Saturday, September 1, 2012

Running, Rain, and Tender Plants

I run.  It is my first love when it comes to exercise.  I very specifically love to run on a treadmill.  For all the reasons people don't like to run on one, I love it.  I wouldn't classify myself as a graceful runner or anything near that.  I can count no less than 10 times in my years that I've "quit" and then had to start back at the most basic of training levels.  I also don't have fancy equipment - my treadmill is coming up on 9 years old and most of my running clothes were purchased pre-children.  I purposefully only run listening to praise and worship music because He is the encouragement I need- Emmanuel, God with me.  But, it's rarely an upbeat set of songs- more melodic and spa-like.  And, rarely are my runs a mindless escape from the daily grind.  My time on the treadmill is logged with fervent prayer and reflections on what the Lord has been showing me.  You'd be amazed at how He speaks directly to my heart- despite my loud heart beat and feet hitting the tread and the radio blaring in my always-cramped garage.  

This morning was no different. 

Hurricane Isaac changed our plans to travel to Louisiana for Labor Day.  Instead we spent a few days in Branson with my parents, sister-in-love, and nephew.  And, alas, the remnants of the hurricane have been upon our area for the last 24 hours.  

While cooling down after my run, I began to thank the Lord for all he has given me in regards to the ability to exercise.  And, for the glorious rain falling (after all, I keep my garage door half open!).  It has been a soft and steady rain this morning.  As Chris calls it "the good rain" that actually soaks into the ground instead of just running off into the drains.  After a summer of extreme heat, the ground has been parched.  

And, then, a reminder of what the Lord spoke to the children of Israel, the most famous desert wanderers, via the Song of Moses:::

"Let my teaching fall like rain, and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants." Deut 32:2

This is the Good rain for me, a tender plant ready to soak Him in!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Joshua 3:5

Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”

I have been pondering this verse this week.  It's very applicable in every area of my life.  It's a hard road- a road of intentional consecrating.  Of purposeful diligence.  It may seem like redundant words- but, if you've lived in a season of daily intentional choices...well, you know it's hard. And, lonely.  And, often dry and dark.  And, usually with a handful of misunderstandings.  Many want the Lord to do amazing things...but they don't want to consecrate themselves.  And, my experience has shown that they don't usually want to be around those that do.

We don't always get a literal "tomorrow"...but, the promise of the Lord doing amazing things among us is worth it all!

More than a clean house, clean children, clean self (b/c that's not always a constant!), or clean appearances to others...I want the Lord to do AMAZING things among me!  

Yes, I do!, I consecrate.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Life Pics

Abi playing in the sprinkler and singing her sweet songs about anything and everything.

Eli got new boots, jeans, belt, and shirt for his birthday.  He loves to dress well for church! {The vest was Chris' when he was little!}

Caleb stood by himself! For approximately 5 seconds...and hasn't done it again.  But, it was exciting at the time!

Here we are working on letters, numbers, and shapes.  It gives me great hope that homeschooling will go well!  Who says learning has to happen at a desk?!?!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Joyful Season

Life is hard.  For many different reasons and seasons.  Sometimes it's by our own decisions or the fall out of someone else's. Thankfully, I am in the midst of a joyful season. Praise the Lord for blessing me with the sweetness of life.
I have become energetic about seeing the eyes of my three children - taking time to be in the moment with them.  Rather it be Abi's silly ramblings to her own tune or Caleb pushing a fire truck across the floor or Eli unraveling his big plans for his Lego planes.  I have joy in wanting to cook well for them.  In offering them a better alternative to boxed snacks.  In getting grass all over me because they love for me to join them in the sprinkler.
There is a sweet overflow of love in telling my husband of 9 and a half years (!) that it is still a joy to be his wife.  And, to mean it with all sincerity.
The squelching heat of the summer has not slowed the spring feeling in my heart.  I am ever thankful for this lush time of joy, peace, and an abundance of patience.  Of loving right where we are.  Not looking back and not looking too far forward.  Just savoring the present.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Missional Living

Yes, I know I am the worst blogger ever.  I just have other things occupying my time lately.  But, here are two "things" to chomp on for a bit...

He won't send you to a hut in Africa, trust me-Jesus won't ruin your life...

by Matthew Stevens on Monday, June 25, 2012 at 7:32pm ·
That was the phrase I heard as I listened to a preacher a few weeks ago.  Ironically, it was also the day before my sister, Kayla, left for South Sudan-Africa.  So it really stuck with me, did Jesus ruin her life?  After all, she was on her way to Africa, and she had raised most of the money, which was 10-15% of her annual income-which she gladly sacrificed.

Kayla is one of the smartest ladies I know, she's finishing her M.Div.  She is also single, but the only thing she's seeking is Jesus.  Last I asked her about it, she just noted there were plenty of 12 year olds trapped in 20 something bodies at her seminary...yes seminary.
Kayla learned the finer points in life in South Sudan, like monkeys fling poo, be sure you don't deficate on a snake, demon posession is real, and how to use a mosquito net. 
Foremost, she experienced that the Gospel changes lives.  And it really is power.  She saw souls saved through the testimony of her team-to huts all in Africa.  And for those people, eternity will never be the same.  For them, she was the wrapping paper the greatest gift they will ever receive. 
Yes, I'm on a mission trip in a third world country with a great team, But we're sitting on a couch nursing a Diet Coke, on my laptop, ESPN is on the flat screen.  And we're waiting for supper to be put out. 
No A/C-High is 70/ low is 55.  Hot water only in the morning, language barrier, twin beds, and barbed wire around the 20 ft wall around the center-guarding us from the criminals.
Jesus hasn't ruined our life, and He didn't ruin my sister's.  In fact we're not special, we're not radical, we're not sold out.  We both are far from those things.  What we are trying to be is normal Christians.
Christians are to be slaves, not masters.  We are stewards of Jesus' money-not ours.  We are not missing big events back home.  We are part of bigger events in eternity.  And we do this for the same reason we don't murder. 
We don't murder because we obey Jesus in that area of our life. 
And we go to share the Gospel with every tribe tounge, and nation because we want to obey Jesus in the Great Commission part of our life as well. 
Join us...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Professor Osmon

Surprisingly I'm calm.  Excited.  Happy.  Thankful.  I have just been given the green light (or official invitation) to begin a new career.  A dream that was planted in my heart 12 years ago.  Specifically somewhere between Cone-Bottoms and Berry Chapel at Ouachita Baptist University of my sophomore year.The dream and desire and goal to teach college.  To offer to other students the kind of professors that I enjoyed.  To teach with passion and with a genuine sense of care for the students' all-around growth.
It was a total opportunity from the Lord to be employed with Procter & Gamble.  Not only for the prestigious name on my resume, but for the amazing growth in my business knowledge.  And, possibly most importantly, it paid for my MBA.  (A must-have to teach college.)
Then, I had two children and felt the Lord calling me to stay home.  At times this was confusing and extraordinarily hard.  But, I knew it was where He wanted me.  Oh, the growing pains of being a stay-at-home-mom.  And, this has become my focus for the past three and a half years.  I continued to do part-time work with a non-profit, work at my Dad's tax office, and become heavily involved in ministry at our church.
When we had .zero. money, I would ask of the Lord if it was time for me to look for permanent work.  The answer was clearly "no."  During this time, I was led to this verse, "You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you." (2 Chronicles 20:17)  While I didn't know how all that applied to my life, it was clear that I was to stand firm.
Over the last six months our lives have changed quiet a bit.  First and foremost, Chris was able to get a "real" job (first in over 2 years).  The Lord has given me the ok to look at teaching opportunities.  I have applied or called just about every place of higher education in our area.  With great work history and academics, I still don't have teaching experience.  Which, is a bit of a snag for the work I'm looking to do. I applied to many and received just as many "not at this time" letters.  I do believe you have to keep pressing on and looking if it's the direction the Lord is giving.  I firmly believe we should seek the Lord's will, but we also need to be quick about acting, by faith. 
A few weeks ago I applied for an adjunct position with JBU's adult degree completion program.  Adjunct means it's part-time, basically contract by course.  The courses are one evening a week for 5 weeks.  This gives me the teaching experience (at a first class university) and allows me to continue being the primary care provider for my chillin's. 
I interviewed last Thursday, and today I received an official invitation to teach Integrative Strategies in Marketing!  I am floored and excited and just plum thankful!!!  12 years in the making, in His timing- never early, just when we're ready.
I've been reflecting lately on God's timing.  Although we have been waiting on answers to some big prayer requests for quiet some time, I really, really do not want to miss what He wants to show me and how he wants to change me in the process.  He has shown me compassion when I had no strength left (see previous post).  He has continued to mold my heart and teach me more about relying on Him.  He has given me opportunities galore to prove Him faithful and to testify of him to others.
This morning as I was cleaning (for yet another house showing), one of the scriptures on my fridge caught my eye: "Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!" (Psalms 66:20)  I love this verse!  What hope and promise!  It was my rally cry in the darkest season of my life.  Darkest.  I praised the Lord for his grace- and for grace that I can extend to myself and others.  So, thankful. 
Seriously, the Living Word continues to speak kindly to me.  Providing direction to me.  Convicting, restoring, and full of promise.  I could go on and on about the love of my Father. 
So, as of today, March 21, 2012, the Lord has opened a door that I didn't think would ever open!  And, at a place that desires to bring glory to the Lord in the classroom! 
Hurray!  I am so excited!  I think this is a prompting for me to go shopping!  Or, at the least to go out to eat! 
Lastly, here is the verse-of-the-day from (see what I mean about the Living Word):
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”        Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Compassion and Creator God

Last week was a crazy one.  This season of life is just crazy.  Thankfully, a good crazy.  Friday and Saturday I had a wild headache- basically because I needed rest!  The three days before that I was in a rough mood.  Just cranky and unsetteled.  I kept telling myself to get it together because I believed Satan was distracting me from what the Lord was or was about to do.  And, I don't ever want to miss what the Lord has for me!  But, I couldn't shake "it."  I was struggling with guilt about how much time I had spent in the Word and how I was wanting to "fix" everyone else's walk with Him (or atleast get the opportunity to tell them how to fix it!).  Did I also mention I was exhausted?
In Sunday School (which everyone should be apart of!), we read this verse (along with several others)..."The Lord will judge his people and have compassion on his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free." (Deut 32:36)  This is the Living Word, relevant to my very-present-life!  The Lord will have compassion on me when he sees my strength is gone!  I am SO grateful he speaks tenderly to me!  {See my post below about mercy and compassion.} Again, the Lord was affirming his presence with me and that my state of exhaustion was not lost on him.
He also cut deep during the worship service about some pride issues I had going on.  We also read this verse, "Is this the way you repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people?" (Deut 32:6)  Introspective questions like this can pose a tough self evaluation of our heart and our choices.  So, generally, we (I) think of those who this definitely applies to!  People/friends/family/church members who God has moved mountains for and been a shield for..and "is this the way you repay the Lord"?!  Jesus ever clearly showed me (again) that He is Creator God and just as I love how He works so personally with me, He is able to work a work in them that is personal.  He doesn't need my craftiness or my pride to assume that he does.  Woops.  And, my response is to agree with Him.  Confess and restore. And, cheer my brothers and sisters along in their pursuit on Him!
It's amazing what being in the Word and responding to the Spirit does for one's spirit!  My prayers concerning others has changed and, I think, for the better.  In a way that encourages the Spirit to draw them to Him and in anticipation of their growth! 
I also have taken three naps this week.  Yes.  That is a game changer too!
And, I've made some decisions to say "no."  And, the Lord has granted me peace in those decisions.
And, he appears to be opening other doors to dreams he gave me long ago.  It's always an exciting ride when Jesus is moving his servants!  I love that he uses the term "servants" in the verse above.  It's a good reminder that we are to be actively serving Him- even with no strength.  That's when His compassion cannot be missed!
Enjoy the spring weather!  Enjoy the goodness of the Lord!  Get in the Word and agree with the Spirit!  It's always for our benefit!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On mercy, compassion, & the Living Word

I love Jesus.  I love how He loves me.  I love how he often speaks so clearly to me that I cannot deny his voice.  Jesus is just for the very reason that he chose to save me.  So unworthy and undeserving...but so thankful, indeed.  It never fails to amaze me how the Bible is proven to me as the Living Word of God.  Living!  Not old, ancient, or irrelevant to my woes and joys and life in 2012.  But, the very essence of what I need to not just survive, but thrive!  Here is my latest taste at the Lord's goodness...
On Sunday, my Dad (pastor of our church), preached on Psalms 4.  About how our security is found in the Lord alone because he is righteous.  The last part of verse 1 has been my rallying cry..."Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer."  Jesus and I have been talking about mercy lately.  And, you know, it's ok to ASK for it. 

On Tuesday, a cousin posted the following verse on facebook... "Therefore, the Lord longs to be merciful to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a just God.  Blessed are all who wait for him!" (Isaiah 30:18)  I blinked twice and read it again!  It was Him speaking directly to my heart.  In Scripture when the Lord rises he is getting ready to act.  And, for a few days I had been praying specifically for the Lord to show mercy in a specific area.  Here was my answer! I was giddy with excitement at how I would see the Lord's mercy and how he would rise to show me compassion!

I promptly committed to memorize the verse- repeating it all throughout the day.  While driving that afternoon, I was (again) talking with Jesus about these verses.  He was affirming to me the lessons shown to me.  Even the songs playing on our local Christian station were parrallel to the messages in the Scriptures!  I said out loud, "The rest you give me is the best!" (in reference to the last verse of Ps 4)  ...And my phone rang...

Our realtor called to let me know that the family that had seen our house for the second time chose to offer on another home.  While listening to her my mind was saying, "Lord, you have prepared me for this moment.  It could be crushing news, but it isn't.  You have better plans and I will wait for them."  Time in the Living Word and in prayer is EXACTLY what we need to make it through the roller coasters of life.  While my prayers were not answered how I would have liked them to be (a sell after 7 days on the market in this tough economy), I know in the core of my soul that His timing is never late and His ways are always (not most of the time) better than mine.  This security allowed me to keep an even tempered response to our realtor and to be hopeful in sharing the news with others.  Chris and I do not want to rush what the Lord is doing.  We trust His timing- because that is where we experience his mercy and his compassion.  And, we are blessed in waiting on Him!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


This is the blog of a friend from high school.  Deep and well thought out thoughts...

Monday, February 27, 2012


{This is our family picture from when Caleb was born.  I love it beyond words can describe!  It's hard to believe our family looks so different 9 months later!}
I have no idea how it is going to be March on Thursday!  And, thanks for my brother reminding me, I haven't updated the blog since Christmas Eve.  We have been going at 90 miles per hour since then.
We are so blessed that Chris was transferred to the Siloam Springs AT&T store beginning in February.  Already his commission is 3x what it was in Bentonville in January!  This change has us going to Siloam every day (he works on Saturdays and we have church on Wed and Sunday). So, our house is up for sale.  Maybe the 8th time is a charm!  We listed it last Wednesday and we've already had three showings!  Our prayer is for ONE family to love it and want it as their home. 
We're spending half our time at our home and half of it at my parents.  That makes for good savings on gas, but not so great for calm evenings and mornings.  But, we are grateful they have opened their home to the 5 of us!  Woah!  So...again, praying for our home to sell!
The kids are adjusting like champs!  I am working in our family's tax business during the season and the kids go to our church's learning center.  They LOVE it!  It's hard to believe how fast they've changed since the holidays!  Eli is hilarious and ready for Kindergarten (gulp).  Abi Jean is also hilarious and has quiet the fiesty side!  And, sweet Caleb is crawling everywhere and pulling up to standing position!  How?!?!  But, I love it!
I have been investigating a new business interest.  It all revolves around banana bread.  I'll have to do a stand-alone post on that!