Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Big, Yellow Schoolbus

I guess it is inevitable school begins once more on Monday. I will be starting my 2nd year as a graduate student at Oklahoma State. I kind of feel like this in my senior year all over again. At this point 2 years ago, I definitely thought this was the end of my formal education. Little did I know God had plans for me to stay for another two years. However, this is it for me.

Since both of my parents were in education, I grew up in the school. When I was younger my favorite part of the year was when school supplies came in, and we got to distribute the materials to the teachers. No lie. There was a couple of us who had parents who were teachers and so we would spend the whole day playing and doing whatever the teachers needed. Man, those were the days.

Although both of my brothers played sports all their lives, it wasn't until about my 5th grade year that I started to attend regular high school baseball and basketball games. Since Oilton was a small school, we had fall baseball, basketball, and then spring baseball. In the summer, sometimes my older brother played summer leagues too. Needless to say, I watched a lot of sports in my days-we always went to the games, which is something I am very proud and honored that my parents chose to support us in everything we did. When I got in high school, I was a cheerleader and so once again, we traveled to all of the basketball games. I made as many baseball games as I could amongst anything else I was doing, but my brother had already graduated.

During college, I still made an effort to attend all my little brothers activities as well, but it got a little harder. And then came my junior year in college when Tim transferred to Cushing, but dad still traveled to baseball and basketball games with Oilton since he was the Principal/Athletic Director. I will forever savor those moments we traveled to games together. We have been to a lot of places. This may seem nerdy, but I love to see school buses on the road. I love to see where they are from and what direction they are headed. It literally brings a smile to my face every time. It reminds me of those times traveling to baseball, basketball, and football games (when Tim transferred schools).
Last year, I wasn't able to go to as many high school games. My dad is no longer at Oilton and so he doesn't have those responsibilities, but we still like to get back to Oilton and watch as much as possible.

With this being my last year around this area, that I know, I am going to try and get to as many football, baseball, basketball games as much as I can. I don't like high school sports because it reminds me of the "Glory Days." I like high school sports because of the memories with my family, especially my dad.

Support local sports this upcoming year. Get involved, cheer loud, and make memories.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone,
the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Throughout my life, the 9 o'clock hour has made a significant impact on me and I'm sure others. In 2001, terrorists attacked American soil between ~8:45 a.m.-10 a.m. with different attacks. Several years later my older brother joined the U.S. Army as an Army Reserve. Little did I know that in 2009, he would serve a tour in Iraq. That year, I feel like I was more aware of the clock than ever before. I distinctly remember every time looking at the clock and seeing, "9:11," whether it was in the morning or evening. Obviously, I'm sure I looked at the clock other times, but I did see "9:11" many times. I truly believe this was a way God used to remind me to pray for him and the rest of the men and women serving.

Another significant time happened when I was in the 1st grade. I can not believe this much time has passed since 1995, but Oklahomans will never forget April 19, 1995. Timothy McVeigh bombed the Murrah Federal Building at 9:02 a.m., and by 9:03 a.m., 168 lives were taken from Earth and others faced emotional and physical pain. I know I was young and lived about an hour away, but I remember that day very clear, and I remember hearing the bomb.

BUT, this past summer, campers attending Falls Creek were able to establish a new norm for the 9 o'clock hour-freedom! Every morning, at 9:03, they would ring the bell for every person who accepted Christ as their Savior the night before. I can not put into words what this time meant to me. 1) I was so excited to have new brothers and sisters in Christ! 2) Although the things of the past did happen in the 9 o'clock hour, I was able to claim something other than hurt for that time. It was a time of celebration! 3) For many people these tragedies have ended in death, but to these people who accepted Christ - they now have life!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Give it up

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

Throughout the past church year, I have had the opportunity to work in the nursery. When I started last September, we had two babies. We have grown! We now have a steady five who come pretty much every week, and then every so often have another one as a visitor. It has been a blessing to be able to watch these kids grow up right before our eyes and see how this group has grown so much because of new babies being born or by families that have started attending our church.

Since we had two for a long period of time, the other lady and I was kind of "in charge" of one each. We didn't mean for it to be that way, but that is the way it worked out. The one I mainly had, was well, not always happy when he came into the nursery. He just didn't want to be away from his mom. But, after awhile he started to play and is now even walking!

Recently, this little boy has started fussing toward the end of Sunday School time again. Since I've been around him quite a bit, I kind of know what to do, but he likes to watch me for the longest time before finally just falling asleep. The other Sunday as I was rocking him to sleep, it made me think of myself (ourselves) and our relationship with Christ at times. Sometimes we go through struggles or dark times and don't really know where to turn, or sometimes we do turn to God, but don't necessarily let Him have the reins in the situation. He is always there, and just like He says in the verse, "Come to me...and I will give you rest." As I held this sweet little boy in my arms, I remember saying, "Give it up, you're OK, I have you."

In some situations of my life I have felt God's arms just wrapped around me for protection and to show me that He was there. Other times I have wanted to be like this boy and not want to close my eyes. Maybe it is out of fear because I like to be in control, and when you truly let God lead your life, it is pretty incredible and not necessarily comfortable. But, we serve a God who loves us so much that He wants to provide rest and comfort and peace to us. He wants to be our Father. It is such a comfort knowing that when we are completely at the end of our rope, God wraps us in His arms and tell us to "Give it up, you're OK, I have you."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pink and God

I'll admit it, I'm a channel surfer-whether it is on TV or the radio station, I like to switch channels and see if something better is on. Yet, at times I am fairly content with what is being shown/heard. The first time I heard Pink's new song, "Perfect," I really liked it. (By the way, I just googled the lyrics and I guess, there is potentially another word in front of Perfect on the unedited version, so sorry). Anyways, the chorus reads...

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less then perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing
You're perfect to me!

When I first heard these couple of lines, I thought of God pleading these words for us. I know it is odd because this is definitely not a "Christian" song, but it made sense to me. There are people and things all around us trying to make us something we are not. For girls, magazines depict how we can firm up, drop waist sizes, apply the perfect makeup, and have the best de-frizziest hair...just to name a few. Then, maybe you feel like you have to be "perfect" for your guy/girl...whatever that means in your relationship. Or, maybe it is just having a guy/girl. It just seems the world is demanding us to be "perfect" in their eyes, which isn't always Godly. And, often this leads down to the path of destruction.

God created us in His image; He has made you a beautiful masterpiece-He said so! (Psalm 139:14) I truly believe He looks at us and thinks we are beautiful and PERFECT! I'm not saying it is always easy to believe it every second of the day, but I do believe He wants us to see that in ourselves because He sees that in us. To know the Creator of the Universe looks down on us and sees something beautiful, makes me feel extremely loved. Thank you God!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What a week

It wasn't until this morning while at church that I glanced back at this week and everything that has happened. The week wasn't super busy, but many events led to feelings of being helpless, peace, excitement, hope, sad, and a variety of other emotions. I cannot believe 1 week ago today, many lost their lives during the Joplin, Mo. tornado. And, even if they didn't lose their life they probably know someone who did or experienced destruction in some way. A couple days later, many lives were changed too here in Oklahoma.

Monday morning our family received an email saying that my cousin's nephew, Quenton, was involved in an accident the night before and was in critical condition in ICU at the OU Medical Center. Just the week before, I had been playing with Quenton at my other cousin's baptism. Quenton, who is 4, isn't related to me, only I guess by marriage. However, that side of the family is really close. Quenton is still in ICU, but God intervened many times that evening so that he would still be alive today. Quenton opened his eyes yesterday, but only 1 eye was tracking and had a seizure, so the doctors gave him more medicine to put him back asleep. Doctors say this is normal though. I posted this to Facebook and many said they would pray. One included a professor who lifted Quenton up during one of their prayer group meetings they have every week at work. This professor is still getting updates. This makes me extremely happy to know our professors seek God and do care for their students in this way.

Tuesday marked the Oklahoma tornadoes. Our amazing weathermen kept warning us (even the day before) that the storms we were going to receive were going to be really bad). My niece and nephew were at my house and we decided to not do the usual thing, so we went up to our church since my dad had keys and stayed there. The church has a basement area so we thought it would be good. The church is not usually opened as a tornado shelter, but since we were up there, we definitely weren't going to turn any away. One family who was on their way to Guthrie was stopped by the police and said they couldn't go further. They are just 4 of about 25 who made their way to our church for shelter. The sirens sounded although there wasn't a tornado in Cushing, but Guthrie did get hit hard. Incredible how God works.

I remember the next several days at work trying to get things done, but my mind was obviously in other places. I kept refreshing my Facebook page to see if anything had been said about the rescue workers who were desperately trying to find this little 3-year-old boy, Ryan Hamil. God works in mysterious ways. I remember saying a prayer on Wednesday, and then right after I saw a Facebook page that was created to make people aware of this situation and basically telling them to pray. Today, this page has close to 43,000 followers. It is incredible to me to think of all these people lifting up prayers for this family and to others involved. Knowing Ryan was in God's hand whether here on Earth or with Him in Heaven, I said another prayer on Thursday morning that they would find this precious boy to help bring closure to this family. During their press conference later that morning, I realized that they found Ryan probably right around the time I was praying that prayer. God heard and answered my prayer (and others who were praying) even though it isn't the outcome any of us would have desired.

However, at the end of the week, one of my really good friends, got married to her best friend. I was blessed to be a part of such an occasion. It is so exciting to see this happen between two people who have put Christ in the center of their life and relationship.

God has definitely been teaching me to pray and to pray daily. Only our God can be the Ultimate Healer and Comforter during these times. He is our Hope. He answers our prayers, and I know that His will and understanding is much better than mine. He is also showing me to celebrate the good in our lives. He provides blessings every single day. Please be looking and watching and thanking Him for providing those to us.

I feel like I could write forever about this, but in the end all I can is, what a week. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


“…and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13
For years, I have been ashamed and been hurt by what would appear as selfish pity. You see I have a niece and nephew who were born out of wedlock and by different mothers. This isn’t the type of environment I was raised in and so it never seemed easier to hear news that I would be an aunt. Plus, what would others think about me if I told them about this? I love my niece and nephew so very much, as if they were my own. I would never trade them for anything in this world. And, I love my brother very much-sometimes “bad” things happen to good people. And, although this really didn’t concern me, it still cut deep for many years.

Whenever these kids are together you better want to play with both of them at the same time and do the same things because you can not separate them. They absolutely love each other. They love their daddy too. They are so proud of him serving our country-they even went to help him sort out supplies at the base last weekend. And, they want to be just like him. But, the thing that amazes me the most is how much love they share for each other. They call each other brother and sister and stick up for one another. They love being around each other-in fact, from what I hear Mia is having a slumber party at Rylan’s tonight-something that might be uncommon in this type of situation. Yet, I can’t seem but thank God for bringing such a happy thing out of a sea of possible confusion.

Even amongst the brokenness and pain we have endured, the love they share for each other as brother and sister is worth it all. It [love] really is greater than anything.

It reminds me of how much love our Heavenly Father has for us. He is completely swept away by us even with our failures and shortfalls. The God who is Love (1 John 4:8), loves us unmatched to anything on Earth. He wants to have a relationship with His sons and daughters. Isn’t it cool to be called a Daughter of the King?! Thank you, God, for loving us relentlessly. May our prayer be to become more like You.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Here they are!

I know you (if anyone actually reads this) have been dying to read what I am resolving to do for the year 2011 :) Soooo....I will not make you wait any longer-here they are!

1) Read the whole Bible in 1 year
Many Bible reading plans are out there if you are looking into really digging into the Word. I will be using a plan from Maybe you would rather start with reading through the New Testament or the Psalms and Proverbs-many plans are made for this as well. Hint-if you read 1 Proverb each day, you can read through all of Proverbs in a month-cool, huh?

2) Become more fit and toned by Mattie's wedding in May
I am a bridesmaid in a wedding and would like to look like I maybe perhaps actually workout, plus I would like to start doing more physical activity. There are several ways I am planning on trying this out-sidenote: I have made fitness more a part of my life than it is now, so I am not completely trying something new haha. I'm going to start running-well, walking and running...I'm not a runner and possibly that is the way it will stand, but there is no harm in trying something different. Plus, excess pop should be eliminated from the daily routine and some kind of other activity-perhaps, yoga??

3) Use my mortar board
If you know me at all you are probably wondering why this one is in there because I always use my mortar board. But, the truth is, I really haven't used it much this past semester. Some people create lists and use calendars and others do not. Not using my mortar board is probably why at times my life has been chaotic cause I didn't really know what was going on. Some have a gift at remembering things without writing them down, but that is not my gift, and I have come to accept that part of me. I will stop judging those who seem to fly by the seat of their pants because, truth be told, that is how they best remember things and excel at doing those things, and I excel by writing lists and knowing what my day consists of-maybe even throw a few random things in there too! :)

4) 2011: The year of service
If you don't know, during the past semester, I surrendered my life to missions. Most people think of mission work with international missions. However, I believe God's calling for me deals with the U.S., maybe even just out my back door. There are so many people here who need to hear and see the love of Christ. Now, if God allows the opportunity, I would like to travel to a foreign missions project, but until then... I am planning on going with my church to New Mexico during the summer for a missions trip. But, this year is just dedicated to service and trying to honor God in everything I do. For example, this month I will be volunteering at my church a little extra helping with the cleaning. I love serving others, and I pray it that it is not just serving others, but completely serving God.

These are my resolutions-more than likely I will fail at some point, but I'm not waiting until another year before I pick myself back up. That is why this year is also dedicated to forgiveness-forgiveness to myself for my failures and forgiveness to other things that will come up this year. God allows us to come to Him for healing and grace, and I'm going to take Him up on that promise :)