Grapple Team leader in our S.T.O.R.A.G.E class at church. This remarkable little girl has such a heart for Jesus. Each week she comes to me with a different prayer request and has such awesome examples of how we should live our lives for God. Emma's family had been going to Nicaragua and serving over the last few years, but because it is so expensive Emma never got to go. About a month ago, Emma asked the church to pray that they be able to have enough money so that she could go on the next trip. Her family pulled together, sold some things, and raised enough money so that Emma could go on her first mission trip. She was ecstatic. I'm telling you, this little girl has such a burden for people. If everyone had a heart like hers, our world would be a much, much better place. We received word from her dad that Emma is doing great. She and her mom are helping and serving at an orphanage. Emma is the youngest person there with the group she is with. The most exciting part so far? She's been asked to lead the devotional on Wednesday! I'm so excited for her. And it makes me be super proud to be her teacher :-)

This week, as your going through the hustle and bustle of your daily, ordinary life, pray for those that have given up the comfort of what they knew to serve our God. Pray that Emma and Michelle stay safe and have a good trip. Pray that Emma's eyes be opened to all the things God can do and will do if we serve Him. Pray for that Masters family, and other missionaries around the world. And pray for the children at the orphanage. Pray that they understand that even if they are without the love of earthly parents, they have a heavenly parent that loves them far more than anything they can imagine.


I know this post is well overdue, however I haven't had internet at my apartment for almost two weeks. It's fixed now, so I'm back to the blogging world....and I'm so happy. I've missed my blog :-)

Thanksgiving was different for me this year. I didn't get to go back to Greenbrier because of work. I missed my family so much and I know they missed me. I did however, get to spend Thanksgiving with my very best friend and sister, Samantha. We had a blast and I'm thankful for such a great best friend.

This year has been filled with many, many things that I have to be thankful for. I made this list out a few weeks ago, with an intent to post a few days before Thanksgiving, but since my internet went out, I wasn't able to. Better late than never though, right?

Things I'm thankful for...2008

  • Friends. I have some of the most amazing friends and they all are such an important part of my life. I have been through so much this year and the past few months and my friends have been my greatest pick me up.
  • Family. Even though they are three hours away, my family is amazing. I miss them all so much, and wish I lived closer sometimes. Even still, they support me and encourage me each day.
  • My church. Here and back home. Northstar has been such a blessing to me the past few months. I have made some awesome friends and have grown so much since starting to attend Northstar. I'm active in the Children's Ministry and love my kids so much. They are amazing and I love the time I get to spend with them on Wednesday nights. Back home, my church is equally amazing and I love hearing and seeing them grow. Calvary will always be my "home" and I have so many great memories of that church. The people there are still just as amazing as ever and the fire of God is burning rapidly through them. God truly blessed me with two amazing churches to be a part of.
  • Work. My job is great. Although I spend most of my days tired, I'm truly thankful for the job that I have Chili's. The people I work with are great and they really work with my schedule. I don't dread going to work, and I'm so thankful for that!
  • My relationship with God. I have strayed some in the past, but I'm back on the straight and narrow now. I'm still trying to find my place in life and figure out where God wants me to go, however I'm learning more and more each day to just be patient and he'll show me what to do.

Friday, November 21, 2008

When you pray....

Please lift up the following....

  • Nykia, waiting on heart transplant in Nashville. I haven't talked to Gary to know any more about her condition, but please continue to pray for her and her family.
  • A sweet friend from church, Diana. Her father passed away early this morning and I know she is hurting. Pray God sweep peace over her and her family during this sad time.
  • A girl I work with whose son is having breathing problems and a few other health problems. He's not yet a year old, so I know it's hard watching her son hurt.
  • Adrienne and her husband were waiting to adopt a little girl. Recently, the birth mother has decided to parent her baby. I know exactly what this family is going through. From loving and becoming attached to a sweet baby to not bringing it home as thought. Pray for peace and pray for the birth mother as well. That she love and care for the baby like Adrienne and her husband would have.

Wild, Wild Week

This week has flown by! I can't believe it's already Friday. I'm ready for the weekend. I find myself looking forward to Sunday more and more each week. I can't get enough of DOK and church. I love Northstar and feel like I have truly found a home with the people there. They are amazing and I have made such wonderful friends there.
This week has been great. Like I said, it's gone by super fast. Monday I worked and went out with some friends that night. We ended up at Wild Wings Cafe for some good food and fun! Tuesday Margaret and I threw Tricia an engagement party/girls night. It was super fun and filled with good times. Wednesday was school and church. The kids in my class are amazing and I love teaching them and hearing about their week and what's bothering them in life at the moment. They have the sweetest hearts and they love Jesus so much. Thursday I had school and worked all night. And here we are at today, Friday. I had a test this morning at school and think I did pretty well on it. Tonight I have to work and tomorrow is school and more work. I'm working a lot the next few weeks, but I'm thankful because I need the money badly.

At the moment, a few things I'm doing/love are:
*The song, Feels Like Redemption by Michael English
*Hot Carmamel Apple Cider from Starbucks
*Being cuddled on the couch with Paisley
*Going through all my cute, colorful summer clothes and putting them away to bring out the big, soft, winter clothes
*Trying to make out my Christmas list, plus figure out what to get others
*Falling more and more in love with God each day
*Praying for sweet friends
*Reading some of my favorite blogs about adoption. My favorite, Dreaming Big Dreams. And praying that their Haiti adoption speeds up!

What are you some of your favorite things right now?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sweet Baby Braxton

While I was home for Davy's birthday, I got the chance to love and cuddle the newest member of the family...sweet little Braxton. I got to see Braxton shortly after he was born, but never did get the chance to cuddle him like I did a few weeks ago! He's such a good baby and a super good snuggler! I'm in love, and can't wait to see him again in a few weeks! There's something about a new baby...the way they feel, the way they smell, the way they cuddle up when they get tired. I love all the sweet babies in our family, the big ones and the little ones! :-)

Davy's Birthday Pictures

Better late than never....

This year, Davy's birthday theme was a Day on the Farm. His cake was adorable and of course, Farmer Davy was precious! Each of his little guests got to take home their very own stuffed farm animal, their choice of a fuzzy duck or spotted cow! I know the pictures are a little late, but you can enjoy them anyways! My favorite is probably the one of all of us with our Granny!

P.S. Don't you just love how much taller my LITTLE sister is than the rest of us!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


If you've been reading my blog lately, then you know about my awesome friend, Gary. He recently went through a heart transplant on September 11. He is doing wonderful so far!

From his surgery, he has met others waiting on the transplant list. Last week he met a girl who I believe he said is 18. She is waiting on a heart and will remain in the ICU at St. Thomas hospital in Nashville until a heart is found for her. Only about 2% of her heart is working. This is a very scary time for her and her family. Gary was able to visit her last week and witness and encourage her.

Please pray for this young girl. Pray that God watch over her, keep her out of pain, and find her a heart soon. I know how the power pf prayer works, because it's through prayer and God's grace alone that I still have my friend here with me today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not Me Monday

I did not skip a shower because it would be faster and I would be able to get home sooner.
I did not speed while driving home from Greenbrier. I NEVER do that!
I did not just throw whatever I could find in the washer because it would cut down on my laundry time. I always separate colors from jeans from panties and such, so of course I did not mix it all together today.
I did not buy anything from the store unless I had a coupon for it. That would have been cheap, and would have meant that I missed out on some stuff I actually wanted.

This week...
I did not buy Paisley two outfits. She's a dog, and a simple sweater will do. But Target always has cute dog clothes on sale....
I did not buy something cute from the store, only to take it back a few hours later because I realized I didn't really have the money to spend on something I didn't really need.
I did not ignore calls one day this week because I simply wanted to be left alone.

There are a few things I did not do this week. What did you not do? If you want to play along, click on over to MckMama's blog and read all about Not Me Monday!

Greenbrier Weekend

Saturday I drove to my sweet little town and spent a couple of days. It's always nice to go back to your roots, even if it is only for a short time. I love going home and spending time with all my friends and family.
Saturday night we had Davy's 2nd birthday party! Pictures to be posted later :-) We had a really good turnout of family and friends. I know Davy enjoyed having Ella-Kate, Kaitlin and Colton there to help him celebrate and open his toys! And I enjoyed catching up with Amber, Kerri, and Kristen and the rest of my family. And of course, cuddling sweet Braxton!
After his party I got a chance to have dinner with my best friend from high school, Rheanne. I've missed her tremendously and with everything that has gone on in my life lately, I've missed her even more. We had such a good time catching up and going through old memories. I'm super blessed to still have my best friend, even though I moved so far away.
Sunday was filled with church and family time. Nan cooked lunch so we all spent the afternoon there eating and laughing and playing. It brought me back to the old days when Nan cooked almost every Sunday. I miss those days...
This morning I met my sweet cousin, Emily, and had breakfast and then started the trip back home. I'm now safely back at home and cleaning here and there around the house. I did do a little CVS shopping when I got back, and earned me a few CVS bucks while I was there! That's always a plus for me!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

Today is this sweet boy's birthday. Two years ago today our family was blessed with a precious little boy. We were in love the moment we laid eyes on him and he continues to fill our hearts and lives with so much love and joy. I am amazed at how perfect he is, the things he does, and how much I love him. God hand picked this baby for our family and I'm so glad he chose our family to place him with. I'm super excited about being able to go home tomorrow to help him celebrate his second birthday. Time is flying by and I'm finally coming to grips with the fact that he's not the same snuggly baby he was in the picture above. I'm thankful though, that he's still my little cuddle bear when he wants to be....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

{Clever title to be inserted late}

So I'm feeling not so creative today. I can't think of a title for this post, mainly because I don't have anything of too great importance to write about today. Mainly just recaps on what I've done this week. Because sometimes, I like going back and reading what I did.

This week has been busy. My daddy came to Knoxville on Monday and just left today. He's been doing work for the Army in Knoxville this week. He's been busy because he's come to my apartment exhausted each night. Not to mention that the time difference here is an hour ahead of what he's used to. I'm grateful for the extra time I got to spend with him. I only had to work Tuesday night while he was here, so we got to have dinner together Monday and Wednesday nights. Monday we had Chili's and Wednesday we went to Louie's Italian, and it was AMAZING.

Work has been decent this week. I got some extra sleep over the weekend so I'm not near as tired at this point in the week as I usually am.

School has been good. We got our hours today, and so far I have 294.something. That's exciting. Only 1206 to go. There are times that I wish I could go until 4:30 or 5:30 everyday, instead of having to leave at 2:30. I know that would never work though, because I have to work as well. I'm just grateful that I have the means and opportunity to go to school and make one of my dreams come true, even if it is a struggle sometimes.

I work tonight and tomorrow night. Lucky for me, I'm the early out both nights! Tomorrow is our sweet baby's birthday! I can't believe he's going to be 2! Saturday I'm going home for a couple of days to spend time with the family and to also celebrate Davy's birthday! I can't wait.

At the top of the "To-Do" list for tonight:
*laundry: jeans, colors, whites {in that order}
*unload dishwasher
*vacuum living room
Will those things get done? Probably not. But it never hurts to try!

What have you done this week? Plans for this weekend?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

End of an Era

It was announced yesterday that UT's head coach Phil Fulmer will not be returning as head coach next season. I'm still shocked. This season has not been the greatest, but I don't think it can all be blamed on one person alone. Yes, as head coach he has the most influence on what goes on on the field, however he can't be blamed for player mistakes or missed/horrible calls made or not made by refs. Tennessee football is in my blood. I love it. Saturdays spent at Neyland Stadium are the best Saturdays ever. Fulmer has a remarkable record reflecting on his years at UT. He's coached for 17 years at Tennessee, and has a 150-51 record here. He's the second most winningest coach in Volunteer history. While I'm ready for more winning seasons, it will be sad not to see Fulmer on the side lines. He had a fire about him that was exciting to watch. I hope whoever replaces him has the same fire for Tennessee football as he does.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

1 Day=4 Years

In one day, the people of our country will choose the next two people to run our country. No matter which party wins, both will make history. The Democratic being the first black president. The Republican, the first female vice president. I'm not sure where this post is going to go, and before it gets to the end, I'm sorry in advance for any offense that I may cause.

I for one don't know which will be the better president. It's a hard job, and not just anyone can fulfill it. I have mixed feelings on all candidates in the running, and I don't really feel led to discuss those feelings. I do feel led, however, to ask you to sincerely pray before you vote. And if you have already voted, I hope you prayed before hand. No matter what, God is in control. God knows ahead of time who will be elected. He knows what will happen to our country.

If you haven't voted, please, please, please, VOTE. It matters. Yes, you are just one, but one vote could change our nation for the good or bad.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Simply Saturday

Saturdays and I have a love/hate relationship these days. I love Saturday because normally I just go to school all day and come home and relax from the week. Here lately though, I've been working on Saturday nights, and closing nonetheless. Samantha and I both close tonight, so we'll be nice and sleepy at church in the morning for sure :-)

I have stayed busy at school this week, and today especially. I had two haircuts and a pedicure today and then ran the front desk the rest of the day. It was a pretty simple day.

So far, since being home from school, I have loaded and run the dishwasher, put a load of towels in the wash, picked up the kitchen and bathroom, and picked up around the living room. The list for when I get home from work, is much longer than what I've done so far. I still need to put away all the clean laundry, pick up my bedroom, do two more loads of laundry (and then I will have no dirty clothes in my house, except for what I'll be wearing), take out the trash, mop the floors, vacuum the carpet areas, and bring down and put away winter clothing. Hopefully I'll be in the mood to clean when I get home from work. Otherwise, I'm going to be a cleaning machine tomorrow. My goal is to not have to lift a finger after church though. At least at my house.

I have pictures to pick up from Walgreens, and then I must go to work for the night. I'm glad Sam is working tonight, otherwise, I might be one unhappy little girl. I love working with my Sam!