Monday, December 21, 2009

A few of my favorite things....BOOKS

This past year I have purchased so many different books it's been crazy. I think I need to get another bookshelf just to hold my recent additions. I have not had the time to read everything I have bought, but I hope to soon. Even today, my dad recommended two more books that I should read.

I have bought books on sibling rivalry, dealing with anger and emotions, and making your children best friends. I have books by Terri Blackstock, Barbara & Dennis Rainey, Sally Clarkson, and the Kendrick brothers....just to name a few.

I have purchased books to strengthen and encouraged marriages (mine and other military families), help with homeschooling and some of them just for the fun of reading (I lean toward murder mystery series).

Today my dad recommended two books he is currently reading...
"No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come-as-You-Are Culture in the Church" by John Burke
"The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns

So my question to you is....What book did you come across or read this year that has inpsired you to do something different or to make a change in your life? I'd love for you to share the book and why it has changed your life. And maybe it's not just one book, but even two of three of them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

He's Home

Some of you may have know this, while others of you have not. This past year, our family went through our first Army deployment. My husband left for Iraq just after the beginning of 2009. Deployment for us was unchartered territory. I grew up in a home where even though my dad worked shift work as a police officer, I don't ever remember him being away for weeks at a time let alone months. I guess we went into this deployment with a few things on our side....age and maturity. We are not the typical new Army family...that is usually young. By the time Angel joined the military, he was almost 40 years old. I look around at the other women in PWOC (Protestant Women's Ministry) and some of them are 24 years old and on their second deployment and just starting their families. We have been married for just over 15 years and most of that was spent in ministry as my husband pastored a church in South Central Pennsylvania.

Maturity is another positive we had going for us as we entered this deployment. As I became a part of the leadership of our unit's FRG (Family Readiness Group) I saw more than enough of women who acted like they were in high school with fights, partying and the sort.

I am excited to say that this deployment has now come to an end and we are working on reintegrating our family back together after an eleven month plus separation. I think my husband and I had very good communication before and during this deployment and if we stay along that path, should do fine as we blend back into our family.

At the beginning of this year, I was nervous, anxious and not sure about the deployment but as I look back, I, has it really almost been a year. I know that God gives us the grace to get through whatever comes our way. He does not say that He will remove hardship and suffering but that He will be there with us through it.

As this year comes to a close and the new year is around the corner, I want to reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of our God. There were many days when I wanted to throw in the towel and give up, but it was during those times that I received encouragement from a friend or God's Word.

During this past year we had an abundance of finances.
I was blessed with friends who supported me and even took my kids for a few hours so that I could get a break.
I had a wonderful dad who gave up three weeks to fly down here and spend with the girls and I.
I had a great 15 days with my husband on vacation during his leave.
I was and am surrounded by those of likeminded faith who encouraged me in my walk with the Lord.
We were able to purchase a brand new van before the deployment and I did not have to worry about which light was going to come on this time and who I was going to find to fix it.
Through my part time job, the girls and I were able to fly to my parents house and spend three weeks with them...and I didn't have to pay for the airfare.
My oldest daughter is growing up and has been able to help watch her younger sisters so that I could go to the Commissary alone.

Above is just a sampling of the positive things that have taken place in my life this past year. I know that this coming year is full of change. Next year sometime, our family should be PCSing (moving to another post) though I don't know where. Each day we need to continually TRUST GOD for what we know and even for what we do not know or can not see. We need to walk by FAITH!

This holiday season, wherever you may be in your journey of faith with the Lord, allow yourself to trust Him more today than yesterday and see what He does with your hopes and dreams!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I love fall

This is my favorite season...FALL.
I love to watch the leaves change but I really don't enjoy being the one to rake them.
I enjoy cool nights where you need a jacket to go out but don't like the fact that I am missing my husband with whom I'd rather snuggle.
I love smores and popcorn by the fire but don't like smelling like smoke.
I like to sip hot chocolate on a cold morning but I wish I could make the calories disappear.
I enjoy eating a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup but it always tastes better when I don't have to make it myself.
I love doing fun things with my girls but miss having my entire family together.

Fall reminds me of change. Trees lose their leaves, children start school, the weather gets cooler.... While change can be hard, challenging and even downright is good for us. It helps us to see what we are made of. If you asked me almost a year ago if I thought I could manage my home, children and additional responsiblities that were once my husband's for a whole year without him...I would have not really been sure what to say or how to respond. I would have hoped to say YES...but I know my weaknesses. We are at the very end of this deployment and I must say that the change I have gone through this year has made me a better person. I person who is more dependent on the Lord and knows where to turn when I feel like I just can't go on anymore. I am very excited though a little anxious for the upcoming change that will be taking place in a few husband returning from his year long deployment. I am excited to have him back home but not quite sure how two people who have lived apart for almost a year will mesh back together. Even though I am a little apprehensive, I know that just as He has in the past, that God will see us through.

Are you in the midst of changes in your life right now? Have you allowed God to work in and through you? Having Christ in your life makes a difference. He doesn't make our worry or problems disappear but he gives us the strength and courage to face them as He is there for us...sometimes carrying us through. Embrace what this life offers you and meet it head on with God on your side. It not about just getting to the desintation but It's all about the Journey.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tragedy at Fort Hood

I have been struggling with what to post...whether or not to post. We live on post here at Fort Hood. We were home last Thursday when the events unfolded at the SRP building, just over a mile away. Normally on Thursdays, we are usually off post for a homeschool co-op, but co-op had ended just the week before and we were home. Our plans for last Thursday included an afternoon playdate and dinner out with the girls. At approximately 2:20PM, as we were loading up the mini-van with meals for pregnant friends, returns to the department store and kids and their jackets, the emergency sirens here on post began to go off. I looked at my watch and thought...that's strange, they ususally test the system on Wednesdays at 12:00 Noon. The announcement that followed the sirens was " Seek shelter immediately, stay away from doors and windows". I looked up at the sky and thought, I don't know why they are saying that, it's a bright and sunny day, I don't see any storms let alone a possible tornado. A neighbor across the way yelled out her front door, "get inside and lock your doors." So I attempted to take my kids out of their car they kicked and screamed, wanting to get in the car and go to their friends house to play. As I reached the front door, my oldest handed me the phone. It was a friend who lived in a nearby town, asking if I had heard the news...there was a shooting on Fort Hood at the Readiness Center, seven people had been killed. We finished the phone call, got everyone into the house and closed and locked all the doors and shut the curtains and blinds. As I turned on the TV, it was all over the news. There was so much speculation going around, I didn't know what was truth and what was rumor. Was there another gunman out there?

As we tried to occupy ourselves in our quiet dark home, I prayed for the safety of my family. Phone calls, emails, text messages and facebook comments kept popping up and coming in. For the next five hours, until lockdown was lifted, I learned to trust in the protection of the Lord. People prayed with me on the phone and prayers were lifted up for us by friends far away. The days prior to and including Thursday, my quiet time with the Lord, included a devotional book titled, "Faith Deployed; Daily Encouragment for Military Wives". I had just read a devotion entitled, Already Written. A quote from that devotional says, "Whether they are home or abroad, God's plan for us is already written; we cannot do anything to change it!" The next day's devotional was on "The Sting of Death". How timely were these devotions in my quiet time last week. I had no idea for what the Lord was preparing me. I did not lose anyone in the attack that took place on Fort Hood on November 5th, but many people did or they knew someone who was there. I need to be ready to respond to those who are lost and hurting, with a meal, a hug, a kind word. We are called to bring hope to the hopeless. I want to always be ready to meet the need that I am confronted with, no matter what that need may be.

My husband's unit lost a soldier in the tragic shooting last week. I had never met her but Angel knew her. He described her as "a wonderful and delightful person." Please continue to pray for my husband's unit as they mourn the loss of one of their own here at home.

I need to remember that we live in a fallen and sinful world. Without Christ, people are lost. I pray that in the midst of this tragedy, that those who are hurting find comfort and hope...that they find healing for their hurts. That they find a relationship with the true God.

Remembering the Fallen and Wounded at Fort Hood

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where have I been?

Again, another long lapse since my last post...BUT I have a legitimate reason. The girls and I drove to the East Coast (1562 miles from our home in Texas) to spend time visiting with friends and family. The way to save money on the trip was to drive there and to only do one overnight hotel stay. On the way east, we drove 17 hours the first day and about 12 the second day. The girls did wonderfully! I'm glad we have a DVD in the van and Redbox along the way.

We visited with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great grandfather and friends. We spend time in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. We ate MD Steamed Crabs, fresh corn on the cob and home grown tomatoes. Boy do I miss PA/MD!! We took a drive south and spent a week at Colonial Williamsburg, enjoying Busch Gardens and Great Wolf Lodge too.

We had a great trip...but as all good things...or at least vacations, they must come to an end. We headed back to Texas cutting off some time on our driving adventure. It only took us 12 hours the first day and 14 on the second. I was glad to be back home in my own space. I should have blogged when we got home but we were getting ready for the start of our homeschool year and there was curriculum to order and supplies to buy and next thing I know...I'm here today, two weeks later finally sitting down to write.

I hope you have all enjoyed a great summer, as we have. I am glad to be getting back into the school routine and looking for God to do great things in my life and the lives of my family. I pray that you look for God in the mundane things of life and expect Him to do great things in and through you. Be blessed!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

UPDATE: More Details on Karcher's Attack and Rescue - The World Newser

UPDATE: More Details on Karcher's Attack and Rescue - The World Newser

The War in Iraq & Afganistan

My heart is heavy tonight and I can't sleep. I have decided to get up and write. I want to touch upon the war in Iraq and Afganistan. I am not here to debate whether or not we should be there fighting...or whether we went into the war blindly with can save your comments relating to these topics for someone else's blog. I am here to pour out my heart to you about events that I have heard about or spoken to friends about as they relate to the war.

We are a military family stationed in Texas. We live on an army post and are surrounded by everything military. We are an Army family. I am not a propenent for war, I would rather solve disputes through peace, but as a nation WE ARE AT WAR and our military NEEDS our support. Everyday families are sending loved ones off, hoping....praying that they return.

This past week I chatted with a friend of mine. Her husband is a chaplain who is in Iraq. You may or may not know this, but according to the Geneva Convention, chaplains are classified as "noncombatants". This means that they do not and are not allowed to carry a weapon. A chaplain assistant is assigned to a chaplain and it is this assistant who carries a weapon and if need be will defend him/herself and the chaplain should they come under attack.

My friend told me that she was heading to the area hospital where she was going to visit some soldiers. I asked her if they were soldiers from her husband's unit and she proceeded to tell me that yes they were.... but it was a little more than that. You see her husband was in a transport vehicle that was convoying to their location. Another vehicle, not her husbands, in this convey hit an IED (improvised explosive device) and there were those who had become seriously wounded. They had been sent back to the United States and she wanted to go and thank them for their service, especially since they were part of the convey that was tranporting her husband.

You know, we have not been in the military very long, but I have seen this war hit close to home. Last year a neighbor lost her husband to a roadside bomb, he had deployed just 6 weeks prior to the attack.

There are men and women who willingly put themselves in harms way for our safety, security and freedom. Many of them come home safely...some do not come home alive...while others are wounded in this war.

Today it was brought to my attention that a Battalion Commander from Fort Hood, Texas was severely injured due to an IED. LTC Karcher is currently at Walter Reed Medical Center being treated for his wounds from battle. His family and many like them need our prayers and support during this difficult time in their lives. I am asking that you join me in praying for our military..our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers....who are laying their life down for a friend (you and I).

Above this post is a link to a news article on the incident in Iraq and LTC Karcher.
Please take the time to read it and pray for this man and his family.

Whether or not you agree with the war, you probably know someone who is in the miltary and if they are not currently deployed to a combat zone, they have previously been there. These soldiers need our encouragement and prayers. Some of them have seen more in their time in combat than anyone would ever want to see in a lifetime.

I have previously posted 31 Ways to Pray for our Military and Psalm 91 (The Soldiers Psalm). Please share these with your friends, neighbors and church and let's get on our knees for these men and women.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Way Overdue

This post is waaay overdue. I should have done this a long time ago BUT unforuntely I didn't. You see, I have a problem. It's not quite at the desperate stage but it's getting there. I probably should seek see I lack consistancy is lots of areas of my life. Posting to this blog if definitely one of those areas. I wish I was better at it but wishing and doing are two different things.

Working at home is sometimes ever have those days where you don't feel like doing something. Well I have that feeling most days. I don't feel like sitting in front of the computer to work. I'd rather read a good book or clean my house (yes, I said I'd rather clean my house)

The other area I lack in consistancy is with the discipline of my children. Somedays I think I am too hard on them while other days I wonder where my backbone is.

Sometimes my lack of consistancy falls over into my quiet or devotional time. I really hate when that happens. I can tell you that my day runs much better when I can get up early and have time without any kids around to spend time in the Word and prayer. My whole day runs much smoother when I get that time with my heavenly Father. Sometimes it even seems like I have more time in my day when I have started it with HIM.

I don't know about you..but I am a work in progress. I have been a Christian since I was a child, but there are still things God is working in and through me. I don't want Him to stop what He's doing BUT I wish it would happen a little quicker. I have been learning a lot about myself these last 5 months. I am nothing without HIM. I need HIM more each day. He must increase and I must decrease.

Are you struggling with something in your life? An addiction? Insecurity? A lack of something? God is there with arms streched open waiting for you to bring it to Him. HE cares for you. Don't think you need to have everything in life figured out. Let Him lead you in this journey of life and faith. Trust Him today!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To Everyone

A friend of mine posted this on her facebook wall..thought I would pass it along.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Psalm 91

Have you read Psalm 91 lately? Do you remember what it says? I am currently reading the book "Psalm 91 God's Shield of Protection" by Peggy Joyce Ruth. I am not that far into this book yet but just thought that I would post a reminder about Psalm 91. The author of this book, breaks down Psalm 91 verse by verse and expounds upon the scriptures and encourages us with some touching illustrations. The second half of this book is of testimonies...I'm not there yet but can't wait to be encouraged in my faith with real stories of God moving in the lives of His people.

This Psalm is often referred to as the Soldier's Psalm and since our country is still in a war, I think it is good to be reminded of this. Many mothers and wives pray this Psalm for their sons, daughters and husbands who are deployed, serving in a war zone. You will see blanks in the scripture I quote below...those blanks are the places where a pronoun has been removed and you can put the name of a soldier that you know who is in the midst of the war.

__________ dwells in the shelter of the Most High and ___________ abides in the shadow of the Almighty. __________ says to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in who I trust!" For it is God who delivers __________ from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence (fatal, infectious disease). God will cover __________ with His pinions, and under His wings __________ may seek refuge; God's faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
__________ will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A 1000 may fall at __________'s side, and 10,000 at __________ right; but is shall not approach __________. __________ will only look on with __________ eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked. For __________ has made the Lord, his/her refuge, even the Most High, ________'s dwelling place. No evil will befall __________ nor will any plague come near ___________'s tent. For He will give His angel's charge concerning __________ to guard __________ in all his/her ways. They will bear __________ up in their hands, lest __________ strike his/her foot against a stone. __________ will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent he/she will trample down.
Because __________ has loved Me (God said), there I will deliver him/her; I will set __________ securely on high, because __________ has known My name. __________ will call on Me, and I will answer _________. I will be with __________ in trouble; I will rescue __________ and honor __________. With a long life I will satisfy __________, and let him/her behold My salvation.

Maybe you have a friend, loved one or neighbor who is currently deployed as a result of the war....take time to pray for them each day.... Lifting them up by name to the Lord. And while you are praying for the soldier, don't forget to pray for his/her family too!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Better late than never

It has been almost an entire month since my last post. The day after I posted, I picked up my dad at the airport in Austin and he spent the last three weeks with us. We had a great visit. I miss my family. Military life doesn't always afford you with the ability to live close to family and with 1500 plus miles between my parents & sister and my family, our main method of staying in touch has been the phone. Thank goodness for cell phone family plans :)

My dad arrived on Wednesday morning and since we were in Austin already, I decided to find the Children' Museum and take the girls there. It was small and cute! The girls had fun running around trying out the different stations. The best part is that is was FREE! We have a science center membership and there is a recipricating agreeement between 250 plus other science/children's museums in the US. We also squeezed in a trip to Sam's Club since it too was on the way between Austin and the base.

I can't specifically remember everything we did in those two weeks but it was great to have another adult in the house....someone to talk to and bounce things off share the load of trying to get the girls ready and out of the house for things....someone to stay up late with and watch TV. I love my parents and having my dad here was a tremendous blessing. I didn't remember what I was missing...until dad came...and then left. Miss you and love you Dad!!

I have been reading a book about Psalm 91 and hope to post next week about that book. The weather here in Texas had been dreary the last two days. It's the kind of weather where you don't want to get dressed or go anywhere...and I haven't. I have stayed in my PJs bumming around. Tonight the girls and I are having a family movie I best be going. Just wanted to post something since it's been awhile.

Let me leave you with a scripture. Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Going through the Fire

Malachi 3:3 says ; 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some women in a bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?' He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His i mage in you.

'Life is a coin. You can spend it anyway you wish, but you can only spend it once.'

-Author unknown

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fireproof...a must see movie


I couldn't wait to see this movie. It had been recommended to me by quite a few people, so I anxiously counted down until the movie was available on DVD. I had ordered it in December...and just had to wait for it to arrive. I had also bought "The Love Dare" but with block leave and Christmas in Pennsylvania, I have not had time to read this book, let alone put it into action.

I sat down one afternoon last week to view the movie. It was great! I cried...and cried some more. I know of some couples, whom I have been praying for, that are struggling in their marriages. I'm not sure if that is why I was a bit emotional or not. I have recommended this movie to one of those couples. If you are at a point of giving up or think there is no hope for your marriage, I encourage you to view this movie. As you do, have an open heart to let God speak to you. Maybe you need to commit to doing "The Love Dare" as a step of faith for your marriage. I have witnessed the work of the Lord in friend's marriages, that looked very hopeless.

I think many times we feel we can fix it (our relationships) on our own and we leave God out of the equation. But let me tell you, God needs to be the center of it all. Without Him and the love He has so freely given to us, we can not love others.

Monday, February 9, 2009

31 Ways to Pray for our Military

For those who are interested, I finally have an address where Angel can receive mail. If you did not get this yet and would like to have it, email me and I will forward it to you.

Please continue to keep Angel and his unit in prayer as they serve this next year in the sandbox. I came across of list of Ways to Pray for Our Military and I wanted to share this with you.

31 Ways to Pray For Our Military
1. Protection
a. Psalm 34:4 - I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
b. Psalm 32:7 - You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
2. Wisdom
a. James 1:5 - If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him
3. Peace
a. John 14:26 - But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
b. Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
4. Presence of God
a. Psalm 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
5. Inner Strength
a. Ephesians 3:16 - I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.
6. Clear Mind
a. 2 timothy 1:7 - For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
7. Security
a. Psalm 17:8 - Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
8. Health for Physical Body
a. Philippians 4:13 - I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
9. Courage
a. Joshua 1:9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
10. To help others
a. Philippians 2:3-4 - Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
11. To be aware of God’s love for them
a. Psalm 42 - As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
12. Family Concerns
a. 1 peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
13. Rest
a. Mathew 11:28-29 - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
14. Adjust to time change, sleep
a. Psalm 4:8 - I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
15. Unity in purpose
a. 1 Peter 3:8 - Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic,love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
16. Loneliness
a. Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
17. Children of Military
a. Isaiah 54:13 - All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace.
b. Psalm 68:5 - A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
18. Spouses of Military
a. Isaiah 40:11 - He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
19. Patience while waiting
a. Psalm 33:20 - We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
20. God directing their steps
a. Psalm 32:8 - I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
21. Diligent in their work
a. Colossians 3:23 - We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
22. Resist temptation
a. 1 Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
23. Discernment
a. Philippians 1:9 - And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
24. Traveling safety
a. Psalm 121:7-8 - The LORD will keep you from all harm he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
25. Fighting Depression
a. Pslam 42:5 - Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and Protect from evil
26. Protection from Evil
a. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 - But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
27. Encourage those around them
a. Proverbs 11:25 - A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
28. Personal Prayer life
a. Jeremiah 33:3 - 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'
29. Deliverance from the enemy
a. Psalm 31:15 - My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.
30. Angels to guard them
a. Psalm 34:7 - The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
31. Persistence for the task
a. Galatians 6:9 - Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Random Things about Me

I was tagged by a friend on facebook to write 25 things about me, so I have copied it and placed it here. Maybe you'll learn something new about me or laugh about something you remember.

25 Random Things about Me

1. I was born in Baltimore, MD but my parents moved to Pennsylvania when I was 5 years old. I have called PA home until last year, when I became a Texan.

2. I met my husband at college. We got married and finished college as married students. If I remember correctly, the only class we had together was Preaching Doctrinal Issues with Dr. Leach.

3. I love to help people with budgets, finances and advice on saving money.

4. I am a stay-at-home mom, who periodically works from home doing billing for an anesthesia practice in PA.

5. I have attended Catholic School (St. Joseph’s in Dallastown, PA) and public school (Southern York County School District) but currently I homeschool my own children.

6. I will celebrate my 15th Wedding Anniversary this May, but my husband and I will be on two different continents.

7. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry.

8. When I was a teenager, I spent two summers doing missions work. The first summer was in NYC and the next was spent in India.

9. I love to organize and do administrative work.

10. I like to read…..and usually have a good murder mystery with me on vacation or a parenting/homeschool/self-help book on my bedside. Currently I am reading The Family You’ve Always Wanted by Gary Chapman.

11. I get a thrill from finding a good deal on things…especially something I need. I love saving money.

12. I have thought about going back to school for nursing, but my children are my focus right now. Who knows, maybe someday.

13. I have one sister, with whom I talk to almost everyday. We used to not get along very well, but once we both started our families, we had more in common. Love ya sis!

14. My dad and I were both college students at the same time… same college. He retired from the police department after 20 years and went back to college. I think we had one class together.

15. I am a first born. I am not a risk taker. I have learned though that sometimes I need to move out of my comfort zone...whether I like it or not.

16. I took 5 years of Spanish classes through high school and college but really can’t speak it. Part of the reason is that I don’t use it regularly, the other reason is fear.

17. I learned to play the flute in 5th grade and played through middle school in the band. After many changes in band directors during that time, I gave up playing in school and played for the worship team at church.

18. I love to watch police, investigative TV shows, like CSI, NCIS and Law and Order. Maybe it’s in my blood (my dad was a police officer for 20 years).

19. Almost two years ago my husband made a change in his career…he was on staff at the same church for almost 10 years and we left there for him to pursue his dream to be a Chaplain in the U.S. Army. We no longer live near family, but 1500 miles away from them.

20. I am a single parent but happily married (deployment will do that to you).

21. My favorite nighttime snack is Homestyle Popcorn with a little bit of extra butter on it and a can of Pepsi.

22. I have four beautiful daughters, Marissa (11), Katelyn (8), Victoria (will be 4 soon), Breanna (2), who keep me on my toes..and laughing.

23. I love to help women become better mothers and wives through encouragement, teaching and sharing my experiences.

24. I do once a month cooking…though my freezer is a bit low on meals right now. Since the holidays and vacations are over, I need to start planning my next shopping trip.

25. Even though I am in the middle of a deployment, I am content where I am, learning to lean on God and trust Him for ALL things.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Deployment Update

I have been wanting to write about deployment, but have not had the time to put into my post, so today I will just give an update and hopefully finish what I want to write and post it next week.

Most, if not all military families will experience a deployment in their soldier's career in the military. Sometimes they last for week....or a few months.... to those lasting a year or longer. The manner in which a spouse or family approaches the deployment varies greatly. Some embrace the change to take place in their lives, while others are in denial that the deployment will or is happening to them.

The Army offers a vast number of resources available to soldiers and thier families to help them succeed through not only a deployment but military life in general. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of what is available to them.

We are facing this deployment with anticipation and embracing all that it has to offer...the good, the bad and the ugly. BUT our faith in God gives us hope that no matter we will face this next year, He will be with us, even if we are 7500 miles apart.

Trust in God today for whatever you may be facing. Know that He will not leave you or forsake you, but He is with you. Trust in His Word and promises! Sometimes I think I will never survive a year without my husband, but I need to look to God to fill the longing in my life and heart during this time. My husband is an added gift to my life and not all that I need..... GOD IS ALL THAT WE NEED!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

He's in the Sandbox

Just wanted to let you know that Angel has made it to the "Sandbox". All is safe and well with the "kids". Thank you for your prayers! We will covet them this next year.

Once I have a address for snail mail, I will forward that to those who are interested. Be blessed!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Off and running in 2009

It's here!! The new year is already upon us and we are off and running. As I reflected on the last year and what I want to see happen in this new year, I am again reminded of God's love and faithfulness for us, his children. With the challenges that this life throws our way (such as the very soon coming... year long deployment), I can't imagine doing life with our Christ. This journey that we are on sometimes takes us to places we have never imagined but with Jesus, all things are possible.

My prayer this morning during my quiet time was that this coming year my walk with the Lord would be closer and grow deeper. That he would use the challenges, unknowns, issues, etc. that I will face to put me exactly where He wants me, for such a time as this. I want God to use me to minister to the lives of those I come in contact with, I want others to notice something different about see Jesus in my life. I don't want to just survive this coming year, but I want to THRIVE! I want my children to grow in their faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ, to know God more than yesterday and to become beautiful young ladies, both inside and out.

What is your prayer this new year? Do you have a list of resolutions that you are hoping you don't forget about yet again this year? Is there a relationship in your family that needs some mending? Do you have a child that has walked away from the faith and you want to see him/her serving God again? How's your devotional life? Are you making time for God each day? Are you in a marriage where you are walking this faith walk alone and you would like to see your spouse saved? We are all in different places in this journey that we are on, but God is still the same....yesterday, today and forever. Don't start this new year off with ruined hopes and desolate dreams but trust God today to do a new thing in your life.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The end of 08

Wow, I can't believe that 2008 will be over in just a few hours. Where has the year gone? This month alone has been a busy one.

We started off the month with a Brigade Ball. This was the first military ball that Angel and I have attended since he graduated from Chaplain School. I'll have to add a picture later, since we took Angel's camera to the ball and I have not seen the pictures we took yet.

The next week was full of Briefs (a meeting to give info), Coffees (basically an officer's wives get together) and a Hail & Farewell (an officer/spouse dinner and meeting welcoming new officers to the unit and saying goodbye to those leaving). On top of that Angel was teaching a Marriage Retreat for about 15 couples from his unit. The retreat was held at Lakeway Resort and Spa on Lake Travis outside of Austin. It was a beautiful place!! Even though I did not attend the entire retreat, I came for the couples dinner and spent the night with the girls.

On that Saturday we headed out from Austin, TX towards Tampa FL. With the approaching deployment, we decided to take a nice family vacation so we were going to Tampa FL to catch a cruise to Grand Caymen and Cozumel. This was not our families first cruise...but our 3rd one!!
Upon our arrival in Tampa, we stopped to visit with some old friends, Rainy and Paul. We went to their house for a short visit since they had sick kids and our kids needed a good nights sleep before boarding the ship the next morning.

On Monday, we met up with my parents (Mom Mom and Pop Pop) and my aunt and uncle who live in Fort Wayne, IN. All of us were cruising together and we had a great time. Just getting away, not worrying about cooking, cleaning, etc was a nice break for me. The girls enjoyed swimming everyday and attending the Children's Camp the cruise line offered. They even were able to participate in the ship's Holiday Show.

After the 5 days were over, we jumped in the car and made a marathon trip from FL to PA. We left Tampa at 12 Noon on Saturday and arrived in Hanover, PA on Sunday morning at 6AM. Thankfully my dad joined us on our drive and we split the driving between three drivers.

I was excited to be back in PA, even if only for a week. I hadn't seen my sister in over a year and it was great to see her and her family when they came over for lunch on Sunday afternoon. Wow, her kids had really grown in the last year. Victoria (almost 4 yrs old) and her cousin, Ilayna (3) got themselves into Mom Mom's makeup (see the picture ) but they had a good time with their cousins.

The week in PA was extremely busy, catching up on the last year, visiting family and friends we hadn't seen in quite some time and taking time to remember the reason for the season. I feel bad that we could not fit everyone into our schedule. Hopefully next year the girls and I will be able to visit again for a longer time. While in PA I got a very nice Christmas present... a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. It is so nice to have a dependable vehicle :) that has a warranty!

Last Saturday we left PA and started our trek back to Texas. When you Mapquest the trip, it is 24 hours of driving and that is without stops. After the marathon trip to PA, we decided to take our time and even stop and stay overnight. We didn't quite have enough time in our schedule to do any sightseeing, but the trip was very managable.

This past week has been busy too, taking care of registering the van in Texas, getting our wills completed and tying up loose ends before the end of the year. I don't know about you but I am ready for a fresh start. I am glad that His mercies are new every morning!

As we enter this new year, expect God to do great things with you...expect God to do great things through you!!

November 2008

You may be reading the title and thinking...why is she giving a November update when it's the last day in December? I am trying to break out the last 6 weeks into more managable, bite-sized pieces and doing a November and December post separately sounded better to me.

The last week of the month, Angel's mom Sara came for a visit (the girls call her abuela). It was nice to see her since it had almost been a year since the last time we were together. We had lots of things planned for the week that she was here. We all went to breakfast bowling at the bowling alley on post. They have a great deal...breakfast and a game of bowling for $3.50 The breakfast includes two eggs, hashbrowns, toast, bacon or sausage and a drink.

The next day was Thanksgiving and Breanna's 2nd Birthday. Since Angel was serving Thanksgiving dinner in the BlackJack Dining Hall, we all decided to eat dinner at the DFAC (dining facility). It was a nice spread, including shrimp coctail! And if you know me, I love my seafood :)

We came back to our house with some friends and celebrated Breanna's 2nd Birthday. I can't believe she is two years old already. She had fun singing and opening presents.

We ended up with a sick kid Thanksgiving night, so some of our plans of things to do with abuela got put on hold. We wanted to make sure that we took Angel's mom to see Nature in Lights at BLORA and even though we postponed it due to sickness, we made sure to get it in. This year we stopped for popcorn and hot chocolate to top off the night.

I can't believe how quick our time with abuela came and went. Next thing we knew, she was packing her bags and we were off to the airport.