Tuesday, December 23, 2008


This evening my depression was pressing down on me unrelentingly. I was ready to call it a day before 5 p.m. I was forcing myself to stay up and sort of stay engaged with my family. But, I DID NOT WANT TO. I wanted to go to bed to forget everything.

And then the phone call came. A wonderful woman of God called to ask if I knew where her teenage daughter could help the homeless on Christmas day and I was able to provide a positive answer to that question. Then, she proceeded to lift my spirits and pray over me. I can't even remember some of the things she said because I was crying so hard I couldn't really hear, but my soul heard and it drank those words and blessings right up. God gave her the exact words to speak over me and the exact verses to read to me.

Thank You God for this amazing, unexpected blessing tonight.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gifts - Getting and Giving

Oh, the time of year when everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut off. And why? I'm not sure, but I think it is due to tradition. And I firmly believe that traditions should not make us run around like chickens with their heads cut off.

I, personally, don't like getting gifts unless I know they have been well thought out or handmade with a lot of love. My immediate family and close friends know this and my husband and three oldest kids understand that I would much prefer them to give to a charity in my name than give me something they bought at the last second just to get me something. My youngest daughter will probably never understand and my 13 year old just thinks I'm crazy. But then, his love language is gifts. Obviously, it's not mine.

So, if you have someone in your family or group of friends that is weird like me, here are some gift suggestions:

TOMS Shoes - Can't go wrong here. Two gifts for the price of one. For every pair purchased, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. Watch the video. Buy the shoes.

Another amazing company is 25 Cloth. They are out to bring change to a hurting world and they are doing it. You can be a part of it. This quarter, for every t-shirt (and man, do they have some cute ones) you purchase you are changing the lives of those living in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. Over 40% of the proceeds from Ike relief shirts and 25% of all other shirts go towards providing food, building supplies, clothes, and other necessities to the victims.

If your gift recipient has a heart for children then check out the following organizations:

Compassion International - The giving choices through this group are numerous & far reaching.
Real Hope For Haiti Rescue Center - These folks are on the front lines battling poverty.
Love146 - Help them save children from the jaws of pure evil.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

White Christmas and Hominy

The wind is blowing 90 to nothing. I have no idea what that really means, but when I say it I mean that the wind is blowing very hard. I'm sitting at home due to a cold that chose to attack on Thursday. Most of the rest of the family is at the Union Gospel Mission sitting in on the chapel service, then they will help serve the meal and clean up. Wish I could be with them. I enjoy our time there. Haley is at Pine Cove for the Christmas retreat. She rode the bus down with the Tower and Ranch campers.

This past week went by fast. Aaron wrapped up school on Monday. Corinn had one of her tests bumped till Thursday due to our one day of ice. She wasn't too happy about that. Haley made it home on Wednesday, two days late because of the ice. Callie finished school on Friday. I attended a Christmas party for the staff and volunteers at Coventry. I didn't think I would be able to go due to a meeting, but it got canceled and I was able to make most of the party.

We usually try to watch White Christmas every year. We don't always pull it off, but on Thursday we did. We know all the lines, all the songs, and all of the editing mistakes. Clay complained about it quite a bit, but what do you expect from a grumpy thirteen year old boy? Corinn and Aaron's significant others came over for dinner and the viewing. Last time Micah was here for dinner I almost killed everyone with a roast made out of an old boot. It was horribly tough and I usually make a very good pot roast, but this was beyond bad. I choked so bad I couldn't breathe and had to lose the piece in the sink. It was terrible, terrible, terrible. This time I fixed Taco Soup and it was a winner. Except I put the wonderful vegetable, hominy, in my Taco Soup and that led to a major discussion and then a flat out wrestling match between Haley and Aaron. I kid you not. It was a full contact meal. Who knew hominy could provoke such violence? I love hominy and so do two of my girls. Apparently my boys, including my husband, do not. And now, Micah has chimed in on the anti-hominy side. I accused him of just trying to win brownie points with Phil.

Has anyone ever noticed how white White Christmas is? Many, many years ago Phil and I were dealing with a sick child and were up later than usual tending to their needs. There was a knock on the door and our backyard neighbor's teenage girls were standing on the doorstep. One had a butcher knife. Their parents were at a Christmas party and it sounded like someone was trying to come through their front door, so they hightailed it to ours. We called the police and they came and checked it all out. It seems that when the wind hit the Christmas Wreath it would make sounds like a person trying to pick the lock and get through the door. So, the girls settled back in. In a few minutes they were back asking if they could stay until their parents got home (they were on their way). We, of course, said yes and asked them to watch White Christmas with us. That is when I discovered just how white White Christmas is. Our neighbors were African-American and the only people of color in that movie are the porters and bartenders. They didn't say anything, but I've never forgotten how I felt as I watched it with them.

I like it when I get taken out of my comfort zone (most of the time) 'cause it makes me look at things from a different point of view. I hope it makes me a better person.

Okay, the ramblings are over. I'm rambled out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Rock

"Trust in the LORD forever,
For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock."
Isaiah 26:4

"Do not tremble and do not be afraid;
Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it?
And you are My witnesses.
Is there any God besides Me,
Or is there any other Rock?
I know of none."
Isaiah 44:8

"For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God,
The God who girds me with strength,
And makes my way blameless?"
Psalm 18:31

"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
Psalm 18:2

"There is no one holy like the LORD,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God."
I Samuel 2:2

"For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me."
Psalm 31:3

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back In The Saddle Again

I think I'm ready to start writing again. Last week was a whirlwind. I don't suggest getting sick before two of your busiest days of the year. It just doesn't do a body good.

I woke up last Wednesday feeling great and ready to take on the world. At some point in the morning that feeling went away, far, far away. The rest of the day was spent wrapped in a blanket while willing myself not to throw up. Thursday was the same, except I stayed in bed quite a bit of it.

By Friday I was better and in downtown Dallas by noon to help prepare for the nation's largest Christmas party for the homeless. I didn't make it home until around 11 p.m. and needed to be up by 2:30 a.m. My alarm didn't go off. Phil woke me up at 4:45 a.m. and I scrambled out the door and drove back downtown. The amazing band, Planning Yesterday, donated their sound equipment for the outside stage and they had everything under control when I got there. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Then the constant moving began. I had four areas I was watching over. The doors of the convention center didn't open until 10 a.m., but the outside entertainment started up at 7:30 and that was one of my areas. The donut crew was in place long before that handing out donuts, coffee, and hot chocolate to the early birds wanting to be first in line. They are a great group of people who donate their very early hours each year to ministering outside in the cold. Hospitality to a "T".

I didn't know time could move so slow. Or at least, that is what it felt like. I was sure more than once that the schedule was off on the stages, but it was that it just seemed to be later because my day had started so early. Liz and Phil ran the main inside stage like pros. I'm very grateful. The hallway entertainment went off without a hitch as did the outside stage.

James and his photography team had everything covered. Chris and I tag teamed the media as they came in. I think I did three on air interviews. Here is one of them. http://www.dallasnews.com/video/?z=y&nvid=313097

At one point my mom brought me a bottle of water and I made the mistake of sitting down to drink it. It was all I could do to make myself get back up. My legs and feet were really ticked off at me.

I don't have any exact numbers from the day. There were more people than last year and that number was 8,000. I do know that I hobbled out of there and was very thankful my husband was there to drive me home.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Henry and Henry

This is Henry.
And this is Henry.

I don't have a problem keeping them apart. Some in my family find it confusing. They don't look anything alike to me. I can pretty much tell a dog from a human. I guess it's just a talent of mine. We had to tell Callie to stop calling the human Henry like a dog. She was using the same tone and pattern calling him that she uses calling dog Henry. I don't understand it.

Dog Henry is six and has had his name for over two years. The morning he was given to me I had the thought that if I ever got a Yorkie, I would name it Henry. Turns out, his name was already Henry. Dog Henry feels it is his duty to keep the squirrels out of our backyard. He is very serious about his job. When spying one he whines until he is let out the door, then he sails after it. Last week he finally discovered that they run up the trees. They don't just disappear. So he treed the squirrel. It was a pretty funny sight. The squirrel was twenty feet off the ground scolding away at him. I don't know what will happen if he ever has the misfortune of actually catching one. They're almost as big and he is and their teeth and claws are a lot sharper.

Human Henry is my adorable nephew. He doesn't have a hairy face. That helps me tell them apart. That, plus the fact that one is a dog and one is a human. Nephew Henry loves to jump on beds. Dog Henry isn't allowed to jump on beds. Nephew Henry is also a very messy eater, but we love him anyway. He takes after his father, my brother. We love James too. Or, at least we try.