Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pinafores by Ashley

My cousin, Ashley Yost, is a very gifted seamstress.  

(Dan & Ashley just got married last May!)

She makes these adorable pinafores for little girls--of all sizes.  Not only is she skilled in her craft, she has a great eye for fabric!  I love what she's chosen.  She's just started selling these on Etsy and I encourage you to take a look at all of the different things she has here.

The amazing thing about these pinafores is that they are REVERSIBLE!!  (You can see the contrasting fabric for each pinafore on her Etsy site.)

I know all of my girls have had these for their daughters and loved them.

When they'd be eating at a restaurant and the pinafore would get dirty, they'd just reverse it to the other side---and wallah!  A clean outfit!

I love how they criss-cross in the back.
(And they're easy to put on!)

These are perfect for summer.

There also great for winter--just add a long-sleeved shirt under the pinafore!

They're cute as a dress.  
(I really like them with diaper bloomers!)

They're cute over shorts.

They're cute over jeans.

They're cute over leggings.

Your little girl may like skirts better...she has them, too!

Her business is called LassieGirlInc.  
Her customers talk about her great quality and fast shipping!
Everything is reasonably priced.
(And she even has some things on sale!)
*If you don't see the size you need, she also does custom orders*

Zach's Sermon on FEAR

I mentioned I was listening to Zach's sermon on FEAR last night and some of you wanted to hear it.  So here it is.  Just click here and then download and listen to it.  I was up until 1:30 this morning pondering over the new principle I learned from him and laughing in giddiness over it and thinking of examples in the Bible.  Let me know what you learn!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Movies...what do they tell us?

Andy & I recently went to the theater to see Son of God.  While this blog isn't a review of that movie, I just have to ask...have you noticed there's about 30 minutes of previews before the movie actually starts these days?  As we sat and watched all 30 minutes of previews, I was struck with how "dark" the coming movies were.  And by "dark," I mean movies which make you feel hopeless, the end is near, or are just full of struggle.  Four years ago (!), I wrote a blog about all of the Amish books coming out and what my take was on that.  I really believe we can see a trend in media--whether movies, books, TV shows, etc.--which is an indicator of what is going on in the human heart or in our world. take on the dark movies.  I think mankind is losing hope.  I think most people believe the American dream is dead.  And I also believe our culture believes something big is ahead--a war, holocaust, or something which is going to bring out the survivalist in us.  That's just my take.  What do you think?

The good news is...people are ready to hear the Good News!  We have a culture ready for hope.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Making Cookies with Granny

I've been lazy today.  I'm still in bed in my pajamas reading an old journal.  In it (from 1999), I read the story of me remembering how my mom let her grandkids make cookies with her.

Granny had the recipe, she mixed the ingredients, but she let the kids stand on a chair and "help."  They agreed for the cookies.  Each ingredient didn't look like a cookie.  The dough didn't look like cookies.  But those kids trusted Granny.  If she said, "We're making cookies," they believed her and chose to participate in making them.  Now some grandkids didn't like getting their hands dirty.  They didn't want to help--they just wanted to eat the cookies!  But they missed out on the sense of accomplishment of "our cookies."  God bless Granny!  (The best I've been able to do with my grandkids is open a Pillsbury refrigerated cookie package and let them put dough on the cookie sheet.)

It reminds me of our lives.  God's promised so much.  And in the middle of our "cookie making," it may not look much like cookies--or the fulfillment of God's promise.  But we can say "It is Good!" just because we know He's in the process and we trust Him.  He has the recipe for our success!  By our act of getting on the chair, we're participating.  We're standing there in faith believing that He'll do what He says He will do.  And it may be a messy process and not at all like we think it should look.  We have to trust Him.

There's delight in sharing a cookie with Granny--a sense of working together and enjoying eating the fruit of your labors. There's also delight in looking back and seeing how God has fulfilled promises, how He's been at work in your life all the time...when each ingredient looked nothing like a cookie!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg

The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg is a novel based on the true stories of those who were sent to death camps while Hitler was on a murderous mission to kill an entire race of people.  Not only were there Jews who waited to be exterminated in these camps, but others who had aided the Jews--trying to help them escape Hitler and his henchmen.  This is the story of those prisoners in Auschwitz who saw the atrocities there day after day and created a resistance group determined to escape and get the message to the rest of the world that these weren't labor camps as Hitler publicized, but death camps.  The resistance group saw trainloads of people brought to Auschwitz day after day, but it was the rumor that hundreds of thousands of Polish Jews were about to be captured and sent there--to die immediately upon arrival--that spurred a plan to escape and tell the world what was truly happening.

This is a difficult book to read at times because it's all too real.  But oh what a story that needs to be told!  It's also a story we mustn't forget.  I encourage everyone to get this book today and read it!  Thank you, Joel C. Rosenberg, for writing a hard story...with great style.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Racing to the Ever-Moving Finish Line

"But understand this, that in the last days will come perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]."
II Timothy 3:1 (Amp.)

We have more conveniences than at any time in history.  We have greater technology than ever before.  And yet our burdens haven't lessened.  In fact, I believe they have increased.  Why?

I used to read this verse and think it was talking about terrible persecution for the Church (and that still may be ahead for some of us).  But I'm seeing it differently now. I think our abundance of technology has increased our burden.  

I know that when my parents were kids, life was much simpler...think "farm life" with a large family.  Heck!  Even when I was a kid, life was much simpler!!  Most of us didn't have air conditioning, so it was cooler to play outside than stay indoors--with a neighborhood full of kids.  We didn't have lots of "things"--we created our own entertainment.  I remember making hundreds of mud pies and feeding them to my younger brother.  My brothers made garden battle grounds where their army men fought in great wars.  We swung on the rope hung on the only tree in our neighborhood--put there by a fun dad.  We walked to the "little store" for entertainment and a treat.  We spent a whole afternoon in the public library--where our flip-flops irritated the librarian.  Yes, life was simpler.  

I believe dishwashers, air conditioners, TV's, laptops, iPhones, and instant messaging has served to complicate our lives.  Even though I love these conveniences and the help they've been to my life and the way they've made me more comfortable, life has become harder.  Even if we do those things I did as a kid, there's pressure to do more to more people...inform our audience of every move we make (write blogs ;))...compete...and race to the ever-moving finish line.  And because we don't interact face-to-face as much as people did in generations past, more relationships are broken...which only adds to the stress and pressure.  The conveniences we have have only made us more internal.  We just want to go home and relax at the end of a day.  We don't have time or energy for people and complications.

Whew!  I'm tired just writing and thinking about this.  I'm so grateful that many of our younger generation are trying to simplify their lives.  It's going to take a concerted effort on our part to pull ourselves away from the great stress.  We don't have to give in to it.  God was warning us...but not without solution.  Here's the end of that discourse Paul was giving in II Timothy 3:

"But as for you, continue to hold to the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced, knowing from whom you learned [them],  And how from your childhood you have had a knowledge of and been acquainted with the sacred Writings, which are able to instruct you and give you the understanding for salvation which comes through faith in Christ Jesus [through the leaning of the entire human personality on God in Christ Jesus in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].  Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work." 

We must be conformed to God's will in thought, purpose and action.  When's the last time we asked God how we should be thinking?  What His purpose was for our lives?  What we should be doing?  We've GOT to slow down long enough, and be still and quiet while we ask God these questions.  We have to let that God-breathed Scripture change our thinking.  THAT'S how to get out of the race we seem to be in--the one with the ever-moving finish line.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Andy's Interview on Huffington Post

Andy's interview today on Huffington Post Live.  His book, Kidnapped in Budapest, doesn't come out until the first part of June...but it's already available as a pre-order on Amazon & Barnes & Noble.


I've begun teaching my favorite Bible story to the kids at FBC Groom...Esther.  Did you know Esther's Hebrew name was Hadassah?  But of course, since neither she nor Mordecai, her cousin who reared her, wanted to reveal their Jewish roots, she went by her Persian name, Esther.  Their family had been taken captive in Jerusalem and carried to Babylon and they
were now living in Persia (which stretched from India to Ethiopia) and Mordecai was serving under King Ahasuerus.  Mordecai must have loved Esther and taught her the things of God and especially  "obedience."

As I was teaching this to the kids last night and taught how Esther was brought to the ultimate beauty contest and went before the king, she stood out among all the other women.  I asked the kids what they thought made her stand out.  And they all agreed it was her obedience.  I left them with the cliff hanger of the secret she and Mordecai shared and how it would affect not only their lives, but the lives of a kingdom.

Obedience.  It's so appealing, so beautiful, so magnetic.  And of course, I would go on to say that as a woman (adult), it was her submission to God that made her stand out.  Obedience/ can't have one without the other, right?  I can't obey if I don't first submit my heart to God.  I Peter 3 says that submission yields a gentle and quiet spirit which is beautiful before God.

The thing I was thinking on yesterday is that Esther's story is really God's story.  He just spoke it through Esther's life.  Through Esther, we learn that God loves His people and will go to any length to rescue them.  I think it's why I love this story so much.  My heart yearns to know how much God loves me...and that He will go to any length to rescue me.  I also long to know that He will speak His story through my life.

*Fun Fact

Hadassah of the Bible was in Persia, which stretched from India to Ethiopia.  Our Hadassah is from Ethiopia.  Hadassah of the Bible was an orphan taken in by a relative.  Our Hadassah was orphaned and taken in.  Esther means "star."  When Jay & Amy first got a photo of our Hadassah, she was wearing a little gown that had a star on it.  It was just God's confirmation to them that this was their child (Because they had already chosen the name, Hadassah.).  Esther 2 says that Hadassah was beautiful.  I rest my case on that one!   

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Energizer Bunny

For those who know Andy, they won't be surprised to hear me call him my Energizer Bunny.  The guy has no end to his energy!  Especially when it involves ministry.

This past weekend, we had our first-ever Disciple Now for the youth at First Baptist Church, Groom.  Andy organized it (with some great help from our youth leaders) and had Zach come help lead it.

He loves the youth--and, as many of you can confirm, he loves to give them a hard time.

He taught some of the Bible studies on worship.

He played the games.

He preached Sunday morning and then took a group of youth to visit an older man from our church who is in rehab in Amarillo.

He got to play with two of our grandkids for about 24 hours!

And tonight he's spending a couple of hours with the youth as they learn the drama.
He loves it all!
And he never stops...

(You won't want to miss his live interview with Huffington Post--Thursday at 3:20 Central time!)
His book comes out the first of June.  We're pretty excited!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I've had unique experiences in my adult life.  I've had the privilege of worshiping the God I love while either my husband or one of my three sons or my son-in-law lead worship.  You may have no idea what that's like.  It's a multi-layered encounter.  Your heart is at once drawn to the throne and heart  of God.  But you can't help but be conscious of the fact that it's coming through the skill of someone you love.  It's a double love experience.  Your worship is directed toward God all while your heart swells with love for the person leading you in that worship and a sincere appreciation for the gift God has given them to lead that worship.  Of course, I've experienced it for years with Andy.  But I'll never forget the first time I experienced it with one of my sons.  Matt had written a song and he and the band were singing it in a worship service at West Texas A&M.  I was overwhelmed as we all sang and worshiped, lifting our hands in praise to God.  In the midst of that, I became cognizant of the fact that I was worshiping God with a song my son had written and watched in wonder as a crowd of college students exuberantly lifted their voices in praise.  I can't even describe what that was like.  I've since experienced the same thing with each of my sons and my son-in-law.   I know...I am abundantly blessed.

Tonight, I was in Dalhart at New Life Church.  Zach is worship leader there.  Several churches are cooperating in having activities for their youth during spring break and they had asked Andy to come speak on missions.  They had a band made up from their worship leaders--which not only included Zach, but also one of our former youth.  They led us in worship.  I was moved once again. And I couldn't help but fall to my knees in worship of the God I love.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blogging Grades

Amy Dietz Wright & I were talking the other night and I told her I was going to give her an "F" for trying to blog 6 months worth of photos in one blog post.

But if I give Amy an "F," that means I have to give Marcy Hallden an "F-" for getting me started in the blogging community and then stopping herself.  Oh yeah...don't give me the whole twin bit.  Excuses, excuses...

But if Amy gets an "F" and Marcy gets an "F-" that means Sandra Langford gets an "F--" for her last post in November 2012 entitled, "Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!"

And last, but certainly not least, if Amy gets an "F," Marcy gets an "F-," and Sandra gets an "F--," Zach Dietz would have to get an "F---." His last post was three years ago!!  He had just finished Part 3 of a three-part-series and seems to have used up all his words!!

I'll be sending your parents your report cards.  I know you can bring those grades up!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chasing God

Chasing God.  It sounds right, doesn't it?  It did until I read my friend's blog.  Hope Huddleston challenges me in many ways.  And she challenged me with her blog.  I couldn't stop thinking about it!  She read the book, Chasing God, by Angie Smith.  Here's a quote from that book which has stayed with me since I read it:
It's the difference between following and chasing.
The key that finally turned the door of my faith was understanding that we are called to one and not the other.
Angie goes on to say in her book that God revealed this to her:
You chase Me because you trust your own legs more than you trust Me.
You chase Me because you can feel the air in your lungs, not because you want to breathe true life.
And as long as you can chase, you still get a say.  You maintain part-ownership of our relationship.  You would run forever in the wrong direction if it meant your flesh didn't have to admit the truth.
You chase because it feels like you can.
Chasing vs. Following.  I've run hard for many years chasing God.  Doing it my way, in my own strength, having a say in how it looks.  In fact, if I'm honest, I've often pushed God trying to get Him to go faster or even just gone around Him setting my own pace and going where I wanted to go, asking Him to bless it.  But I'm called to FOLLOW.  Following seems to be a much slower, easier pace.  It's walking behind my Shepherd knowing He's leading me to still waters and green grass.  It's waiting on Him.  He has my best interest at heart.

Thanks, Hope, for posting this.  You've challenged me once again.  By the way....I LOVE your new look and hope you'll blog about it soon!!  You are one gutsy, beautiful lady to emulate!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Kaye Rene

Kaye on the left

Meet Kaye Rene (pronounced like "seen").  Kaye is one of my dearest friends.  We met at church and our kids' school years ago, but I actually got to know her well when we moved to Crockett Street across from her house on Austin Street.  Amy brought Liz, Kaye's daughter, into our house one day soon after we'd moved in.  Liz was the shyest little girl I'd ever met!  I asked her what her name was and she mumbled, "Elizabeth" under her breath.  I asked again a few more times until Amy said, "'s LIZ!"  Amy & Liz became fast friends.  One day, they hatched the idea that they would get both of their moms to take them to drive around get a Coke.  And it worked.

I remember Kaye was driving.  I fully expected the girls, who were sitting in the back seat, to talk and for Kaye and I to talk.  But Kaye turned the conversation to include all four of us.  This wasn't something I was used to--you know, "kids are to be seen and not heard" whole attitude.   But Kaye was a great guide into this unknown arena.  The four of us had a great time together...and the girls discovered this was a great way to escape the world of boys in our neighborhood.  So it became something we did very often.  Soon, it turned into a time when we'd get something to drink, drive all over Borger, and even pray over our community, friends, family, and our own needs.  And I learned a lot.  I learned how important it was to hear our daughters' hearts.  I learned what was going on in their lives, their frustrations, dreams, boy interests, etc.  I learned things I never would have learned if I hadn't been taught to listen and to include these girls in our conversation.  I owe a lot to Kaye.

Kaye Rene is hysterical and has an infectious laugh.  For instance, in the photo above, Andy & I were celebrating our 20th anniversary of being on staff at First Baptist Church Borger.  Jay & Amy and their children had come.  Someone was taking photos of us and Kaye was nearby and just stepped into the photo--without the photographer having any idea.  You can see that we are all laughing our heads off---while Kaye just smiles sweetly for the camera.  It's my favorite photo from that night.

We have so much history together...mission trips, girls' trips, spiritual warfare, a trip to California, our kids' weddings, births of grandkids.  The list goes on and on.  Kaye is one of those "love you forever" kind of friends.  Our hearts are knit together.  Kaye has invested so much in my life--I owe her more than you can imagine.  I'm so glad God placed us at the corner of Crockett & Austin.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Daughter's Week

Lindsey, Amy, Me, Shanna

I wanted to share my beautiful daughters with you in honor of Daughter's Week.  I have fabulous daughters--one by birth and two by marriage.  (Their own mama's did such a good job rearing them!  Thanks for sharing them with me, Shala & Kay!)  I'll just start left to right.

Lindsey is David's wife.  We had a rocky start.  It was nothing against was my son's impetuousness.  I think he may have proposed the night they met.  Lindsey is everything David is not and vice they're a match made in heaven.  You never have to guess what Lindsey is thinking--which I love about her.  She is very forthright and a great protector of truth.  She's honest, caring, loves deeply, laughs easily, and has many strengths.  She's a leader and not shy to step up.  She's a wonderful mom and is rearing two beautiful, inquisitive kids.  She home schools, cooks nutritional meals, does intensive research and is a master organizer.  (We've all benefited from that gift at some point!!)  Lindsey was also an editor of a magazine and is a gifted writer.  She loves God with all of her heart and desperately wants to share what she's learned to benefit those around her.  I foresee Lindsey being a nutritionist or a counselor or both.  She's been through some incredible things and is an overcomer.  It's hard for Lindsey to see what she's overcome because she is her own worst critic.  But overcome, she has!  Lindsey's dream is to own a farm and raise her own food.  Andy & I lived with David & Lindsey for 9 months and we had some amazing heart conversations during that time.  I love her!!

Amy is my daughter by birth--the only girl in the midst of three brothers.  Amy is so much fun.  One of my favorite memories of her was when she was about 8-years-old and I was about to spank her.  She started yelling, "JESUS LOVES YOU!  JESUS LOVES YOU!"  And I laughed loudly and  responded, "He loves you, too.  Now bend over!"  That girl has made me laugh all of her life.  In fact, she called last night and I was laughing so hard I was crying.  Amy has a very tender heart even though she learned to be tough with three brothers.  (Her poor sons will never have the advantage!)  She home schooled her first three kids until last year.  And now she's a busy mom of four.  She and Jay adopted Hadassah from Ethiopia a couple of years ago.  It melted my heart, but didn't surprise me, when I found out she wanted to adopt.  I love that she encourages her children musically even after she grew up overwhelmed with her brothers' guitars!  Amy is a very loyal friend.  She has many gifts--and even hides a few.  She is adventurous, a risk-taker (she probably doesn't think she is--but she is!), and not afraid to put herself out there to make new friends.  She's a gentle leader and just as quick to step out of the way once she gets something going.  She is the best kind of encourager.  Amy also hopes to raise chickens in Dallas.  I can only hope this dream materializes so I can see what that looks like!  I foresee Amy speaking to large groups of women.  I love this girl!!  And I love sharing her with Jay's mom, Jean.

Shanna is Zach's wife.  Zach told me he was looking for a wife who knew how to worship.  And one night when he was leading worship, he looked out and saw Shanna on her face before God.  And he fell in love.  I love this about Shanna.  She is a worshiper.  She was a youth intern and mentored young girls after she graduated from high school.  We were all afraid Zach was never going to ask her to marry him--so we threatened to adopt her if he didn't propose!  Shanna is the most gentle of us Dietz women...and we would all admit that.  You'd think because of that, she would be very quiet by nature.  And she is somewhat.  But she is also hysterical!  She comes up with some of the zaniest things to do and can have all of us in stitches with her one-line zingers.  I only wish I had some videos of skits she's put together.  She is a diligent mama to two little boys who adore her.  I know she gets overwhelmed at times, but she not only keeps on trucking with her babies (and taking the cutest photos and videos of them!), but manages to do ministry at the same time.  Shanna is a gifted photographer--she's a second shooter for weddings for a professional photographer and takes our fabulous family photos!  I doubt Shanna ever owns a farm or raises chickens.  But she does love to go on cruises and snorkel under the deep blue sea--she's adventurous like that. I foresee Shanna ministering to women and especially young mothers.  I'm crazy about her!!

All of my girls are pastor's wives.  They not only manage their own homes, their children and their schedules, but are very active in their churches.  I especially admire how they support their husbands in their ministries.  In case you don't know, it's tough being a pastor's wife at times--you don't see as much of your husband as you'd like and people tend to inspect every move you make.  But these girls make it look easy.  They don't just support their husbands emotionally...they dig in and work alongside them.  They even create their own ministry in addition to helping their husbands in what they do.

These girls are also loyal to family--their own little families, our family and their other family.  I love that they have relationships with one another by calling each other and visiting one another--even doing girl trips together.  It's fun to watch and makes a mama's heart glad.  I couldn't be prouder of my girls.  They are amazing women and daughters!


There are so many needs around us...right in our own back yard--even in a town of 600 people, like Groom!  And sometimes they seem bigger here.  More overwhelming.  But we serve a BIG GOD!  And God just wants us to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  And sometimes the hug of Jesus.  My friend, Jason Bishop, and his family are serving Jesus in Germany.  I received this email from him and cried.  Would you please read this and pray for Umberto?  And if God moves you to help, I'd be happy to put you in touch with the Bishops.  You can follow his blog here.


Tonight, while sharing Jesus in the streets of Lisbon, I met a man with a definite need.  He was begging for money on the side of a shopping street, and was missing his left leg from the knee down.

When I was hungry...

Our new friend is Umberto.  We asked him some questions, seeking to see which language we could use with him.  Turns out he speaks fluently English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French!  He's 26 years old, and has been on his own since he was 14.  He lost the bottom part of his leg in a motorcycle accident.  As a general rule, I don't hand out money on the streets, so we asked him if he'd like to get a cup of coffee.  To say he was shocked would be an understatement.  He said on rare occasions people bring him food, but no one ever took him for coffee or to get something to eat!  No one ever spends time with him.  He led us to a café around the corner where we got coffee and some "slap yo' mama good" pastries.  And we got to know Umberto.

As we turned to spiritual things, he pulled a Bible out of his backpack and told us he reads 30 minutes every day.  He was currently reading Psalms and told us all about Ps. 91, which was what he'd read today.  He prays, speaks to God every day, and hopes to do enough good to tip the scales in his favor and earn a spot in Heaven.  That's when I shared the good news with him:  Jesus has already tipped the scales, and would like to have a relationship with him.  We spoke for some time, and it became clear that Umberto loves God, His Bible, but has been alone for so long that he didn't want to trust what we were explaining to him.  BUT, he's agreed to meet with a friend on Saturday at the same café to find out how he can better understand the Bible and God's plans for him.  PLEASE pray for him, and for Joe as they meet to further the conversation.  Pray for his salvation AND pray for him to finish raising the money for his prosthetic leg.  He's got 80% of what he needs.  Now, because Portuguese is only minimally close to Spanish, either he needs €1,800 and already has €1,600 OR he needs €8,000 and has raised €6,000!  Pray that the local body of Christ will be faithful to meet him at his point of need and express God's love for him.

As we wrapped up our coffee, I told him that God was leading me to express God's love to him, and asked if I could just give him a hug.  He somewhat hesitantly said, "Yes, that would be okay."  And when I hugged him, and wrapped my arms around him, he grabbed a hold of me like he didn't want to let go.  He then told me he hadn't had contact like that in 12 years, since his dad died and his mom abandoned him.  He began to cry.  I told him he didn't have to be alone any more.  That his is loved, valued, and would have people in his life to prove that.

From the café, we went to a local restaurant for dinner.  Umberto took us to a restaurant where they serve his favorite Cod fish.  We shared a meal, shared more life, and shared about our faiths.  We shared our stories, and connected over common experiences we've had in our lives.  After dinner, we hugged one more time.  As I hugged him, I prayed God's blessing on him and told him how loved he is.  Then he headed home.

Please add Umberto to your prayers.  I'll do my best to keep in touch with our folks here in Lisbon and provide updates on Umberto as I can.

Thanks for praying!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Andy was singing with Vicki & the Royalheirs when we met.  My college roommate had the 8-track and we listened to this album all the time!  Little did I know I would marry this incredible musician!  
(Andy's on the top left)

I'm going through Beth Moore's study, The Inheritance (again), and one of the first questions she asks is this, "What was the year that changed your life?"  I've been thinking on that and there have been many life-changing moments throughout my life and most came through difficult circumstances.  But I want to tell you about the first moment which came through Dale Younce's teaching.

I was 12-years-old and at CEF camp.  (That is Child Evangelism Camp, for those not familiar.  You can check CEF out here.)  My mom taught CEF and we went to their camp every summer.  Dale Younce was the pastor at Faith Covenant (Bible) Church in Borger and he was teaching on dating at camp that year.  He encouraged us to begin praying this way:  "God prepare me for my spouse.  And prepare my spouse for me."

Remember...I was 12-years-old.  But I took up his challenge.  I consistently prayed that God would prepare me for my husband and prepare my husband for me.  Andy was 17-years-old when I began praying that way.  I didn't meet my future husband until six years later.  I've often wondered what those prayers did...

And then when we did meet, it was on a blind date set up by two of our friends.  And I can tell you that I KNEW when I met Andy that I was going to marry him!  Later, he told me the same thing.  It was if our spirits recognized one another.  I'm not saying it's a formula, but I am saying God prepared us for one another and we knew it when we met.

My life changed when I was 12-years-old.  I believed God would hear and answer my prayers and I took this one prayer very seriously.  So did God.

Monday, March 3, 2014

I Recommend Change

I highly recommend change.  Don't we all get in ruts in our lives?  We may live in the same place for years, go to the same church, see the same friends, know everyone at our kids' schools, and talk to the same people all the time.  I love familiarity.  As I've said before, I'm a person who loves deep roots.  And God allowed that in my life.

But then God told my husband to "get out of the box."  I'd seen it coming for quite some time.  I felt God loosening my grip on things I held dear and turning my face towards the Son who was full of creative ideas.  And I told God I was willing to do anything or go anywhere...and I meant it.  I wanted Andy's dreams realized.  (Don't think too highly of me--it took me 38 years to get there!)

I love familiarity, but change is oh, so good!  It forces us to readjust our lives.  We have new people to get to know, a new way of thinking, new places to shop, and friends to make.  It stretches us in ways we may never have been stretched.  And it gives us a fresh outlook--we're seeing things in new ways and with an adjusted mindset.  I think it's pretty clever of God to uproot us and transplant us.  It shakes things up and keeps us dependent on Him.

I grieve now when I hear someone groaning over change--or just having a negative, rotten attitude.  Here are some things I recommend.

  • Have a positive mindset.  Purpose to speak positive things about your situation.  Remember that life and death are in the power of the tongue.  The more you speak positive things, you'll find your mind quickly follows.  And remember you are the guage for your children--they're learning from you.
  • Keep God's Word close to your heart.  Remember His plans for you and your family are GOOD!
  • Ask God what He wants to teach you.  You can be sure He does.  
  • Be adventurous!  See what your new home has to offer.  Get a library card, visit the shops, try new restaurants, go a different direction each week and see what landmarks are around you.  Meet new people as you go.
  • Be brave.  Put yourself out there and meet people.  Everyone needs a friend.  And the best way to have a friend is to be one.  S-t-r-e-t-c-h yourself in this!!
  • Invite people to your home.  It may be initiating a life group, inviting some kids over to play with your kids, having a mom over for coffee, inviting a family to dinner.  Just do it!
Don't sit at home groaning.  That won't solve your problem.  I can tell you I've done it that way before and the difference is life and death.  You're not allowing the power of the Holy Spirit access to your heart when you do that.  Give up.  Allow God to speak to you.  And begin to look for the silver lining in your cloud--I can promise it's there!  God didn't bring you this far to leave you.  He's got great purpose in bringing you to this new place.

I've found change to be very good.  God is good.  And His plans for us our good.  We can trust that.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I guess the older I get, the more nostalgic I get.  In fact, I think it just happened this year!!  While Andy & I were toodling around the country this year, I found some treasures I just had to have.  And I realized at every junk store or flea market, I was looking for one thing--things which evoked a memory.  These are some of the things I found and I had no idea where I'd put them when I got them, but I wanted them.  And it's been fun finding their new home.

This red ladder came from Clarendon.  Sandra & I stopped there on our way to Scott's bone marrow donation, lugged it to Ft. Worth, let it stay with Aunt Juanita a few days and lugged it back home.  Why didn't we wait til we were on our way home to buy it, you ask?  Beats me!!  I totally love it.  It brings back memories of my dad painting houses--one of his many side jobs.  In fact, I think he had one very similar to this.

My mom had a set of these bowls while I was growing up.  I remember bread rising in the yellow bowl like this one on many, many days.  I don't remember her having the red or blue bowl, but she probably did and we kids broke it at some point.  I found this treasure in Ruidoso.  I paid more than I wanted to, but found out later I really got a good deal as I saw more sets on my travels!  Score!!  And by the way...I have these in my cabinet and use them every day.

Who remembers gym baskets?  Well...guess what?  I was the basket girl at Pampa Jr. High.  That meant I got out of P.E. I checked out the girls' baskets to them and then they changed clothes and put on their P.E. blue bloomers (yeah...real cute) and then reversed the process at the end of gym class.  After I'd checked the baskets in at the beginning of class, I snuck my way over to Patrick's to get ice cream.  (I actually had the gym teacher's permission, but my dad had forbidden me to go there.  And...he was a mailman in that area and I was always afraid I'd get caught...and did once...or twice.  I don't know why I was afraid, I hardly remember Daddy ever disciplining me!)  So yes...these gym baskets bring back some great memories.  I found these on 6th Street in Amarillo.

I have no idea what I'm going to find next.  
But I'm sure it will be something which evokes a memory.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Stop Fear

If you hate the way you keep responding to someone or some situation with the same bad response over and over, stop and examine the root of that response.  My guess is that the basis of it is fear.  Fear seems to be the basis of most bad things in our lives.  I challenge you to stop and examine and just see if fear lives there.

Satan is behind that fear.  He wants us to fear.  Because if we allow fear in our lives and imagine that fear long enough in our minds, we'll act on it.  But God says that He hasn't given us the spirit of fear; but of love, power and a sound mind.

Draw a line in the sand with fear.  No more!  Don't allow it to have free reign in your mind.     Keep examining your responses and stop fear from controlling you.  Ask God for truth which will set you free.  Do that over and over until it becomes a way of life--and you can stop the cycle of bad responses.  You'll be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

I know this sounds simplistic, but I's stopped fear dead in its tracks in my own life.

Live in the love...the power...the sound mind.  Live in truth.