Sunday, March 27, 2011

Greater things have yet to come... Greater things are still to be done...

"Better is one day in Your courts, better is one day in Your house.  Better is one day in Your courts than thousands elsewhere."

Thankful that this world isn't it.  Thankful that I will spend the rest of eternity praising Jesus in Heaven.  I'm happy for my brother that he has a head start, but I miss him on this earth. 

A man that went to my church stepped into the presence of Jesus this morning, and even though I didn't really know him, the pain/saddness/joy that my small church is experiencing definitely brings back some deep memories of my brother's death. 

I will say that despite the deep sorrow that I feel, I am at peace knowing that God's plan is SO much bigger and better than my own.  Despite the frustration of losing those that we love here on this earth, I know that they are so much better off in the presence of Jesus. 

Some days I'm a bit jealous... this world doesn't really have much to offer when compared to the riches of being with Him.  But I know that my work here isn't finished.  God has me here on this earth to glorify HIM.  I need to wake up every morning asking God to be glorified through me despite the frustrations, saddness, and difficulty of this world.  I hope that when people meet me, and when they get to know me, that Jesus is who they see... Not my stupid humanity. 

This song resonates in my heart and mind as I think about what God has called me to...
"You're God of this city, you're the King of these people, you're the Lord of this nation, you are...
You're the Light in this darkness, you're the Hope to the hopeless, you're the Peace to the restless, you are...
For there is none like our God, there is none like You, God!
Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city.
Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done here.
You're the Lord of creation, The creator of all things you're the King above all kings, you are...
You're the Strength in the weakness, You are Love to the broken, You're the Joy in the sadness, you are...
For there is none like our God, there is none like you, God!
Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city!
Where glory shines from hearts alive with praise for You and love for You in this city.
Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city!
Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done here.
For there is none like our God, there is none like you, God!
Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city!
Where glory shines from hearts alive with praise for You and love for You in this city.
Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city!
Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done here.

I want to take the passion that I feel for people to be able to spend eternity with Jesus and put it into what God has called me to... this city.  I know that God has called me here for a specific reason and a purpose, and I pray that my selfishness and stress doesn't get in the way.  Despite how I feel, I know that He has greater plans and that greater things are still to be done. 

The day before I got the call about my job, I spent about 4 hours on my face in prayer, and I listened to this song over and over again.  I KNOW that God has called me where I am, and I KNOW that He will give me what I need to serve Him right where I am. 
My job isn't just a job.  My job is a calling and it is where He wants me.  Sometimes I get bogged down with the details and I lose sight of that. 
Yes, my family is ultimately more important, but Robert and I feel that He has called us to make it clear to our children that this world isn't about them... it's about loving God and loving others, and doing what God calls us to do, for His glory.  I believe that God gifts us in specific ways for His glory, and I am using my gifts in the way in which He desires me to use them!

I have been wrestling with a lot of things these past few weeks... whether or not I can keep doing this... whether or not our kids should go to school at my school, whether they should go to the local elementary, whether I should stay home and homeschool them (which isn't really financially possible!), and God brings me back to my calling.  HE has called me to the school that I'm at for a specific reason and a purpose, and nothing that I feel is going to change that.  So, I go to Him, my daily bread and the water for my thirst, and I have Him fill me up so that I can continue emptying out for Him.  He will give me everything that I need, and I trust Him with those details that I'm not sure about.

"Teach me to be humble, call me from the grave.  Show me how to walk with you upon the waves.  Breathe into my spirit, breathe into my veins.  Until ONLY LOVE REMAINS."

I realize that this is a bit scattered, but I pray that God will use it to encourage you :).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thinking More Clearly

It's funny how not feeling well can really mess up emotions and it can also have me not thinking clearly at all.  When I wrote yesterday, I was still not feeling well... I didn't sleep well the night before (due to a toddler that can't seem to sleep through the night anymore), and I was still somewhat sick.  Through the day I started feeling better for the first time in almost a week, and I started thinking clearly again :).  And, God orchestrated certain conversations with people throughout my day to remind me of many things that I know to be true.  I also enjoyed a lot of "outside time" which helped to clear my mind of all of the muddiness that enters so quickly when I'm an emotional mess :).  I am again reminded that God has me right where I am for a reason and a purpose. 
I might still pursue becoming a doula in the future, but just as I said, I know that I am right where I'm supposed to be right now, and if God wants me to change paths, he will make that clear in His time.  Right now it's not the time.  I know that.  One thing that I was reminded of yesterday is that if I end up being home most of the time, I'll probably want to teach again.  I always struggle thinking that things will be easier if I... fill in the blank.  I need to be at a point in my life in which I just rest and be content in what God has called me to in that moment and not focus so much on what I think I want to do.  I know from experience that no matter what I do, life is just hard.  Period.  There is sin in this world so no matter what, Satan torments and our sin entangles us.  I have to rest in the promises of God and know that He is victorious in the end!  His plans don't always make sense to us... I often wonder why God would have me doing something that takes so much time, then I am reminded of that truth.  God's plans are so much better than our own, and even when they don't make sense, I rest in the fact that He's in control and He will be glorified. 

As I spent some great, quality time with my kids yesterday, I was reminded that I need to focus on doing that way more often than I do.  Yes, I work quite a few hours, but there is still a lot of time that I am with the kids, and I need to take advantage of the moments that I have with them to make memories.  I look back on my childhood and even though my mom worked (and sometimes had to work on paperwork at home and she took some classes), I don't remember all of that as being a bad thing.  I just remember those moments as part of life and I'm thankful for a mom that spent good, quality time with us despite the fact that she had to work.  I remember the good moments!  I remember the summers going to the park a lot, spending a lot of time at the library, going swimming (with my friends in tow!), and playing outside for hours.  I don't remember the late nights that she was up doing paperwork (because frankly, I just didn't care :).  So, I know that as long as I take the time to make memories with my kids, they won't remember me being up late writing lesson plans or the fact that they were in day care.  In fact, they love "school."  They are healthy, happy kids, and enjoy playing with their friends and learning.  To them, they just view it as part of life, and when they can be home with me, they are happy with that too. 

I am thankful for a career that allows me to have summers off, spring break, Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, etc.  God knew what I needed and allowed me to do what I love and allow me the time to spend with my kids and make memories.

I told my mom yesterday that I feel like once I get a full year out of the way, it will be easier.  I feel like with each new season, I remember what it was like to be home during that season.  Once it's been a full year, my most recent memories will be of me working during that season.  I know that may not make sense, but she understood :).  She said that she felt the same way her first year working full time.  She fought the desire to be home with us through that first full year.  Then, she had the realization that it was time to grow up and know that this was it... this was life now.  And she was able to move forward and ended up becoming the director at Head Start and loved it.  She did that for 10 years before deciding to change career paths and start working with animals :).  I am thankful for her working at Head Start because I believe that it instilled in me the love for working with the kids that I do now. 

Now that I am reminded (again) that I am right where I'm supposed to be, my desire is to really stop focusing on myself and what I want and what I think I should be doing.  I want to just live life right where I am... right where God has me.  I want to be used by Him to love others right where they are. 

Alright... Ethan is awake now... see ya :).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Break So far...

Karis' birthday cake.  She loved it!

Her party at school.

Karis and I had a "girl day" and she was dancing like Angelina Ballerina at the park :).

According to Karis, Ethan is her "Godmother Fairy."  Hehe

Levi is working so hard, helping us plant the garden ;).  He LOVED being able to just roam around the yard today. 

Ethan and Karis pushing bricks to be a border for our garden.

Laying the border.

Finished product!

Ethan watering the garden.

Some of my favorite moments have been "rocking" in the hammock chair, eating almost every meal outside, and just doing everything together.  Today, planting our garden together, was amazing. 
I LOVE my family!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
Olive Oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium tomato (or a small can of diced tomatoes)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper

1.  Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds
2.  Lighty oil a cookie sheet and lay the squash on the pan
3.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (until a sharp knife will go into it with little resistance)
4.  While baking the squash, saute onions, garlic, tomatoes, salt, and pepper in the olive oil
5.  When squash comes out of the oven, allow it to cool long enough to be able to handle it
6.  Once cooled enough to handle, scoop out the "spaghetti" from the squash and toss with sauted veggies
7.  Eat!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


...that is the word that comes to mind when I process all that has taken place in the past year.  My whole life changed on November 30th of 2009 (when my brother died in a horrible way), and it has been a long, rough road ever since... having my third child in 4 years, going through postpartum depression, practically being a single mom while Robert worked so much, moving to Dallas, starting a full time job, not having our own place, etc.  But now I see how the hard times have grown me into the person that I am today, and God has blessed me beyond measure.  I feel so undeserving! 

My life has taken a turn and it is not what I would have ever planned for myself, but it's really all perfect for us.  Working full time is something that I wouldn't have imagined doing a year ago, and it's tough a lot of days, but I absolutely know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and I wouldn't change a thing!  I love my students and love (almost) everything about where I work :).  I feel like God created this position just for me.  The area where we live is so us.  It reminds us a lot of Austin/San Marcos... which is where we've always felt like home.  We have an amazing home that fits our family so well.  It's a very cool home with lots of character.  I think it's safe to say that this is our dream home :).  The whole process of buying this home went so smoothly... not near as rough as I've heard buying a home is.  And I already feel at home here and we don't even have it unpacked :). 

I love that our church is right down the road, and I love that we already have a community here because of our amazing church family.  We went to a party at the pastor's house last night and just had an amazing time getting to know people.  I feel at home here!!

We found out on Friday that there are going to be a lot of changes happening at my school, and I am very excited about those changes.  They are great changes, and I know that our school will just continue to improve and the students will continue to grow.  We're thinking, again, about putting Karis there next year and possibly Ethan (they're going to have a 3 year old pre-k class... not sure if he'll be allowed to go there).  There are a few things that still bother us, but I really want them to be with me because I trust the teachers, curriculum, and I trust where the school is headed.  So, we'll see.  I'm going to continue praying for now.  God is in control and our kids will go where they're supposed to go!  God will make it clear in his time. 

Alright, going to get ready for church!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


These past few weeks have been a whirlwind (I tend to have those a lot, don't I).  I am exhausted, yet excited.  But all I can see are the few days that I have ahead.  We moved in Saturday and I haven't had a moment of rest since.  Between little glitches (that always comes with moving), working a late night last night, lots of grading, and just being behind, I just haven't had a break.  I still have 3 more days before spring break, and those days seem very long and spring break feels very far away.  I haven't had a chance to unpack really at all, and I haven't been able to enjoy my new house.  I'm looking forward to getting everything unpacked so that I can enjoy it!  Right now everything is a disaster everywhere I am... at home and at school.  I am READY for some kind of "normal" life.  I realize that there is no normal, really, but I need routine.  After a very tough year, I am excited about what lies ahead, but I need a moment to breathe, reflect, and dream. 

Until then, I'm going to get some sleep.  Goodnight.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Officially Homeowners!

We signed the papers today!  It went so smoothly... the title company guy was so surprised by how organized my mortgage broker was.  I think we chose wisely by using him :).  He sent everything last week, and the funding was there and ready to go.  He even sent a cool binder with everything all organized for us to keep.  It was a quick and easy process, and we had a good time.  We won't be moving in until this weekend because the seller asked for a few days (it's in the contract) to be able to get everything out, so we will be able to start going over there by Thursday or Friday at the latest. 

On another note, today was a bit of a frustrating day because not only did my phone mess up (I had to restore it to factory settings so it doesn't have anything on it), one of our cars is acting up :( (we got bad gas... it started acting up immediately when Robert filled up the tank).  We also planned on getting a lot of packing done and a bunch of errands taken care of, and really none of it worked out.  So, even though I am SOOOOO excited about buying a house, I feel like I lost a whole day!  We have so much to do!  I know that it will all get done, and I need to just relax because if we don't get everything done this weekend, it's not like we HAVE to be out of the house that we're currently in (considering with live with my inlaws!).  I'm just ready to be settled!  But, the house is now ours, and it will be ours, so I can just rest knowing that :).

I think the thing that I like about the house is that it reminds me of an old coffee shop.  I love the coffee shop feel/look, and this house is totally it.  It is fun, cool, and has a lot of character.  I'm going to "play up" the coffee shop look and make that the theme of our house :).  It won't take much!  As soon as we get in there Thursday/Friday, I'll post pictures! 

Now, I'm off to bed.  I'm exhausted!