Monday, June 26, 2006


Ah, life! You go through periods where everything is calm and mundane, and then suddenly EVERYTHING STARTS TO HAPPEN ALL AT ONCE!!!!!!! Why couldn't all these things be spaced out in a manner that I could mentally and emotionally handle?! Let me just list for you some of the things that are happening in my life this week:

- Moving! On Saturday, we're moving across town to a new apartment complex, where we will have a much bigger place! This is very exciting and will be a wonderful change. However, trying to get the house packed up and all the details worked out is not exactly stress-free.

- Justin's finals. It just so happens that this week is Justin's last week of class for this summer session, and he has 2 finals... Can anybody guess when his finals are? Oh yes, they're on Saturday! What kind of school has finals on Saturdays?! I guess only this one does. But that means I'm packing up the house and trying to gather people to help us move, while he's stressed out over final papers and studying. We both wish we could be there for the other, but we have so much to do ourselves! Stress!

- Car issues. We have 3 cars at the moment and we're trying to sell one of them. That is already enough to cause worry. However, last week Justin's car (the GOOD one in the family!) broke down and needed work. Thankfully, it turned out to be minor. But then when showing the Mustang to a prospective buyer, he discovered other things that were wrong with it. So then we had to put that one in the shop too! We have 3 cars, but 2 of them were in the shop the same day. I think this one was stressful enough that Justin was losing sleep over it. I think, though, that this issue is just about resolved, so that's good news.

- Family vacation. This one is thoroughly exciting, but it was just a little overwhelming that it all came about on the same week as all the above-mentioned things. My parents, my sister and her family, and Justin and me are all planning to take a vacation to Gulf Shores, AL together in mid-August. Yippee and Hip-Hip-Hooray!

So anyways, I'm done whining about my stressful life. It should all be pretty much done with by this weekend, so I just need to hang in there until then!!! Pray for us!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

It's a Boy!!

My sister had her sonogram yesterday, and her baby is definitely, indisputably a BOY! So that's 2 boys for the McKees. She said there's no chance she's going to try again for a girl - she'd just end up with 3 stinkin' boys! :) They're debating names, trying to find one that is just as unique as Patriot, their first son. I'll let you know when one is settled on. But in the meantime, congrats to the McKees for another baby boy, coming in November!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Visit from the In-Laws

Now that it's been more than 2 weeks since my in-laws came to visit, I'm finally getting the pictures on my computer! We had a WONDERFUL visit, and I'm very thankful for their visit! Over Memorial Day weekend, Justin's parents came to visit us, and they also brought his Uncle Emmit and Aunt Linda. It was such a precious time to get to know people that I don't know very well. Justin's dad, John, brought us a special surprise. He had applied for us and gotten us both the distinction of Kentucky Colonels! Embarrassingly enough, I didn't know what that was, but the more I read and learn about it, the more I realize what a special honor that is!!! Thank you, John!Justin's mom, JoBeth, has a lot of extended family in Central Texas and Oklahoma, so they were kind of making it a family reunion tour. On that Saturday, the 6 of us traveled to College Station to meet up with some of JoBeth's cousins who live in Austin. JoBeth hasn't seen these cousins since before Justin was born, so it was certain a long-time reunion! We met to eat lunch at FreeBird's Burrito World. Yes, thank you Justin for that special Texas experience. :) Then we went to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library that is on A&M's campus. It was a REALLY cool museum, and I'm very glad we did that - I learned a lot! Here is a picture of the whole family out front of the museum. Left to right: Rex (Ruth's husband), Ruth (JoBeth's cousin), Aunt Linda, me, Justin, JoBeth, John, Thomas Ray (in stroller, Judy's grandson), and Judy (JoBeth's cousin)Outside the library there was a really neat sculpture about George H.W. Bush's life and presidency. He loved horses and the way they symbolized freedom, so this sculpture is of them jumping over a portion of the Berlin Wall, which came down during his presidency. Neat stuff.So to sum it all up, we had a wonderful visit with the family, and I'd love for them to come back anytime!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Jesus is a Perennial

As many of you know, gardening is one of my new hobbies. I'd love to someday have a house where I can put in a real garden, but seeing as those days are in the far, indefinite future, I'll have to be satisfied with my potted plants. However, when putting in a full garden, you're working with basically 2 kinds of plants - annuals and perennials. Annuals last only one year, you'll have to buy new plants and replant next season. Perennials last longer than that, simply going dormant through the winter and reviving when spring comes again. God used this concept to really speak to me about Himself yesterday, and I'd like to share it with you. For several years now, I've been going through a winter in my soul. It began sometime while I was living in West Africa. I'd have warm days every now and then, but basically it just felt like everything inside me was cold and dead. I began to forget what it was ever like to feel fully alive spiritually. I began to wonder if I could ever feel alive again, or if I was just doomed to this surviving-but-not-really-living existence. During this winter of my soul, God blessed my life immeasurably by giving me my precious husband, and now looking back I think it was His way of letting me know that He hadn't given up on me, His way of keeping me from losing hope. He allowed my winter to last as long as it needed to to accomplish His purpose in me, and now for the first time in a long time, I'm beginning to feel the warmth of the sun (Son?!) again. Spring is coming! So the lesson that God gave me in this is that Jesus is a perennial! Our spiritual seasons don't follow the calendar year like those in gardening, so most of us don't know our winter is coming until we find ourselves cold and dead, devoid of passion, unable to conjure up the energy to care. But the seed of life that Jesus placed in us when we received His grace and became His children does not die. It's a perennial. It simply goes dormant - it loses its fruit and leaves, turns black, for all intents and purposes looks dead. But He doesn't let it die. He just waits patiently for Spring to come again. No matter how cold or harsh your winter is, no matter how long it lasts, He is still alive, waiting patiently for your bitter frost to thaw under His loving warmth. Then, when the time is right, He blossoms it forth into new life again, spreading it even larger than it was before. Those of you in a dark and cold season of your soul, don't give up hope! Jesus in you doesn't die when those harsh seasons come. He is a perennial!