Friday, April 30, 2010

We've seen God at work

What a week.  This time last week, we were in Amarillo for Andy's mom's surgery.  They found a melanoma on her head and removed it.  And all was well.  Andy had been to the doctor earlier in the week and had a stress test---but we hadn't heard the results yet.

We took Liz home and stayed with her for a couple of days until she was on her feet.  And then Monday happened. 

Since I'd taken 2 days off this week to go with Andy to the almost-thallium test and the real thallium test, I hadn't planned on going with him today to his follow-up appointment.  So I got up early and went to Living Water---very excited about the day.  Andy was going to bring Alexis (our 7-year-old granddaughter who was staying the weekend with us) to Living Water before he left for his doctor's appointment.  But when he came by, he told me he'd been up most of the night with arm pain and was uncertain whether he should drive to Amarillo.  I told him I'd drive and handed the reigns over to George Nies and the other very capable volunteers at Living Water.

When we got to Amarillo, we took Alexis to Aunt Lindsey's house to play with her cousins while we went to the doctor.  We found out Andy had failed the physical stress test and the thallium test.  Dr. Hernandez told us that he'd basically had the same results 8 years ago---but we'd never been told that!  So he said he needed to do a heart cath because the bottom right of his heart didn't appear to have much blood flow.  We agreed to the test and found out that because the test would be on Saturday, it woudn't be outpatient, but inpatient!  Woo-Hoo!  God's provision!!  We went home to get our things to come back to Amarillo for the night. 

Then....the hospital called us.  They'd talked to our insurance and told us our out-of-pocket expense would be $11,000.00.  What???  Stunned, once again.  But I told Andy that maybe that's why we'd taken out retirement.  And we prayed and asked God for mercy.  I called our insurance myself to find out what was going on.  (Didn't want to further stress out the heart patient!)  Turns out, it had been turned in as outpatient.  So I called the hospital to tell them that it wasn't outpatient, but inpatient.  She told me she'd get back with me.

When she called back, she said, "Have you had your prayer circle praying?  Because we've sure been praying here!!"  I thanked her and then asked what she'd found out.  We only have to pay $1000 deductible and then we'll be billed for our 20% later.  THANK YOU, JESUS!!!!  It's so amazing when God moves in.  And so fun when He puts His kids in our paths.

Neither Andy nor I are fearful.  We're blessed.  Oh!  And when we left the grandkids tonight, they were camped out in Buzz Lightyear's tent.  There's nothing like watching cousins play!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Matt's house

I thought I'd put something exciting on my blog for a change!  This is the house that Matt built--before it was finished, of course.  For those who don't know, Matt is our oldest son.  He owns his own company which is named Signature Contractors in Amarillo, Tx.  This house is going to be on the Parade of Homes in Amarillo the next two weekends.  If you live nearby, I hope you can go see it.  And I'm sure you'll see Matt & Lisa if you go see the house.  I believe it's in the La Paloma area.  I'll post the address as soon as I find out what it is.  18 Sandhill.

Monday, April 26, 2010


While Andy was in China this month, he started having pain in his left arm that went up his arm and to the arteries in his neck.  We were so grateful that Dr. Matt Turner from Dalhart had gone on the trip with them and was able to keep a watch on him and help him.  So when Andy got home, he immediately went to our local physician who sent him to a cardiologist.  The first thing they did was a physical stress test.  We found out today that he flunked it.

He also had an echocardiogram and was set to have a thallium stress test today at NWTH in Amarillo.  When we got there, we found out we're not covered by our insurance for outpatient care.  We were quoted a reduced price for the test since we weren't covered, but would have had to pay for it immediately.  We felt like we needed time to think things through and to contact the cardiologist for all of his earlier test results to know if this test was really even needed.  So we left the hospital.  (If they'd wanted to test for stress, it would have been a perfect moment!!)  Later, as we thought it through, we realized the out-of-pocket expense wouldn't have been but about $600 difference with the reduced rate compared to 80% coverage at full rate and a deductible.

We talked to the nurse at the cardiologist's office and that's when we found out he'd failed the earlier physical stress test.  His echocardiogram showed that he has leaky valves---a moderate tricuspid valve leak and a mild mitral valve leak.  She told him that out of 35,000 patients with these symptoms, only 5 have had heart surgery from their office.  But...she told him he really needs the thallium (chemical) stress test because they suspect a clogged artery.  So he'll go back this Wednesday at 11 a.m. for the thallium test.  I'm not sure what/when the next step will be if they do find a clogged artery. So you can see that we need prayers--please!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

And the walls came a tumb-lin' down

This morning, I'm staying with Andy's mom, Liz, because of a recent surgery.  (She's doing great)  As usual on a Sunday morning, she was watching Charles Stanley.  We were eating our cinnamon toast together, so I unusually watched him.

He was teaching about "Waiting on God" and using the story of the walls of Jericho falling.  God told the Israelites to march around the walls for 7 days---without saying a word---and on the 7th day, they were to march around silently 6 times and on the 7th time, they were to yell and blow the trumpets.  He used it as an illustration of waiting on God and what it does to our enemy. It intimidates them and puts fear in their hearts.
(And don't you know that if they had been talking, they would have been murmuring and complaining?  I don't know if you know this, but the number 7 is the number of "completion" in the Bible.) 

Which instantly led me (in my mind) to I Peter 3:1, "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives..."  (Emphasis mine)

I think the same principle applies.  And I've used this verse so often in counseling women in difficult marriages.  (This verse doesn't say if the husbands are unbelievers...but if they don't believe the truth of the Word in some way.) 

DON'T TALK!  I can promise you that if you're in a difficult relationship and you haven't applied this verse, you've probably nagged, preached, argued, belabored the point you want to make with your husband.  How's that workin' for ya?  (As Dr. Phil would say.)  Why not try this?  Silence.  Not the cold shoulder....but just be quiet.  Don't preach.  Don't nag.  Don't try to convince.  As loud as you've been talking, your husband can't hear God.  But there's something else at work here.  In your silence, your enemy (Satan) becomes intimidated.  He becomes convinced.  Don't believe me?  Philippians 1:28, "And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God."

And the walls will fall.

I had a great illustration of this last Wednesday.  Ryan & Addie (6 & 4-years-old---David's kids) were at my house and had watched Ice Age.  They wanted to playact afterwards and they were the "wild cat."  (I can't remember what it actually was)  They wanted me to be fearful of them when they attacked me.  After about 10 minutes of this, I decided to turn the tables.  They were both coming at me and I stood up and ROARED!  They both had startled looks on their faces and froze.  (Those looks were priceless)  They weren't sure what to do.  So I ROARED again!  They were convinced and  turned and ran!  David had been loading the car and came in asking, "What in the world is going on?"  (I was pretty loud!!) 

But it instantly came to me that when we become fearless, it throws the enemy off.  You can't get in this position as a wife without submitting to God first.  Then you have to trust.  You have to believe God means what He says.  His Word works.  Try it--and let me know how it works for you!  At times, do you feel like you're going around that same ol' mountain?  You are!  But be quiet as you march.  Those walls are going to fall.  It may take time...but on the 7th day and 7th time around, they will fall...while you're roaring!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's been your best life lesson?

What is your best life lesson?  I was reading Gary Miller's blog where he mentioned something Life Action taught:  "Obedience is responding to God the first time He speaks with the right heart attitude."  That's one lesson I'm sure my kids never forgot after being with the Life Action leaders.

One of my best life lessons was learning to forgive easily.  I've already blogged about it.  My dad taught me to forgive....and it's something I've never forgotten.  That's usually what defines a life lesson---it's something you're never going to forget!!

What has been your best life lesson?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I had a wonderful experience this past weekend.  Our church had a women's retreat in Amarillo.  Since I had a room all to myself, I decided to invite my 3 daughters-in-law and see if any of them could join me.  Not only did all 3 join me for Friday night dinner, 2 of them joined me for the entire retreat---as did our friend, Heather.  (She's getting married this summer!)  The five of us ate dinner at one of our favorite places--KABUKI!!  Before we met, Shanna & Lindsey made a trip to Target and picked up these cute rain boots.

Shanna, left.  Lindsey, right.

Shanna (Zach's wife) and Heather, our friend.  Did I tell you she's marrying Michael Murry of the famed band, A Road Less Traveled?

Lindsey (David's wife) and me.

Lisa (Matt's wife) enjoying sushi!  I thought Amy would appreciate seeing the sushi.

It's so nice to sit back and let a man cook for you!

And the highlight---FIRE!

The five of us.  We had a great meal and a great retreat.  Thank you, girls, for blessing me by coming.  I enjoyed every minute with you!  I can't tell you the number of women who told me they were jealous that my daughters-in-law joined me.  They told me how blessed I am....and I agreed!  (I just noticed everyone's blonde but me!)   And next year we're planning ahead so we can get Amy here to join us!  At least then, it will be 2 to 1---blondes to redheads!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another form of prayer

I love this picture.   This is my prayer group--I'm the redhead.  (Aren't I slim??)

This morning, I couldn't wait to get together with my prayer group.  And apparently, they felt the same way.  We needed to talk about the women's retreat and about what God did there.  One of our friends gave her testimony at the retreat and we were so proud of her---it was her first time to share it and I'm sure it won't be the last. 
We met at 7:15 a.m. and I had to leave by 8:45 a.m.  At 8:30, we were still talking--no praying.  But then I realized our talking had been a form of prayer.  Of praise.  We had excitedly talked about what God had done in that 1 1/4 hours.  Our conversation was full of praise.  But we finished it off directing it to Him.  He's a good God!
Malachi 3:16  "Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard."

Monday, April 19, 2010


Say it with me:  Murrr-mur.  I can hear Ricky Griffin talking about this in my head as I write it.  Murmur sounds just like what it means when you say it:  murrr-mur.

That's what the children of Israel did in the wilderness.  They murmured and complained.  They complained about:  They thought they had been brought to the wilderness to die...The Egyptians were coming upon them as they were at the Red Sea...The water was bad...They didn't have food to eat...They didn't have water to drink.  Mur-Mur.

I've been reminded of how much we murmur as I read comments on facebook.  There's too much snow.  There's too much rain.  It's too hot.  It's too cold.  My kids are driving me crazy.  (Ok..I won't be too hard on that one!)  I don't like Mondays.  I don't like school.  I can't sleep.  I woke up too early. (That one was me.)  It's going to be a long night.   (Do you see anything on our list as urgent as the Egyptians being upon us?)

I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the point.  I'm as guilty as any.  But God got my attention when the weather changed.  You'd think we were made of sugar the way everyone complained about the rain.  Or you'd think we were never going to have sunshine again.  God must get sick of our murmuring!  Can you imagine trying to please everyone?  I, for one, absolutely love the snow.  But I realize I have children and friends who love the sun.  I think we need to praise God for each---recognizing He may have sent it just to bless someone else.

Ok, God.  I want to quit my murmuring and exchange it for a garment of praise.  How's that?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Results of Spirit vs. Flesh

One thing I've been made very aware of this weekend...Satan does not want us walking in the Spirit.  I've begun a process of asking God to help me walk in the Spirit and not the flesh each day.  I especially wanted to speak at the women's retreat this weekend in the Spirit.  I asked God to help me.  It meant dying to pride, ego, love of praise, wanting my own way, greed, and control--among a hundred other things. 

If you know me, you know I love to speak.  I'm one of those weird 1% of people who love public speaking.  Love. it.  So it's easy for me to do it in the flesh.  And after this weekend, I'd say I've probably done most of my speaking that way.  The battle was fierce this weekend.  For the first time in my life, I was afraid. 

When I walked into the room where we were to meet, I was overwhelmed with intimidation.  I thought, "Wrong message.  Wrong crowd.  Wrong speaker."  I began to doubt everything.  I sought out some people to pray for me.  People who would do some serious praying for me.  And then I went to God to make sure I had the right message.  He reminded me that this was not about me---it was about Him.  I was only the messenger and I had a message to deliver.  But He also told me that He was going to satisfy needs in people's lives and bring brokenness in others.

So I did deliver it.  And I could tell that the Spirit of God was moving in that room---bringing healing to hearts.  It was definitely and absolutely not about me.  I told the women after I spoke that Andy and the medical team had gotten an earlier flight to come home and I had 10 minutes to get to the airport.  So I  headed out.  Remember the battle before I spoke?  It intensified after I left.  I doubted everything I'd said.  I beat myself up over examples I'd uttered.  (Actually,  we know who the real accuser was.)  I felt like a failure.  I kept running to my Daddy, seeking His face.  And once again, He reminded me, "This is not about you, Becky.  My message has always come through fallible people (except when Jesus spoke).  Leave the results to me."

Whew!!  It's a lot harder doing things in the Spirit vs. the flesh.  But worth it, nonetheless.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Something happened while I was in Florida that I've dwelt on since I've been home.  And it has to do with this photo.  You may have to click on it to see Josiah on his bicycle and the park bench near him.  Let me tell you what happened.

The boys had taken their bicycles to this park to ride on the trail.  On the first ride around the trail, Isaac came whizzing by me on the new bicycle he'd gotten for his birthday.  Josiah was probably 150 yards behind him and wailing loudly.  He hadn't fallen, so I didn't know what was wrong.  Since I was the closest adult to him, I ran towards him and as soon as I was close enough so he could hear me, I began yelling, "What's wrong, Josiah??"  He half-talked, half-cried with real tears running down his cheeks, "I'M SCAAARED!  I'M AFRAID BACK THERE BY MYSELF!!"  It was the back-half of the trail and I could see why he didn't want to be back there all alone--just look at those tall, dark trees!  And I knew he'd been so excited to ride his bike with his big brother.  So when he stopped, I told him that I would go and sit on the bench and everytime he came around, his Gee would be there.  He perked up, shaking his head up and down and agreed that that would be good.  So I parked myself on that bench.  And he went around and around.

Unbeknownst to me, some friends from Jay & Amy's church had come to the same park and I guess in their conversation, Amy had pointed me out and told them I was her mother.  Her friend asked, "Why is your mother sitting over there?"  And Amy took an educated guess as to the reason why I was sitting on that bench.

God has used this story in my life.  From this friend's perception, I could be a snob or a loner who didn't like to talk to people.  But from my perspective, I was doing what any grandmother would do to help out a grandson.  And Amy's friend could have gone home that day without ever asking why I was alone and assumed I was a rude, snobbish person who had huge issues.

Actually, what it left me thinking on is how I make daily decisions that people can misconstrue.  For instance, I'm not very involved in our church's women's ministry and people could assume that I don't like the ministry, or the leaders, or I'm just a snob.  (And none of those is true.  I love the ministry and the leaders and pray for them often!)  The truth is that I've found my ministry where I believe God is using my gifts---which would be Living Water.  I'm also involved in counseling marriages (which most people would never know about).  I feel called to both of these ministries.  But it's also the truth that those 2 things leave me tired and I have no energy left to give to other ministries.  (My Mama always said I was the only kid in 1st grade that actually took a nap--and the teacher had to wake me up.  And nothin's changed...)

But the flip side is also true.  I could assume that you are flighty and an egomaniac because you seem to want to be involved in every ministry--front and center.  And the truth could be that you have a very outgoing personality and love people and feel called to make people feel welcome and accepted.

Perceptions are just that.  Perceptions.  Maybe it's time to get to the truth of the matter so we're all set free!  And I think part of the reason God has had me dwellling on this is because He's called us to unity.  And we'll never get there just guessing about one another, will we?

Monday, April 12, 2010

The power of the Holy Spirit

I'm reading a fiction book that Sandra loaned me named The Hidden Flame by Davis Bunn & Janette Oke.  It's a story based on the life of a woman named Abigail in the days following Jesus' death and resurrection.  It follows the lives of the disciples and the people surrounding them in those days.  The interesting thing to me has been how they walked in the power of the Holy Spirit.

And then tonight, I was reading Luke 4.  It's the story of when Jesus was tempted by Satan.  And after he overcame the temptation, it says, "Then Jesus went back full of and under the power of the Holy Spirit into Galilee, and the fame of Him spread through the whole region round about."

I know we battle walking by the Spirit or by our flesh.  At least, I do.  God's been busy showing me more of my flesh.  I've decided to make it a prayer of mine each morning to ask God to fill me and help me walk under the power of the Holy Spirit.  I'll let you know how it goes....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter Photos

My incredible family this Easter--even though we didn't get to be with all of them.  Aren't they beautiful?

These are Matt's girls---Alexis, Lisa & Caitlin

These are Amy's kids--Isaac, Olivia & Josiah

This is David's family--David, Ryan, Lindsey & Addie

Matt & Lisa

Jay & Amy (Amy was actually sick in bed on Easter--so this was taken while I was in Florida)

Andy's mom, Liz, with Ryan & Addie

I didn't have an Easter photo of Zach & I substituted. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Florida Photos

I wish I had the energy to put these in order or tell you about each of them.  But I don't.  But they're just cute enough all on their own!  A good time was had by all.....But you must go watch this.  Olivia starts out singing "Happy Birthday to You" (or Ha-py to chu) and breaks into a medley of "Amen" and then ends with a grand finale!  You're gonna love it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wish you were here...

I'm having a really good time in Florida.  But I haven't figured out how to upload photos (and definitely not videos) on Jay & Amy's computer.   And I probably won't have time before I leave.  And I have some GREAT stuff to share!  So when I get home, you'll get the whole enchilada.
Speaking of enchiladas, Josiah gets to choose where we're eating tonight.  And he's chosen Moe's (spelling unsure since I haven't been there yet).  It's a Southwest restaurant.  Isaac got to choose lunch and we went to Firehouse Subs.  Subs eaten in a room surrounded by fire murals and fireman stuff.  Just what any boy would love.
It's been a great trip.  I can't wait to tell you all about it....and show you pictures...whether you want to see them or not.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Florida Birthdays

I'm headed to Florida tomorrow.  I am excited!  Two little boys are having birthdays and I must go celebrate with them.  I have, in fact, sent their birthday gifts ahead of me and their mom tells me the gifts are unobtrusively hanging out in the garage.  I've talked to the boys a couple of times recently and they keep asking me if I've sent these gifts to them, but I keep telling them I can't tell them--that it's a birthday surprise.  I don't think it will be much of a surprise, but maybe they'll like it...since it's exactly what they ordered from Gee.

This is Isaac.  He'll be 7.  He wants an Iron Man costume for his birthday.

This is Josiah.  He'll be 5.  He wants a remote control robot for his birthday. 
I expect to be sitting in-between 2 car seats in the back of a van tomorrow about 2 p.m.
To be continued....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christ is Risen!

He is risen indeed.
Or as they say in the Baptist Sunday School, "Amen."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday's Confusion

Can you imagine the confusion the disciples felt on the Saturday after Jesus' death?  I'm not sure they ever "got it" about Jesus' purpose.  They wanted to get it, but I'm not sure they did.  They had been looking for a Messiah who was going to be a benevolent leader and who was going to change their world system.  Instead, Jesus upset the apple cart of the religious leaders--turning over money changer's tables and confronting the leaders for living by the letter of the law and foregoing love.

The disciples saw Jesus heal people, feed thousands with a few fish and small loaves of bread, walk on water, calm storms, raise the dead...but they were waiting for that new kingdom.  A King.  A leader. Someone who would take the throne by storm. But instead...he died.

Not only did Jesus die, but before his death, the disciples had declared they would follow him and die with him but instead they denied him.  So not only were they confused by Jesus' death, but they were overwhelmed by what was in their own heart--something they didn't even know was there.

We seem to be in our own Saturday.  We need to know that Jesus didn't come to change the world system.  He came to redeem us to His Father so that we can be a part of his new kingdom--as salt and light.  A kingdom that starts in our hearts.  He's told us that bad things will happen before he comes again--but "it is necessary that these things take place."   When Jesus was faced with God's plan to redeem the world, knowing he would take the sins of the world on himself, he prayed.  He begged God to let this cup pass from him.  But knowing that "it was necessary that these things take place," he added, "Not my will, but thine be done."   And God said no.   Just like Jesus' birth, death, burial and resurrection were prophesied and had to be fulfilled, so have these days.  Let's not focus on our Saturday and the confusion it holds.  God has a plan.  Sunday's coming!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Change is hard.  Especially the older you get.  But you'd never know it by watching Gib.  I know I've told you about him before...

Gib, at 81 years of age, has been the food supervisor at Living Water for the past few years---even before I became the director 3 years ago.  It's a hard position.  He's ordered our food, made out a list of what we're giving away each week, kept food rotated, taken meat to get it sliced at our local grocer, picked up day-old bread, cleaned freezers, and has overseen the loading of bags of groceries, etc.  He's given us about 20-25 hours a week---volunteering!

About a month ago, Gib came to me and told me he was going to have to step down from his position.   Even though I understood, I was sad.  And I knew we'd never replace Gib.  I put the word out that he was retiring and asked some of the guys if they'd be able to step up and share some of his responsibilities.  After talking it over, and knowing our guys' time was stretched thin as it was, we decided to simplify and try to get as much done as possible on the days we had a lot of help already.  That decision was made this past Monday.

Yesterday, Gib came by just to see how things were going.  Even though he's been ready to step down, he wasn't going to leave me in a lurch.  So...I told him about our plan to utilize our help and I could tell he was having to wrap his mind around the change.  But he just nodded his head in agreement and told me he'd see me the next day.

Well, today was the implementation of the big change.  And it was a busy day.  But I stood in awe as I watched Gib.  Instead of leading, he yielded to a younger man who has assumed the new responsibility.  No one would have ever known he might have had to spend some time wrapping his mind around a new plan.  Later, our new leader told me that Gib whispered some suggestions to him a couple of times and then backed out of the way to let the leader decide whether to take those suggestions.  Gib just spent his time encouraging those around him--and telling a few jokes.  And instead of hanging around to do the finishing touches that the supervisor does, he said, "Well, boys, think I'll saddle up and head to Montana!"  And he left to go home to minister to his wife.

I can't even think about Gib submitting to our changes--our new plan--without tearing up.  What a masterful way of passing the reins--so full of grace, encouragement, and submission.  I'm so thankful that God put Gib in my life as an example of how to grow old gracefully.  That's exactly how I want to be---ready to submit to the changes God brings into my life with grace.  You're never too old to change.