Monday, November 30, 2009

It Does Matter

I had someone say recently that it didn't matter what other people did...that's their business.

I thought about that today. I thought, I read some stories of lives being changed, I thought some more. And guess what.. it does matter.

Tom Davis is in Ethiopia with Children's Hope Chest this week changing the world one life at a time. Orphans with no hope, find hope. With his leadership and our support children will live... it does matter.

DB is in Cambodia saving children from sex trafficking. One child at a time, reaching them, rescuing them, educating them, being Jesus to them... it does matter.

Here at home I encourage, love and invest in my kids knowing... it does matter.

If no one cared what anyone else did.. why did Jesus come?

The world is black and white. There isn't room for gray. No matter how much you want to live in the gray, it does not exist. Choices are either right or their wrong. Words either bless or they curse. Actions either lift up or tear down. We make decisions daily that DO effect the lives of other people around us. Is it showing Jesus or not? That's the bottom line.

One day you live, one day you die. What we do in between that time can change a life.

Reality Check:

What is your legacy gonna be? Are you willing to stand for what is right even through the scoffing and the pain? What's it gonna take to realize you do count? You do matter... Are you gonna make today count? You may not be in Ethiopia like Tom but you do have neighbors, you do have family, you do have co-workers, you do have roommates. If they don't know the love and forgivness God offers and you are the only Jesus they will ever hear OR see.. are you making it count?

It does matter.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Family....on the Road Again

We drove all night after a moment of spontaneity to Las Vegas. My kids can't accuse me of my lack there of anymore. We hopped in the truck at 10 pm and off we went! We were exhausted by the time we reached Vegas. The truck is a great, I repeat, great vehicle but horrible to sleep in. We crashed for a few hours getting some much needed rest.
Gabe and Coya goofin' off
This is my little sister and her family. It was great seeing her after two long years! Two years tooo long.
The Three Sisters... me, Bobbie Jo, and Reginia
Best Buds ... and 1st Cousins. Josh is in on leave for two weeks before being shipped out again overseas. Oh, it's good to see family! These two go right back where they left off. Love it!
Reg and Dave are so happy for this small glimpse of time to spend with Josh. The only thing missing is Jenna Bug... We miss her!
Auntie Gaynell is recovering nicely after her operation. We made a quick stop over night in Vegas to see her.
Family time and good food! Ok.. so just family time. It was great to have all my chickies together at one table.
The Three Amigas...

So here's to Take One of our trip. It's been great seeing my family and friends too. I must say, I am sitting here blogging in the quiet of my sister's house and enjoying the solitude. The older I get the more quiet I need. I love the excitement but also need to decompress for a bit. So..I'm writing and uploading and decompressing. Ahhh... Tomorrow morning.. Our favorite donuts!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Meet The H. Family

Meet my friends.. John, Amanda, and the kiddos. I had my very 1st, not my own family, photo shoot. Of course friends will allow that and even ask for it! Yeah! They took a lot of great pictures for their Christmas cards. I love the third picture personally. :) M wanted one funny shot, so funny it is.

Thanks H family!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Parenting 101: Hello?

Me: Glancing over at the clock...12:45am or is that 1:45am? "Hello."

Gabe: " Hi Mom..sorry to wake Dad there?" in his best cheerful voice.

Me: " Terrell....Gabe's on the phone."

Terrell: " Hey Son. uh huh. Not sure if you should call the police. Has he called his parents. Uh huh. ....Uh huh. Mmm. How are you getting back? Ok.. text me as soon as you know."

Me: "Is he okay?"

Terrell: " Yeah. They're in the hills and Drew's truck is down an embankment. Roads are icy. They're walking down a road trying to get a ride home. He's gonna text us."

Me: Quiet. Stomach aches. Adrenaline going. Glad he called. No ones hurt. It's late. It's cold. Who's picking him up? How far? What hills?

long pause.........

Terrell: " You awake?"

Me: "Yes...praying."

Terrell: "Me too. Let's pray together."

long pause................

Text comes in finally.... Gabe: "I'm back."

Terrell: texts back " Don't go get the truck tonight. Go in the morning."

Gabe: "Planned on it."

He's safe. I can go back to sleep. Stomach still aches.

Woke up this morning realizing our son STILL calls us. So thankful he knows he can no matter what. No matter what. Also realized how glad I was to hear his voice and not a police officer. Gabe is away at college 2 hours from here. We pray daily...many times for him... and last night was reminder of so many things...Trust. Prayer. Winter icy Scariness. Terrell is always calm. Wisdom. Guidance. Thankful. Oh so Thankful.

This may not be our last middle of the night phone call but I'm here to say... Glad it's us he's calling instead of someone else. I always hate it when it happens, don't sleep much after that, but our kids know that they can count on us and no matter what... we're here.

Go hug your kids!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Too Good Not to Share!

I have a fellow friend blogger. We've never met but our hearts connect. Jenn has a really big heart for kiddos and has recently embryo-adopted! It is such a joy for me to "watch" her live this new chapter and be willing to share the emotions, triumphs, and sadness with all of us in blogger land.

You gotta check out her story today and see the picture of the baby....

Oh the blessing of children!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Food.. it's callin' me

Oh my goodness sakes. I am working so hard, I say again, SO HARD not to eat a bunch of junk-or-rama or yeasty foods but but but it's snowing outside, the pumpkin bread turned out yummylicious, the truffles are still in the house from our trip, NB brought over maltballs, I would love to bake a chocolate pie, and a big fat piece of bread would be ever so good too instead of the Kamut bread I just ate. Why is it that some people can eat any.thing. and be fine and then there's 5' try 2" nothing me who can't and still struggles. Oh metabolism where art thou??

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hey Fresno...

Dang we look good. This is Reginia. My sister, my very dear friend and my confidant. She's OLDER than me and has paved the way in many areas of my life. She got married first, had kids first, her kids left home first, got gray hair first. HA!

In 10 days I get to see her! I wish she lived closer but for now, I am WAY SUPER glad for technology. I can check out her life here or pick up the ol' telephono and chat...just because.
We really want to do the Amazing Race together some day. The Practical and the well.. Not so Practical. Perfect fit. Wouldn't that be fun to do? We've always enjoyed being together and really love sharing stories over yummy coffee. I can't wait to see her.
Oh yeah.. the picture.. summer time a few years back. California blondes with California tans.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just the Two of Us!

Our 20 years together has gone by so quickly. We love to spend time together and finally squeezed in a few nights away to enjoy the company of each other. Oh and we did just that! We talked, walked, sipped on wine, ate scrumptious food, visited a cavern, soaked in the pool, went down memory lane, ate some truffles, and enjoyed a cup of Joe in the hotel lobby NEXT DOOR. The hotel next door had some great architecture and some awesome couches. It ended all too soon and we were off, heading back home.
Ok, so the coffee story... On Thursday night we headed up the the lodge and really wanted some coffee. We hit four little towns after Loveland and not a single Starbuck's stayed open after 6pm. Can you believe it?? All these quaint mountain communities... Vail, Cooper Mountain, Avon.... not one coffee shop open!

We stayed at Glenwood Springs Lodge and Hot Springs. I have seen this place online and was really excited about exploring this part of Colorado. Terrell surprised me with a package at the lodge that included two massage treatments; a couples massage and a mineral bath. We soaked in the pool every day...ahhh. This pool is fed by natural hot springs and is so nice and toasty. I wish I had a picture of the geriatric crowd. We were laughing because it reminded us of the movie Cocoon! I was very hopeful it would help my neck and shoulders but no luck. :( The weather couldn't be better and we got enough vitamin D to add color to our skin. A little vitamin D did this gal some good!

The room we stayed in had a little sitting area outside the door. I took this shot on Friday morning and did not get another one til Saturday night. My battery died... can you believe it! We packed far more than we needed in the truck and I forgot my charger. We drove around and around looking for a camera shop. To no avail I was stuck. BUT... God always comes through on time. We went to Glenwood Caverns on Saturday and this cute family from Nebraska was there on our tour. I noticed a gal with my camera! By the end of the tour I had the courage to tell her my story and she offered to meet up with me and charge my battery! Thank you Amy!! I have some great memories now because of you.

The drive was gorgeous. A few mountains had a sprinkling of snow left from the last storm.

And no trip would be complete with out a souvenir. Yep, we are now owners of a pop-up tent trailer. We've been looking for a long time but with the Duggars Motto "Buy used, pocket the rest!" running through our mind we kept searching. This little baby was hidden away in a small but GORGEOUS mountain town and waited 20 years for us to come get her. No not really but it is a 1989 vintage. How appropriate that it was created the same time we married. Oh.. goosh goosh. I can't help but be a hopeless romantic and sentimental fool.

Time away together never gets old. I adore my husband. I love being married and if anyone asks me, I would go back and do it all over again, just as we did. 20 years and counting....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My List for November and December..Take 1

So November and December go by way too fast and I feel like I miss out on some great things. So here's my list:

1. Don't eat too much sugar or yeast. I'm doing good and good merciful heavens, it needs to stay that way.

2. Make lots of pumpkin bread for friends, pastors, and the people who serve us like the garbage man. We have the BEST garbage man.

3. Get Christmas gifts early and make them meaningful. Oh yes, mail them ON TIME. That would be good.

4. Take a really great Christmas picture and actually mail it out..maybe. Stamps are so expensive!

5. Buy my girls Christmas sweaters. Ok so we freeze our little tooshies here in the winter in dresses. A sweater and jeans are fine. Really.

6. Pray with friends and laugh over Hot Cocoa.

7. Watch two movies: The Grinch (T's favorite) and Christmas Story. No Three.. also the Jimmy Stewart movie that's on everyday in December. What is that called???

8. Beg my mom and dad to come visit and bring some amazing fudge.

9. Ring the bell for the Salvation Army.

10. Feed someone in need.

11. Do something magical with my husband. I don't know, maybe take a drive in the snow on a moonlit night.

12. Go to the Christmas parade on the 16th street mall. Gotta do that.

13. Do something crafty with my kids.

14. Make sure I have the kids gifts for the "12 days of Christmas" early and send Gabe his off to CSU.

15. Christmas Carol somewhere. I love singing.

Ok. That's enough to start. I love this time of the year and just don't want to miss anything or any chance of making each day count. Gotta make it count, this life I live. Just Gotta.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Lord is my Shepherd... or is He?

I tell you what.. when God speaks loudly, I pay close attention. I try really hard to listen when He speaks softly too but this loud business grabs my attention much quicker.

A few days ago I shared a story, with my friend Susan, about when Terrell had his ear pierced and his commitment to me through this act of love. When Terrell had his ear pierced, he shared the scripture with me in God's word of the bond-servant and his lobe being pierced as a commitment to devotion. Yesterday, my husband and I were contemplating some Scripture and comparing a bond-servant to a slave. I said a bond-servant is by choice and a slave is not. So we talked and chatted then finished up with prayer. God must have been working upstream in my heart knowing what today would bring. Bear with me.. this is going somewhere.

Well, today I read my usual, Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for his Highest, and spent some time in the book of Galatians. What would the title in today's reading be? A Bond-Slave to Jesus. No really.. it was. So I'm reading... and thinking... and contemplating Galatians 2:20, " I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me."

The opening statement, the very first thought Mr. Chambers says on November 3rd is this: "These words (Gal 2:20) mean the breaking of my Independence with my own hand and surrendering to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus." Oh goodness merciful heavens. Am I holding onto my dependence of me? Oh boy, oh boy.
So I'm pondering this, looking out the window, thinking about what Paul says in Galatians and remember a book my friend Laura loaned me that I was anxious to dive into, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. I jump up from my comfy seat and track it down. What would the first chapter be about but that my amazing Creator wants to be my Shepherd if I let Him. So catch this... almost done with this chapter describing God's desire to know me, shepherd me, and I read this: The day he (Phillip Keller) got his thirty sheep his friend handed him a sharp knife. He had to put his mark on them, identifying them as his own. The Shepherd knows his sheep. He bought them with a price and marked them his own. The author, Phillip Keller, went on to share the story in the Old Testament of the bond-servant's ear being pierced; the mark for life saying he belongs to that house, comparing that to the mark he placed on his sheep. Isn't that what Jesus did for me? Paid the price on that wicked cross, bearing my sin, all for my sake, so I can belong to Him? Again the bond-servant. Again, bought with a price. Again, surrender.
I have to ask myself.. Am I surrendering to my Shepherd or do I still live my life knowing he's my Shepherd but sitting across the field doing my own thing not really listening to Him. Do I bear the mark of my Lord? There is a difference between the knowing and the doing. God is so working upstream in my life today...showing me more of what he really wants for my life, but not just mine, yours too. If we could only grasp how Big and Awesome and Divine, yet Caring, Gentle, and Protective our Shepherd is, we wouldn't want to do anything but surrender. Just sit and think about this a minute. The creator of the atom, the universe, human beings, cells, air, anything complex, anything beautiful... wants to Shepherd us. Wants to love on us and take us into green pastures, a life that is complete and satisfying. How awesome is that!
All we have to do is surrender. All. Surrender. Hmmm...
Reality Check:
Are you ready to lay yourself down at the foot of the cross? Prostrate, fully facing the ground. Giving all you are or ever will be today to Jesus.. knowing that what may come, and it won't all be peaches and creme, you have a Shepherd who cares, really cares and will take good care of you. This is a hard one.. surrendering.
Thanks for Listening,
Tuna Jones