Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Is it December already?

Judging by the recent weather changes and that fact that Thanksgiving flew by so quickly, I guess it's time to change my blog background to something a little more festive and Christmas like. Hope you like it. If Andrew would show me how to design a layout in PS and if I had the patience to learn, I'm sure it would look something like this one. :) So I'll just let keep on designing for me. They've always got something new and cute on their site.

So we decided that we should attempt putting up Christmas lights this year. Since we've lived here over two years and never once put up lights, we thought it was time. Surprisingly, it only took about an hour and a half to put them up in spite of the freezing cold wind and the mounds of tree branches in Andrew's way as he navigated across the roof. It feels good to be one of only two houses on the street that has lights up. If I had known it'd only take that long, I'd have done it every year! Anyway, there's just something about seeing your very own home lit up all bright with a Christmas tree in each window. Ok, yes I have one main tree in the living room. Caroline has two little trees in her room and Andrew has a "man" tree in the office. Now I can put out all of his star wars, vintage cars & random "tacky" ornaments that wouldn't dare go on my beautiful tree in the living room! :) See Exhibit A - the hideous lamp that lights up and says the phrases from the movie "A Christmas Story". If I had that lamp though I must admit, I'd probably put it in my window!

I know it's crazy but I would seriously have one in every room if I could afford it and my husband didn't tell me I'd be certifiably insane. "Kevin, what is it with you and Christmas trees?" Oh how I relate to Kevin McCallister. Everytime I see the different ways you could decorate a tree, it's all I can do to not buy another one! I saw a light & dark turquoise tree with silver accents the other day and thought, if only I had a room with turquoise! My mom was down after Thanksgiving and we decked he house out with all my decorations and it looked 100% better than it did last year! I need her to come help me every year! Looking at the picture of my fireplace this year, I think it's
pretty much a 180 from previous years to say the least. Isn't the board my sister made so cute?! I love it because if you don't know the movie, it still applies to the season! :) Well, that's all for now. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yesterday is Gone

Quick! Turn up that song you're hearing if you're reading my blog! It's an awesome song by Switchfoot if you haven't heard it yet...called "Gone". Such simple lyrics but what an incredible message that I too often forget. " yesterday is history is summer break is high school dreams are childhood sweets are gone...nothing lasts in this world." I needed that perspective today. I have to remember that nothing in this world will last forever. From dust we were made and to the dust we will return. We can take nothing with us. Like that country song says, "I've never seen a hearse with a luggage rack". Everything we've worked so hard for will go to someone else. I was just reading about that last night but I can't remember where in the Bible. :( "All the riches of the kings end up in wills" - Switchfoot.
All this makes me want to fulfill my mission and purpose in this life all the more. There are so many things I know I'm called to do and I pray that God would make me uncomfortable until I get out and DO IT! I long for that feeling of being out of my comfort zone...because in my experiences, that's when I know I'm doing what God called me to do. It's not when I'm wrapped up in a blanket watching a movie on the sofa. I don't think God has called me or any Christian for that matter to be "comfortable". Our comfort is not God's priority. He wants us to love and serve others; to give just as He gave for us. What he asks of me won't always be easy or fun and will I'm sure at times be scary. But I'm going to pray for the strength to follow faithfully - no matter when, where or how much it may cost. May I seek to live like there's no tomorrow, and know that every moment I borrow SHOULD always bring me closer to my God.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You Want Me?

What can I say about today? Probably lots more than anyone with a life would want to read. Who on earth cares what I think? I guess I'll never know for sure but all I do know is that God always sends people to you that can benefit from your wisdom or experience. Whether indirectly or directly. They are there. If you don't see them, all you have to do is ask God to show you who they are.

I've had an incredible last few weeks. God recently spoke to me in an unlikely place and I just knew this idea did not come from me! He began to open my eyes to an incredible need in this world. A need to encourage, counsel and inspire people. People who can relate to me and my experiences. I was scared but knew that I had to do it. And it was only a few weeks after I decided to take that step of faith and be obedient to what God was leading me to do that He lead someone to me. And then more people! I was astounded! I won't bore you with the details but I've had some incredible experiences that I know are sent directly from the Lord.

I've always had a God-given passion for encouraging people and I feel like I'm finally able to put that passion to work! I knew that career assessment test at HSU my freshman year would come in handy someday! Even though I'm not a certified "counselor" or "psychologist", I feel like I'm able to do just what God wanted me to do without having to go to school for the rest of my life! I am amazed to be in a position to counsel, mentor, encourage and inspire others. What an incredible blessing and gift from the Lord! But with this gift comes incredible responsibility.

"...Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more." - Luke 12:48

I ask for your prayers as I continue in this journey the Lord has lead me on. Please pray that I would always seek and relay God's words and not my own and show His love and compassion to the people He brings into my life. I appreciate your prayers more than you know!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Don't You just love New York in the fall? "

Well, if I had ever been to New York, I suppose I would love it in the fall. I long for leaves to start turning, weather to start cooling, grass to stop growing and routine to settle back in. I've updated my blog with a new fall background and put up some songs from "You've Got Mail", which by the way, is a movie that stirs up precious old memories and makes me long for fall even more. And I guess, makes me want to blog...yes...being on my computer typing away puts me in a different realm and I feel a bit like Kathleen Kelly typing away muttering a word here and there and shaking her head as she sorts through her wandering thoughts. Dang. Where is that movie? Now I want to go dig it out and watch it except that I have no dvd or even a VCR in here now. Plus the fact that it's 1:17 am. That's what I get for taking a 3 hour nap. But now that I've been productive for the last few least online anyway, I guess I better retire to bed.

McDonald's tonight...working out tomorrow.

So, yes we had McDonald's tonight. And yes we're planning on kicking our workouts into high gear tomorrow. I know everyone says that including me, but this time there's a bigger reason for doing so. Besides loosing weight and being able to fit into more than 10% of my clothes, I have to do this for my back. And also for Andrew! He's listened to my crying and complaining about my pain for far too long.

Back in high school I had my legs clipped from underneath me during a basketball game and I landed on my back herniating two discs - one on each side of my back. I visited a chiropractor for a while and that seemed to help for a few days at a time but we were never sure how to heal it. Eventually I went off to college and it stopped bothering me so much. Most of the time I didn't even have any pain at all. But a little over a year ago, I was walking my dog Brinkley, which by the way weighs nearly 100 pounds. I can't say exactly how or when it happened but somewhere in between his sudden bursts of energy, he jerked it out of line again. Even though he's the root of all my problems - hurt back, dirty house, etc. I can't stay mad at him!

So you may be asking why I didn't go to the doctor when it happened a year ago? Well, I did go to a chiropractor again and this time there was a new technology called "decompression" which supposedly works wonders and I'm sure it does. But when your insurance doesn't cover "elective procedures" and you'd be out about $4,500, that just isn't a practical option. If I had that much money just camping out in my bank account, I'd go tomorrow morning and give it a whirl. But, I had to move on to the next option.

I went to a neurologist or an orthopedist, I can't remember which one. Anyway, he thought I should have steroid shots - one in each disc. Well, it seemed like a good place to start except for the fact that my deductible is about $2,500. Again, don't have that kind of cash just lying around. (I totally need to get that changed but I wanted lower monthly payments so that's the price you pay:( Anyway, I researched that as well but quickly found out that they only work about 50% of the time and even then, it will eventually wear off since it doesn't address the main issue of healing the disc, it's simply something to help relieve the pressure, thus alleviating the pain.
So, since I want to figure out how to heal the discs, I put that on hold to explore other options. I feel like such an old woman! Why am I blogging about this? No one cares about an old lady's back pain!

So I've researched everything from modified yoga and the best tennis shoes to diets and vitamins to both relieve the pain and heal the discs. So I bought a back support pillow for my office chair, some new tennis shoes, back specific vitamins and a yoga dvd.

Everything I've researched says that strengthening your core will help the disc heal by themselves. So I'm giving this 6 weeks before I make an appointment with a back specialist. I'll post an update then!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Caroline's Baptism

Welcome everyone! Andrew and I wanted to create
this page for Caroline's baptism so those of you who couldn't make it could experience this amazing joy with us! She was baptized on Wednesday, August 6th at LakePointe Church in Rockwall.

There is nothing in this world that compares with knowing Christ as our savior and redeemer! I can't imagine living one day without His peace, joy and forgiveness. Who alone can fill our emptiness, heal our wounded souls, mend our brokenness? He is our rock and refuge in times or trouble, our comfort in times of sorrow and the giver of a truly meaningful life. So I don't know what could be more exciting than a precious little girl accepting the Father's love and grace. John 3: 16

For those of you who don't know the story, here you go! Last Easter weekend, we were watching a Bible cartoon about the death and resurrection of Christ
on tv on Saturday afternoon. She asked my mom some questions about Jesus. My mom answered her and told her that all we had to do was believe that he was the son of God, ask for forgiveness of our sins and invite him to live in our hearts and we would be with Jesus for all eternity after we die. Then Mom, Dad, Jessica and I all talked about when we were saved.

After dinner mom and Andrew were going to read the rest of the Easter story to Caroline and Jaycee. Mom saw that she had written on her chalk board wall, "God I want to be in your life," which is so perfectly simple yet profound. My mom came and got me. So Andrew and I read a book with her before bedtime that helps you lead your child to Christ. (We had bought it a few weeks earlier after she had been asking questions about Jesus.) After reading it, we asked her if that was something she would like to do. She said she had already done it earlier in the afternoon when she was in her room! She repeated a prayer after Andrew and was so excited afterwards. We talked with her about baptism and she wanted to be baptized just as Jesus was baptized to symbolize her new life in Jesus.

So please keep Caroline and all of her family in your prayers. We are so excited to see how the Lord uses her life for his glory. Thank you to all of you who have been praying for her, we all truly appreciate your encouragement and prayers more than you know.

Alfie, Chea, Caroline, Andrew & Cristin

Bradshaw Grandparents

Corley Grandparents

Bradshaw Great-Grandparents