Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blog Break

I'll be taking a break from blogging. Blessings!

Monday, August 24, 2009

School Memories

Well, with everyone posting about the first day of school on facebook, it's got me remembering...

Matt's first day of school: Matt went to San Jacinto Christian Academy in Amarillo for kindergarten. We took him into his classroom the first day and he grabbed the door jam and we couldn't push him into the room! The teacher was on the other side trying to coax him in. He was crying. We got out to the car, and he had broken free and was chasing us down. Think we should have known to hold our youngest kindergartner back a year right then????

Amy's first day of school: Amy went to Coronado Elementary in Amarillo just a year later. (No more private school with 2 in school!) We took her in for her first day of school and she stopped me about halfway down the hallway before we reached her room. She pulled me down and quietly told me, "Mom, don't go in the room with me!" So I stayed where I was and watched her skip into her classroom. Same age as Matt starting kindergarten---just a difference in a boy and a girl. She only went to school there about 6 weeks and then we moved to Broken Arrow, Ok. where she had another first day of kindergarten. She did just as well the 2nd time.

David's first day of school: David went to Crockett Elementary in Borger. We'd learned from his older brother that young boy kindergartners needed to be held back a year, so we held David back. Didn't matter. On his first day, I couldn't even get him near his room. He began balking in the hallway. His principal (who also went to our church and knew us) pulled David into a broom closet (!) and talked him into going into his room. David looked at me with soulful eyes as he relunctlantly went into his classroom where Mrs. Mastroberti was his teacher.

Zach's first day of school: Zach was 6 months older than his 2 brothers when he started kindergarten. We'd learned that it just didn't matter about holding him back. Plus this mom was ready to have all 4 in school so she could have a break! Zach was excited about his first day of school. Didn't cry--that I remember. (I also probably did a better job of preparing this one--plus, he's sanguine!) I met the Coffman's in the hallway who had 3 girls and the youngest was also starting kindergarten. So I asked Evelyn if she wanted to go eat lunch. We made a date to eat lunch w/ our husbands at Lorene's. I got in my car and screamed, "WOOOOOOO-HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" People turned and stared. Most moms were crying. The Coffman's and Dietz's made it a yearly tradition to eat at Lorene's the first day of school until Zach & Lynna graduated--to celebrate!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day after day after day after day....

That was our pastor's sermon this morning. He was talking about the monotony of life. He used Isaiah 40:31, "but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." He described the walking aspect as the monotonous part of life. For instance, we remember Noah and how he built the ark and got the animals on the ark---and then the floods came. But what we don't talk about is how many years it took to build the ark. Day after day after day after day....It was monotonous. And it didn't feel like God was going to move in. Abram went to a far country where he was blessed. But we don't talk about the number of times he put up that tent or took down that tent. Over and over and over and over.
I immediately thought of my kids. David & Lindsey. They've been waiting and waiting and waiting on God to move in their circumstances. And He will. I know He will. But in the meantime, it gets monotonous.
Recently, I had some monotony of my own. This is the aspect I wanted to stand up and preach on this morning. Remember? I asked God if He would just send me a surprise. And He did....the very next day. Even while we're plodding along in our mundane lives--before God demonstrates His power--we can ask Him to move into our circumstances. I think He delights in doing that! Because He's always walking with us. The Miracle Maker, the Redeemer, the Creator, the One with Resurrection Power is walking beside us. And He wants to move into our monotonous circumstances just to remind us that He's there. And that He can. His arm has not been shortened and He is able to do abundantly above all we ask or think. It's so much easier to walk when you have someone walking with you, isn't it? Don't settle for the mundane. Ask the God of all power to surprise you!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

All Jingled Out

When David & Lindsey lived in Hereford, I stayed overnight with them. I think it was after Ryan was born. I'd taken a Christian fiction book with me to read at night. I had this book---All Jingled Out---and began reading it the first night. I came to Pamela Dowd's short story in this book, All Done With the Dashing, and I stayed up til the wee hours of the morning reading until I finished her story. I can remember almost laughing out loud and restraining myself because I didn't want to wake up the household. It was a GREAT story. In fact, it was so great that I did something I'd never done in my life. I saw her website at the end of the book and decided to get online right then and email her and tell her how she'd had me in stitches. (Thankfully, their computer was in the room where I was supposed to be sleeping) I got up and did just that. I emailed an author. That was several years ago. I was very surprised that she responded--and even more surprised to learn that she'd lived in Dumas at one point in her life. That one small step began a friendship with Pam--we became pen pals. I begged her for more stories! She's a very gifted writer. And, of course, she was writing more stories, but life was also happening to her. And...I learned...that the industry is very tough. So I became one of her prayer partners.
Well she has a new book ready to send to publishers. And she surprised me. She sent me a copy of the manuscript to preview. Is that not incredible? (For my eyes only, she said) It's a wonderful story--I finished reading it last night. So now I'm praying that this story makes it into the right hands. Hands that will promote it until it hits the shelves! I'd like to ask you to join me in praying for that to happen.
And I encourage you to find Pam's first short story and read it---you're gonna love it! It's under two different book titles: All Jingled Out and Simply Christmas. I've also recently seen it on the shelves of our local Christian bookstores. You'll fall in love with Pam's work just like I have--guaranteed!
(Available in FBC, Borger library!)

Friday, August 21, 2009


Gib. He's 80 years old and volunteers at Living Water. Back in the day, he was an overseer at Phillips and trained managers. That has come in handy at Living Water. He may not be the fastest worker at Living Water, but he's steady and meticulous about details. He keeps track of our food (71 tons of food will come through Living Water this year--so it's no small task!). He rotates the food so we'll have first-in-first-out on our shelves and in our freezers. He always knows what we have and what we need to order. He rotates what we give to our clients each week--and this is all written on a board so every other volunteer is able to do their job of filling the bags. Gib is the best kind of leader. He leads with love and humor.

But that's not what Gib does best. Gib preaches. About once a month, Gib lets me know when he has a new message ready. He labors over it and prays over it. There have been times when he's told me that he's had to scratch the whole thing and start over. He'll test out the high points w/ about 3 of us on Wednesdays when we sit and drink coffee together. And then on the Friday he's preaching, you can find him in my office about 20 minutes before we open our doors, preaching to himself. He'll give it out just like he does to the crowd--right there in my office--all alone. I wish you could hear Gib preach. In fact (light bulb moment!), the next time he preaches, I'll have to video a few minutes of him doing just that. He's not exactly eloquent--he reads most of his sermon. And even though he's not a great orator, his messages are simple and yet profound. He's a great believer of the Truth and the power of it to change lives. And therein lies Gib's greatness.
We've seen a pattern when Gib preaches. Hundreds have come to Jesus in the past 2 years when he gets up to preach. I remember one week when 18 were saved. I think there's been a minimum of 2 getting saved when he preached. This week, 13 came to Christ when Gib preached about heaven and hell. He's a gifted evangelist. In fact, I'd say he's anointed. But I think Gib would tell you that it's the fact that he gets out of the way so God can do what He wants to do...because that is his constant prayer as we pray together. And I would tell you that I think it's because of the hours of prayer that Gib puts into each message.
Gib is my hero. I want to be just like him.

I love this photo of Gib. This is Gib in action--and the way we see him most days at Living Water.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is it just me?

Or does it seem particularly crazy this year before school starts? It's not just the purchasing of school supplies at Living Water for 141 kids and returning about 1/4 of what we bought. It's the BUSYNESS of the last few weeks! It's just been CrAzY!!!!! I don't remember it being this bad when I was trying to get 4 kids ready for school.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Aunt Dixie's funeral

I went to my Aunt Dixie's funeral today in Wheeler. My cousin, Darrell, called Andy and asked him to sing about 3 songs. On one of the songs, Andy asked me to accompany him on the piano. (He had tracks for the other 2.) I don't know why, but at the last few minutes before I played, I started getting nervous. I think it was mainly because I've never played for a funeral for any of my family---I'm not even sure they knew I played the piano.
Before the funeral began, 2 of my aunts and uncles from the other side of the family walked into the packed auditorium. It was standing room only. I was seated at the piano and had a perfect view of what was going on at the back of the church. One of my uncles walked down the aisle until he found a place where they could all sit. He looked back at my aunts and other uncle and wildly motioned for them to come. They all stood completely still--statuesque, even. I began chuckling to myself. Then this uncle held up 2 fingers and motioned just as wildly again as if to say, "There's room for 2 more!" His wife looked at her sister with a look of, "I don't know that man!" My other uncle finally went down and joined him and they sat together. By this time, I wanted to guffaw! Two minutes passed and one aunt (not the wife) went and joined the guys. My embarrassed and stubborn aunt (the wife) finally went about 3 rows behind the others and climbed over 3 people to find her own seat---away from her husband. Tears were running out of my eyes from having to contain myself at this funeral!!!
This whole scene loosened me up a bit before I had to play the piano. As I began the intro of Amazing Grace, I had the distinct feeling that my dad, his brothers, my grandparents and my Aunt Dixie were all sitting in heaven accompanying me on that song---as if they had musical instruments and were playing along just to help me out. (None of them played instruments on earth) It was a surreal experience! I played the song with only a few glaring mistakes and sat down. The preacher read the obituary and then Andy sang Beulah Land. I jokingly asked the heavenly family--who loved to hear Andy sing here on earth--if they were going to accompany him. This all took place in my mind, of course. I could have sworn I heard them all say, "No. We're all just going to sit here and listen and enjoy!" Talk about a rebuff---they had to help me out, but wanted to sit and listen to Andy. Sounds just like their sense of humor!! I can still hear them laughing...(Don't try to figure out my mind. If this didn't really happen, what does this say about me that I can think these things about myself?!)
At the graveside, I looked around at all of my siblings and cousins---so many of them came to the funeral. And I was so proud of our family. We have a great family that pulls together and really loves one another. My dad and his siblings had a wonderful sense of humor and I think that was a great bond for our family. And my thought was this, "THIS is what heaven is going to be like--a place where our hearts are going to be bound together in love forever."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lost in the translation

I've been so excited. Our wonderful artist in China who sketches portraits moved to another city and I've been working with her to set up a way for us to still use her. At first, I asked her if there was a Western Union there where she could get funds. She did find one, but it was all the way across her city of several million people, so it just wasn't very convenient. So I encouraged her to get set up to accept Visa cards so we could do it quickly and easily. Several of the stores in the city where we go are now doing that---so I was sure she'd have a friend there who could guide her through the steps.
Well....I have a friend here in Borger who wants a sketch. So I've been diligently working for her to get it done. It's been ongoing for about month. Today I got our final word. Our little Chinese artist friend was so excited! She got set up with Visa!!! YEA!!!!!
So....she sent me her name, card number, expiration date, 3 digit code number.....LOL! She'd gotten a VISA CARD---not set up to TAKE Visa cards! Yep...something definitely lost in the translation. Is that not cute? And TRUSTING???? I'm sure she has no idea how trusting she was.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

He did it!

Yea! He did it! Change is in the air!! I'm so excited!
I read Amy's comment and knew she was right---I needed to be content where I was. And I am. Really. But I did go to God and just ask him, "God, would you give me a surprise?" And he did! He absolutely did.
I wish I could share details, but I can't. It was just in an area that God was working in my heart this summer---and He ended it with a surprise! I love it!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Do you ever long for change? I'm not even talking about life-altering change....just any kind of change that breaks the monotony in your life. I get there occasionally...like now. And I can't even put my finger on why. I just feel like I want something good to come along to bring some excitement into my life.
If you could change one thing in your life right now, what would it be?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


For all of you young moms out there, I need some help. I'm frustrated with helping kids with school supplies at Living Water. There is another organization who is giving out school supplies---and gives to more kids than we do---and probably alot of the same kids we do.

So here's my question....if you had someone helping you with school supplies, what is something else you'd appreciate help with when your kids are going back to school?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gee's Coming!

I'll be HERE tonight:

To see these faces:
Gee's coming, Isaac, Josiah & Olivia!!! I can't wait!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tough Day

Today was a tough day. Sometimes, it's the pits to be the director of a ministry. God's Word is true---the principles work---but it's not always a painless process, I'm learning.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waiting on that PERFECT job?

"Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let not your hands be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well."
Ecclesiastes 11:6

I talked to Michael Keough (our adopted son) this week. He's taking a job at Clarendon ISD as a computer IT coordinator. I think he'll be managing about 400 computers! He'll be great at it! But as he was telling me about the job, he said that God had given them 4 or 5 confirmations to accept this job. I asked him how God confirmed it for them. And one of the ways was through this verse. He made the statement that he was always waiting on the perfect job---perfect fit, great salary, something that included his calling as a minister. (I remember thinking the same thing so many times!) But through this verse, God showed them to just follow His lead---you never know which job will be successful. And it's not so much what we do, but whose we are.
In the process and through divine connections, there's now a possibility that Michael may get to fulfill another dream and be a part-time youth minister in Clarendon!
Isn't that just like God? Sow your seed....you never know which one will succeed.

Doesn't he look like a youth minister???

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


A little bit of trivia for you. David Dietz, our third-born, had a birthday yesterday. He turned 27. That is the age I was when he was born. This December, I will be 54 and for the first time, twice his age. Isn't he cute???
Happy Birthday, David!

And that is adorable Addie Belle watching her dad blow his candle out (yes, I ran out of birthday candles)...and waiting for her own turn to blow! Don't I have beautiful grandchildren???