Monday, August 29, 2016

Happy 9th Birthday, Olivia!

Today is Olivia's 9th birthday!  It's so hard to believe she's already this old.  I got to go to Dalhart and stay with her two brothers while she was born.  There was so much excitement when they brought her home from the hospital!  By the time she was three, when you asked her when her birthday was, she'd reply, "20 August 9!"  And she said that for years.  I really hated when she outgrew it.

She's always had the prettiest eyes and most adorable cheeks!

She's always been full of giggles, too.  (I still love getting Olivia alone--her silliness and laughter come out!)

She was hiding from us.  (She's done some of the cutest things!)

Those rosy cheeks!

Her brothers loved her.  They still do...most days.

This photo of Olivia in her tutu was almost foretelling.  This girl has loved to dance!

They were visiting and watching a movie together.  Olivia was a thumb sucker.

Did I mention her dimples??

And here we go!  Olivia's two brothers are both musicians--so she has always had music to dance to.

 Her dance recital.

Olivia is a big sister--and she fills that role so well.  She LOVES her little sister!  They share a room--and secrets, I'm sure.

She has a good role model.  She adores her mom.

Olivia has always been quiet.  When her two brothers were being home schooled, she would entertain herself for hours--no joke.  She is very compassionate and has a really tender heart.

Olivia is such a good friend to others.  She forgives easily and is a giver--she loves to share her things with her friends.  But she also loves her alone time.  It's not unusual for her to tell her neighborhood friends that she just wants to be alone--and then she'll go to her room and read or play alone.

And I leave you with this.  Olivia is singing "Happy Birthday to You" and it changes to "Amen."  
My favorite video of all time!

I love you,

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Happy Birthday, Gus!

Gus turns 4-years-old today!  I remember rushing to Lubbock for his birth and then waiting...taking a nap in the pickup...waiting.  But it was so exciting when he came!  

His big brother, Dax, has watched over him since he was born.  Dax would make sure Gus had his pacifier--and open his own mouth every time he tried to get Gus to open his mouth.

His first Christmas as Santa...with his pretty mommy.

We were babysitting Dax & Gus while Zach & Shanna went to Alaska.  We went and got Gus a walker since he was wanting to follow his big brother so badly.  He loved it!

This guy has always had the best smile and most beautiful eyes!

Gus kind of likes his Pot, too.

We'd gotten chicken for dinner and gave Gus some mashed potatoes.  
He liked them!

Gus was showing me his muscles---and making a grunting noise.

We went to the lake in Dalhart so the boys could throw rocks in the water.  Gus got a ride.
(Notice how he's holding on!)

Gus loves to laugh!!  And his greatest delight is making others laugh!

Gus was hiding from Dax.

The boys had watched Horton Hears a Who.  Gus was listening for the Who.

This was a picture I got when I was on my way to babysit the boys.  
(I was more excited than Gus!)

Gus had "thrown up in his mouth" so Dax made him lay on the couch and covered him up.  And then he began to read a book to Gus since he didn't feel well.  (He really could read!)  Gus didn't stay sick very long.

Gus was pretending to be dead.

This kid keeps me in stitches!!  I've only known two little guys who began to exemplify a sense of humor as early as one-year-old--Gus and his older cousin.  I was amazed!  I'd never seen such a young child understand humor--and how to make others laugh.  Both of these guys are the second child with an older brother--I wonder if that's why.  Gus also knew how to push his older brother's buttons and get him all upset...and then laugh.  
Gus is also very sensitive.  He knows when someone is unhappy or has their feelings hurt and will quietly go sit by them--and usually touch them in some way.  It's not at all unusual for Gus to randomly sit in your lap and whisper in your ear, "I love you!"  He has such a tender heart.
He's crazy about his family!!  He gets so excited when his mom and dad come home from a trip!  And he's anxious to meet up with his brother and sister when they've been separated for a short time.  I love this guy!!
Gus, I can't wait to see what amazing thing God has for your life!

I love you,

Friday, August 5, 2016

Change the Atmosphere!

This week, Andy & I set aside time to have our own P&P--praise & prayer.  We've been anxious to hear God for our church and for our own lives.  As we've met, we've listened to praise music and praised in our hearts along with those songs.  And we've asked the Holy Spirit to meet with us, teach us, and instruct us.

Can I just tell you that it's pretty amazing to listen to your children's music and praise God through it?  God spoke to us each time through their music.

(Zach Dietz in A Road Less Traveled)

But as we met with God this afternoon, I had a profound moment.  We were listening to Matt's song, Sound of Heaven, and a realization washed all over me!  As we live out WHO WE ARE and DO the things God has put right in front of us, we are breaking open the jar of perfume (like Mary used to pour over Jesus).  We're breaking open the PURPOSE God placed inside of us.  Because He lives in us, we are releasing HIM.  He's placed an expression of Himself inside each of us at the point of salvation.  We are releasing heaven on earth!  As we release heaven, it changes the atmosphere of earth.

(Matt Dietz)

Who are you?  What is your purpose?  You can begin to find that when you understand your name--your spiritual DNA is wrapped up inside of your name.  What do you love to do?  DO THAT!!!  I wake up every morning now and say, "What is right in front of me that I can do?  What can I do that is an expression of who I am?  What can I release?"  And I do that.

My purpose is to be a life source.  I am to source life to others--the life of the Father.  I love to teach and I love to minister to pastor's wives.  It's such a need right now--lots of pastor's wives are falling apart.  So what I could do that was right in front of me was to start a pastor's wives blog and Facebook page.  I used those two mediums to teach and to bring life to those I knew were hurting.  And then I began doing videos to put on the Facebook page--it's what was right in front of me that I knew I could do.  Talk about scary!  You're completely putting yourself out there!!  Out there for criticism or critiquing.  But I'd put my yes on the table.  I've been amazed at the results--I've had influence where I'd had none before.  Women were messaging me with questions and need for help.  I was SOURCING LIFE to women.  And it's changing the atmosphere.

You can change the atmosphere, too--and bring heaven to earth!!  Do what's right in front of you that you ALREADY LOVE to do!!  USE it for the kingdom of God.  Break it open.  Pour it out.  It will change the atmosphere around you and fulfill you in ways you never thought possible.

THIS is the Sound of Heaven--filling the earth as we break open our giftings and fulfill what we're called to do.  Changing the person at a time.  Bringing heaven to earth.  

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Happy Birthday, David!

Today is David's birthday!  He's our third child--and comes within the birthday week of our first three children--who are spread within four years of one another.  David's birth was so exciting.  When I was about 3 months pregnant, the doctor was sure I was having twins.  (Andy is a twin, so we knew that was a possibility.)  I was very excited--I wanted twins!  So the doctor sent me for a sonogram to see if that was the case.  It was my very first sonogram and it was so vague, I really couldn't see anything specific--even a head (sonograms weren't what they are now!)--but we did find out we weren't having twins.
We lived in Amarillo at the time and we'd just had a flood which came within feet of our driveway--it began at the lake by Western Plaza and went for blocks!  Since our street was one which was passable and where people could view the traumatic event, streams of traffic were going down our street and turning around in our driveway to go back the way they'd come--with waves washing into our yard.  I was certain we'd never be able to get out of our driveway if I were to go into labor!   When I did go into labor, the waters had receded and the crowd had diminished.  I'd begged my doctor to induce labor on July 28th--so my kids' birthdays would be in chronological birth order on the 26th, 27th, & 28th.  He refused.  But he told me I could take castor oil and see if that worked.  It didn't.  So we waited a week for David to make his his own time.  Little did I know that this was prophetic of David's personality.  (Of course, we still didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl.)
After David was born, Andy brought Matt & Amy to to the hospital to see their new baby brother.  They were so excited!!  Amy stood at the hospital window looking at him and I could hear her saying, "She has eyes!"  For a month, Amy called David "she or her."  We could NOT convince her that she had a brother.  She also couldn't remember his name.  When someone would ask her what her baby brother's name was, she'd reply, "Goliath!"  David was the best baby...he seldom cried and was perfectly content wherever he was.  That also became an indicator of who he would become.
Let me tell you about David...

  • David is a very easy-going person. 
  • David is a doer. Even though he's very laid back, he doesn't let grass grow under his feet.  He's either working on a computer, building or remodeling something, or maple syrup!
  • David is very generous.  He'd honestly give the shirt off his back if someone needed it--and probably has.  He thinks nothing of loaning something that is his and if it's not returned, he'll just go buy a new one.  No hard feelings.  (Don't tell him I sent you!)
  • David loves to laugh--and he has a great laugh!  He also loves to make other people laugh by  imitating others.  He can laugh just like my brother, Bob.  He can imitate a singer from our old church, comedians, actors, etc.
  • I've watched David build strong friendships.  He may surround himself with lots of friends, but I've noticed through the years that he usually spends quality time alone with one good friend.  He doesn't need a crowd.  
  • David has a memory like an elephant!  I once bought him a t-shirt that said, "I Speak Fluently in Movie Quotes."  I hated watching movies with him when he was a kid--he'd tell me everything that was about to happen and then could quote the whole movie after watching it one time.  I laughed when I saw that his children have this same gift!!
  • David is a good, good daddy.  He loves his kids and would do anything for them.  
  • David is a wonderful provider.  Anytime David's been without a job, I've never worried about him.  He's willing to do whatever it takes to provide for his family--even if he has to hold down three jobs at a time.  He'll go to any measures to make sure they're taken care of.
  • David has a genius mind.  He's always learning and figuring things out.  Even as a little guy, he would take his toys apart and then put them back together.  He wanted to know how things worked.  He's created computer programs, put whole systems together, figured out how to help a company advertise with an app (before that was a thing)--and how to train their employees to work better, and how to link benevolence ministries in an area together to compile information.  I'm guessing his brain never shuts off--he's always looking for a better way.
  • David is a peacemaker.  He can talk people down who are overwrought and bring understanding between two sides.
  • David is a gifted musician.  He's a guitarist, a songwriter, a singer, and has been a worship leader.
  • David has a teachable spirit.  I remember when he began leading worship, he would take suggestions from his dad (a hard thing for most teenagers to do).  But I've watched him do the same with others through the years.  He has a humble heart--willing to learn from others.

David's name means Beloved--God has heard--Defender of Mankind--Ruler of the People.  David is all of those things.  He is greatly loved by me, his dad, his family, and his many friends.  God has heard him and is answering--He's very passionate about David.  David has an intense desire to defend others.  David is and will be a benevolent ruler of others--he's gifted to rule.  This is who God created David to be.

I love you,