Happy Thanksgiving!

While the Thanksgiving’s over the years have been each different.  Growing up as a child I recall we had a group of friends who we would either go to their home or they would come to our home.  They were the McDonald family and as kids we would go through the Black Friday ad’s circling the things we would want to see under the tree then the mom’s would get up early and try to get one or two things off those lists.   There was the adult table and the kids table as well.  Many memories were made including a song about my brother “Johnny Corn Cobb why oh why do we love you!”  We would sometimes go to work with my dad and watch the newest release along with the hundreds of other families who had eaten too much but wanted to spend time together.

Then those times ended and we had Thanksgiving with our small family.  As us kids grew up, I would work on Thanksgiving and the dinners were just another day to celebrate on the calendar.

As I got married we would go home for Thanksgiving each year but over the years we would have a Thanksgiving dinner with my family and some friends in Iowa.  Those were some of my favorite Thanksgiving’s but the best one was when my bonus mom and dad cooked dinner at their home and it was one of the first time’s my mom had cooked a turkey.  Lily held the heart of the turkey.  It was memorable!  Both my grandparents were still living.

Then there were the Thanksgivings following my back surgery and my parents came down to have dinner with us. I am grateful that we were able to create memories of Thanksgiving in our home!  Now this year is different and  I look forward to creating new memories with Byron and his family with the time that I have.

Working retail is a different beast as we give up our Thanksgiving’s to serve the people who are wanting to get the best deals on stuff.  That is all it is, stuff that won’t matter years from now!  What will matter is the memories I create with family.  That is what matters.

For this I am grateful for the warm house I am in now, for the laughter of five children that awoke me this morning and the love that overflows from many places!

Thanksgiving thoughts

Today while I was at Wal-Mart I observed that they don’t open until 8p.m. on Thanksgiving night!  Great call!  Wal-Mart may be one of the largest box stores around and they get that family matters.  I’ve worked in grocery stores that were open until noon on Thanksgiving day and that was because they were small family run stores where the owners family was making sure the doors were open.  I don’t need to state where I work as those who read my blog know this already.  We are opening at 5p.m. on Thanksgiving day to get an edge on the competition.  Is an hour really going to make a differences in sales to help get the company into the black?  When did we loose the importance of Thanksgiving as a day that we set aside to give thanks for those who came across on the Mayflower?  But rather we are more concerned about making a dollar.  While I know my store leader will be there, where will the people in the corporate office be?  At home with their family.  Shouldn’t those who are in the higher positions take pay cuts that will help the company long term rather than hope for a quick fix on Thanksgiving by an hour or two?

Ring Shopping

Well, this past weekend Byron and I went ring shopping, yes for an engagement ring.  To get the info out of the way here you go:

How long have you known each other? Since July

Isn’t that awfully fast?  It’s all a matter of opinion and when God is at the center of a relationship you allow him to lead.

While he has not YET proposed but will sometime around Christmas I am told, we have a date set.  The reason we have the date set is because he coaches wrestling and we need to check out when was after that and also when we would have our kids at the same time.  This marriage is not only about us but it’s also about brining two families together.  We also know the importance of the time alone following the wedding and he will have spring break AFTER the wedding.

This relationship is like none other.  I’ve blogged about it.  I have stepped back and allowed Byron to lead.  That is God worked on my heart and prepared my heart for Byron prior to us ever meeting!  With God’s help Byron is the leader in this relationship.  God has taught me about his love that I am so unworthy of through Byron.  I am growing and learning still!

When we started talking about marriage he was the first to bring up the premarital counseling classes!!  I didn’t have to say a word but I was thinking it!

Nashville Weekend!

Last weekend Byron and I headed to Nashville on Saturday to go to the long awaited Vanderbilt/Gators game!  It was at 6:30 at night and being on Vanderbilt’s campus on a football night was quite interesting as there were hundreds of young kids out in front of frat houses partying.  I thought to myself is this a small taste of spring break?  We were tired after the game and stayed down in Nashville.  The next morning we got up and I had scoped out a few churches.  After all your in Nashville there’s a church nearly on every street corner!  We went downtown Franklin to the Frothy Monkey where we had scrumptious coffee and blueberry muffins!  Next we went to the church that Michael W Smith founded “New River Fellowship.”  I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, perhaps more of a mega church but what transpired as we walked through the doors was the presences of the holy spirit.  The building had pews and was intimate.  You could feel the authenticity around you as all walls were torn down.  We worshiped and it was a beautiful thing.   There was preaching by Jack Moorning, Smitty’s son-in-law and singer in Leeland.  He preached on the Holy Spirit and put tithing into perspective as this, “My money is not mine but Gods.”  Perhaps I have heard this but it resinated with me deep as money is a continually struggle for me to give that 10% right off the top.  Pastor Jack preached on the Holy Spirit and the service ended with a prayer and dismissal.  It was nothing fancy but rather simplicity!  I thought to myself if I had no connection or reason to stay in Indiana, I’d move to Nashville just for this church!  Next time I’m in Nashville/Franklin I’ll be making a stop at New River Fellowship!

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Dusting the blog off!

Hi ya!  It’s been a long while since I have posted!  I have been knew deep in school work and in work itself along with this beautiful relationship and kids!

A few things I’m learning!  As I set off to finally finish my bachelor’s degree at Anderson University, I never imagined what would happen.  I thought okay I’m going to attend these classes and finish the requirements to get the piece of paper to get that job.  Well, God has other ways of using what we think is just another task to mark off the check list of life for GOOD!  I have been in a course over the past 5 weeks called Christian Communities and Vocation.  Going into the course I didn’t think much of the requirement but rather just saw it as something else to be checked off the list.  Well in the 3rd week, God broke me and I sat weeping in class as I was realizing the impact my dad’s life had on me.  Also, I was realizing the importance of priorities.  This last week has been one that I didn’t expect either.  Last Tuesday we were given the task of writing a 12 page paper.  At first I thought your giving us a week to write a twelve page paper.  CRAZY!  The first four pages were a contemplation pages where we wrote on a life experience that was guided by a question.  We then had to ask someone we respected but didn’t know us all that well to read it.  I asked my store leader at work to read it.  I knew he would be reading it on Saturday night and I was kind of nervous because I was very vulnerable but yet at the same time the long I thought about the questions, the deeper I dug into my own layers of life and quite honestly it’s a good thing we only had a week to write the paper because I would have rewritten it five times over if we had longer!

The other thing I’m learning is God’s unconditional love and undeserving we are of it.  I am learning this through my relationship with Byron.  Having not experienced the kind of love that he shows me and the way he treats me in the past, it’s a whole new experience and the way that God is using this for me to understand how we are very undeserving of His love but he choose to die on the cross for us is HUGE!!!!  I am so stinking grateful for Byron!  God has blessed me more than I could have imagined!

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36 years!

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While the past 36 years has so much to talk about it would be a book! This past year has been filled with more highs than lows! I'm a blessed women and am grateful for the beautiful friendships I have from work to church to family to school to boyfriend! I'm the happiest I've been in a long time and I'm grateful that The Lord has brought me to where he has me because being in the middle of his will is the perfect place to be!!!

Neon Steeple Tour

This is a photo less concert review!  There’s a first time for everything!  I went to my FIRST Crowder concert last night in Indy at Old National Center!  The last concert I attend there was with Kari Jobe and I was not impressed with the venue.  Last tonight was a totally different feel!  Let me say this if you have NOT seen Crowder LIVE you MUST put this on your BUCKET list and go see him!  I have been to many concerts from TobyMac to Chris Tomlin to Third Day to Newsboys and Crowder is by far my FAVORITE concert!  Don’t get me wrong the other guys have great concerts but Crowder took it to a whole new level!  His set included a “Dog”, a down south front porch, a whole lot of instrument variety, and a ton of Crowder!  The light show blows even the “Hits Deep” tour out of the water!  It was a small stage in comparison but the lights couldn’t compare!  The only draw back was that the word’s to the songs were on small t.v. screens instead of actual screens but other than than…AMAZING concert!

Capital Kings opened and provided the electric vibe with even some Hillsong Y&F and “God’s Great Dance Floor”.  All Sons & Daughter’s was up next and they had an intimate worship set that was bluegrassy.

Neon Steeple Tour you get an 12 on a scale of 10!!!!!  Thanks for stopping in Indy!

Update!

Well, Byron and I have been spending as much time as we can together.  It’s amazing to see how when God is the foundation and your focus on Love being an action not just a feeling or emotion how different your relationship is!  He is easy to make happy!  When I think my cooking is terrible, he’s like nope!  Ha!  One Sunday he told me he had gotten us a book!  I was excited and even more thrilled when it was a devotion book!  Each time we are together we do this devotion and it leads to a deeper discussion.  Our conversations are easy and flow usually with one of us saying I’ve been there too!  It is amazing to me how God knew exactly what we both needed and has provided more than I could ever imagine.  I know understand when people say they are so undeserving because I know that I have said that in regards to this relationship but man I am glad that I do get to experience this.  A really cool thing that has happened twice this week, I ran out of milk and eggs on two separate occasions and he said, oh I’ll run and grab them.  He opens the doors for me.  As our relationship continues to grow and the foundation is continued to be built, I am glad that God is allowing me to go on this journey.  Tonight Byron met my kids and we went swimming and out to pizza!  It was a beautiful thing to see my kids connect with him.  At dinner, they acted in their normal manner and I just shook my head at some of and Byron just laughed and said oh my this is normal because his kids act the same way!  On the way home I told the kids we would have cake for breakfast and Lily pipes up and says but mom Byron needs cake too!  :-)  I’ll update again in a few weeks as God continues to have his hand in this journey.  Anderson’s pool now has another important memory for me!

Doubt!

Last night I posted that I had gotten an “A” in my Christian Ministry class and I was excited about this!  One of my friends said “And your surprised by this?”  Why yes and no.  Yes, because I waited until the last minute to write my final paper and no because God has prepared me for this moment.  While I have never been good at school, I struggle with it but when I finally yielded to God’s call on my life and not my own, this thing called school is getting easier because ministry is what makes my heart beat fast!  This Sunday as I was sitting in church it was like his still small voice was reaffirming my call to ministry, speaking to me and tell me that God has prepared me for this moment in time.  I’m still unclear as to exactly what area of ministry that God has called me to but I do know this that as I walk in HIS will life is easier!  When I was walking on my own it was oh so much more difficult because I was in a battle against His will!  Don’t let the enemy destroy your dreams and passions and callings by saying “YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH” because friends let’s face it “YOU ARE MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH YOU WERE CREATED FOR THIS MOMENT!”  When God call’s you answer, when God calls he’ll provide away, when God call’s you have to stomp all over the face of the enemy because he doesn’t like it when God’s children answer because Gods army is growing and the enemies army is shrinking!