End of year!

Well, here we are…at the end of another year.  Some thoughts from the past year.

January brought a D&C which eventually lead to my emergency hysterectomy in March.  Yup FUN stuff!  Not really but grateful for an amazing doctor who took care of the issue right away!  Also grateful for my mom who came and rescued me twice!  

February brought me moving out on my own for the first time.  That was freedom and painful.  It also found me seeing my Neurosurgeon and having him say I don’t want to see you for another year!!  Whomp! Whomp!

April found me switching jobs and trying to sell cars.

 May was a blur and busy as it always is!  

June found me serving in the jr. high youth ministry at church It also stretched me in taking my first road trip with my kids to Kings Island.  I also left my job at the car dealership.

July was spent with my kids and driving to Iowa, first time post dad’s death and celebrating his life.

August found me back in school.  Serving at my first ever Women of Faith event as a volunteer!

September found me juggling school and working in retail.

And going to Nashville, TN for the FIRST time!!!!

October found me moving my friend to Ohio

November found me busy with school and experiencing my first ever Black Friday!

December found me going to a Toby Mac concert for the first time ever!

As I reflect back on the year I think of things lost, relationships formed and dreams being chased after.  I see God blessing me with Andy and that relationship!  I see my desire to share my story with others growing deeper and I still find the ability to smile a LOT!  I am grateful for the freedom I have found! I  was just thinking back over the year and have realized I have been to more concerts this year than I have in the past 11 years put together!  That makes me HAPPY!  This next year my goal is to meet Audio A (Kevin Max) and Newsboys (Michael Tait) and I am pretty sure I’m going to accomplish that!  As I look forward to the coming year, I look forward to deepening my walk with Christ, writing, learning to play chords on the piano, spending time with my kids, being intentional about relationships, getting into better shape, finishing my Spring semester with a sense of “well done” not “ahhhh I barley scraped bye!”  There is so much more that I want to share but my mind is shutting down and I will have to share later! Happy New Year to ya’ll!  May this be the year of blessings!

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MATT McCoy!

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Matt McCoy is a worship leader who I remember being a 13 year teen flying out to San Diego to get his first Taylor Guitar!  Fast forward 14 years to now and I got to see him lead thousands of college students in worship this morning!  When I remember Matt begin that 13 year old teen he was leading his youth group in worship and I remember thinking to myself that God is going to do something great with Matt and indeed he has!  God has given Matt the opportunity to lead worship, write music, and teach others as well as lead people to thrown room of God!

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 Matt has been given these opportunities because he has been willing to God’s call upon his life!  I encourage you to check out Matt’s music over at http://www.mattmccoymusic.com  Also check out his latest album over there or on iTunes called “Heaven Calling”. Image There is a song on there entitled, “Will You Carry Me”?  This song as I heard, I thought….hmmmmmm that was ME over the past 10 years!!!!  Grateful I am no longer at that place!

THRIVE THURSDAY’s!!!

Thrive!  When you think of the word THRIVE what comes to mind?  You might think of a flower in full bloom THRIVING because you have taken the time to nurture and care for it during the early stages.  You may think of an infant who is THRIVING because the parents are feeding, caring for and loving that child.  You may think of your financial investments THRIVING because you have carefully selected the appropriate accounts to invest in.  You may think of those relationships and friendships that you have that you have carefully invested Time and possible resources into that have THRIVED throughout the test of time.  There are many ways we see things THRIVING around us in our every day life.  It is easy to not stop and think about what went into someone THRIVING weather that be the day your child walks across the stage at the end of a high school career or the smiles that your parents or grandparents display at their 25th or 50th or 60th wedding anniversaries.  We see things and people THRIVE around us all the time!  Have you ever stopped to think about well how does one THRIVE when there is a sick child?  How does one THRIVE when they are faced with the word’s “You have Cancer”?  How does one THRIVE when the one they loved says “I don’t love you anymore?”  These are questions that many of us are faced with on a daily basis.  Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing how I have THRIVED through some pretty life shaking circumstances and how I came out stronger than I was when I went in!  Join me on this journey as we discover how to THRIVE through life!

The first journey I will take you on is through those awkward jr. high years.  Those years that for some you may want to forget and to NEVER EVER go back to again!  For others of you those were the “GOOD” days!  Those were the days that you LIVED for and LOVED!  For me those days were days that I was insecure, had low self esteem and didn’t have many friends.  As  a matter of fact I had braces, headgear, and didn’t have cool Guess jeans, I wore big glasses and had a short bobbed hair cut!  Image There was a boy who rode my bus and his name was Troy Sulfrunk!  He was plain mean!  Today we would call it bullying but he would call me “Vulture Monkey” and would draw pictures of what he thought that looked like.  In high school I finally got up the nerve to ask him why he continually called me that name and he could not tell me!  He said and I quote “If I told you, it would hurt your feelings!”  Well he had already hurt them enough what more was there left to hurt? I was able to THRIVE and not head down the path of self destruction because I knew WHOSE I was and continually listened to Christian music which encouraged me.  Now don’t get me wrong though I spent a lot of time in the counselors office or hanging out with teachers who encouraged me!  (that is a whole different post on how music as helped me thrive!)My parents had gotten divorced during the 5th and 6th grade summer.  We had moved to a new school and the 6th grade year is a hard time to readjust and make new friends.  I found 2 friends who walked through jr. high with me, John and Mary.Image

This was the 6th grade field trip to the Zoo and Mary is next to me on the left in the pink shirt.

 I also found a older wiser women to look up to and I had teachers who invested in me!  John and Mary were two friends who we would eat lunch together each day and John and I would go to church youth group each Friday night together with his family.  I was able to THRIVE despite the awkwardness of the jr. high years because of these two friends and because of my faith in Jesus.  These two friends were a blessing during the jr. high years.  As we went to high school, John got involved in band and Mary moved to a different school.  God brought other people in my life throughout high school to help me THRIVE!   My teachers invested in my by helping me with my math, or finding things that I was good at and affirming me of that.  This helped me THRIVE by building my self confidence in my ability to do and overcome my inability to believe in myself.  My last mentor, Kimberly Ann, she is a radio DJ for the Christian Radio Station in South Bend.  She helped me THRIVE throughout those awkward stages as she helped shape my faith and knowing that I AM A CHILD OF THE ONE TRUE KING!  In knowing that I am LOVED no matter what the world may say, that my father in heaven loves me more than I could ever know and He loves you too!  On Friday nights she would have “Request Hour” and I ALWAYS that I was cool when I got to hear my voice on the air!  One final note on my jr. high years, I went to Camp Adventure in North Webster for 3 summers!  That was the BEST week of the summer!  We were LOVED on!  Encouraged and taking out of the craziness of the jr. high “normal” world and brought into a week where we were shown unconditional love by people who gave up a week of their lives to invest into us!  Little did I know that despite the awkwardness that I went through in jr. high that God was sowing a seed to give me the passion to reach out to other jr. high kids.

 

“This post inspired by Casting Crowns’ new album “THRIVE” releasing on January 28th!”

It’s what happens when……

Your in a Relationship! 😀

About a year ago I was walking with a friend who was helping me sort out the divorce mess and he asked me when I thought I would be ready to date and I said in about a year.  Over the past year I have tried different dating websites and such but have never had any “luck” finding the “right” guy.  Finally I just stopped searching for someone on my time frame and let go and let God take the drivers seat on any future relationships.  The weekend before Thanksgiving I started going back and forth on eHarmoney answering questions and using the “free” weekend to chat with a guy named Andy.  We exchanged email and started emailing each other asking tons and tons of questions and then we exchanged phone numbers and texted but finally we were just like we really need to meet!  To say that this is a God thing would be totally CORRECT!  When I stopped looking, God showed up with Andy!  In HIS timing!  The cool thing is today while at my mom’s I made a comment to my mom that I have never WAITED this long to get stuff done for Christmas!  And she didn’t miss a beat and said “well, when your in Love it happens!”  I was like ok…..I have NEVER said anything to my mom in regards to the “Love” word in regards to the way I feel towards Andy.  So, for her to notice it was fun!  Then my sister was like why are you so happy and then my kids noticed it too!  And here’s the crazy thing last week Andy was over and we were talking and he said a month ago if you would have told me I would be sitting on your couch talking to you I would have laughed and said NO WAY!  Ahhh….can’t wait to see where this journey takes us!

What it’s All about!

Tonight I went to Northview Church for their Christmas Eve Service. It was very simple but yet spoke truth! The amazing thing is that in Romans 3:23-24 from The Message “For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.” The kicker for me is “OUT OF SHEER GENEROSITY!” God sent HIS Son to DIE for your sins and my sins! For the sins that we have yet to commit, the sins that we committed and the ones we still need to ask forgiveness for! I don’t know about you but that is totally worth getting excited about! Jesus came to save you and me BECAUSE HE LOVES us more than we will ever be able to comprehend! I don’t know about you but if you don’t know Jesus Christ I would say WHY WAIT? Now is the time! He is waiting for YOU to accept HIS FREE gift!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Timmy!

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Today is the day you were born!  Tuesday December 20th, 2005 at 11:54 a.m. in Grinnell, IA.  I had wanted a Christmas baby and boy did I ever get one!  You were born via a scheduled c-section and we did not know what you were as my pregnancy with you was uneventful and we only had a 20 week ultrasound.  When Dr. Rebelsky said “It’s a boy!” your dad didn’t really believe her until he saw your parts!  We stayed in the hospital until December 25th and went home in the afternoon.  Little did we know that after the joy of having a perfect baby boy at home, in 5 short weeks our worlds would be turned upside down!  On a cold Sunday we went to the Grinnell Hospital to find out you had RSV which turned into a 3 week hospital stay in Des Moines, IA.  Which was a blessing in disguise, if you can call a hospital stay that!  We found out that you had 3 heart defects while we were at Blank Children’s Hospital.  Once you were well enough to go home we went home and waited until your lungs had healed well enough so we could do the necessary closed heart repair.  You all though did not let these things stop you as you grew up.  Granted we did spend the first five years in and out of the hospital in the winter months it made you that much stronger!  Here we are today reflecting on you turning 8!  You are getting ready to move to a new school where the adventure awaits of making new friends.  You enjoy playing on your iPad and your most recent movie Frozen you enjoyed so much that you had mom download the soundtrack!  You are a growing, kind and caring boy!  You enjoy playing at the Children’s Museum up on the 4th floor in science works and you love God!  I love you Timmy and can’t wait to see how God uses you!  You don’t have to be grown up to be used by him just willing!  Love you sweet boy!

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This picture is from a few years back!

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The Dash

One year ago on this date December 18th.  The day was yesterday my dad went to be with his heavenly father.  My ex got the phone call from my step mom that he was not doing well and we need to come.  I stopped what I was doing, got dressed, grabbed a few random things, a cup of coffee and got in my brand new Chrysler 200.  I was gone.   I had to make it there BEFORE he was gone!  I’ll never forget driving down I-70 between Knightstown and Indy.  I cried like I had never cried before.  I had called my mom and she was not going to let me drive out alone.  I called my friend Kim to go with me.  I called my other friend Kevin.  I need a hug!  It had snowed that day and he was plowing.  Little did I know he would have driven me out to Iowa because he didn’t want me going alone.  My mom was already on her way down to Fowler to pick up Kim and I otherwise he would have been driving me.  My brother was already out in Iowa for work which was a GOD thing!  None of us was with dad when he passed away.  He wanted to die alone.  Sandy made it just a few minutes after and boy that was hard on her.  My brother spent the afternoon with Sandy while I was driven out to Iowa.  There was the Blizzard of the century coming out to Iowa.  Dad didn’t want a lot of people at his funeral.  He wanted to be remembered for the life he lived and the things he did for others!  Dad was a very caring person and would give anyone the shirt off his back.  He always had a over flowing amount of roses to pass out.  He knew how to buy clearance Roses and make them beautiful again!  He knew how to brighten up anyone’s day with the simple gesture of giving a rose!  Something beautiful and simple!  He loved his kids, his family and his grandkids!  He loved to sing!  And he cared for his parents both until the day they passed.  I am beyond blessed for the opportunity to have had a relationship with my dad with no regrets.  I could go on and on with story after story about him but I want you to know that as you go about the busyness of the season take the time to do something for someone else!  You’ll be filled with joy unspeakable!

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When the enemy says “your unloveable!”

God says “She is MINE!  And I LOVE HER MORE!”  This past week has been one filled with emotion.  You see last February when I left my ex, I walked away with a sense of shame to his family and didn’t say anything to anyone.  I just quietly left.  I felt unworthy to speak to anyone and unloveable.  Both LIES straight from the enemy!  I had seen two of his aunts this past spring at his Grandmother’s funeral.  They both came up to me and hugged me and told me that they STILL LOVED me!  And that they were proud of me for who I was and where I was headed.  TEARS just rolled down my check.  Then this past week I have received Christmas cards from one Aunt and his Grandmother.  A hand written note from his Grandmother who is not doing well at all but took the time to write me a note!  That is God saying YOU ARE LOVED!  You are MINE!  I did NOT expect the emotion that went along with receiving the cards at all.  Take the time to send that person who has walked out of your life a card.  Let them know that they are LOVED not only by you but by the Heavenly Father!  The King of Kings!  In a few days we will be celebrating the birth of this King!  Take time out from the busyness of the season to rest in his LOVE!  A Love that came down in the simplest form, born to a virgin, in a stable.  The simplicity of that one silent night!  Which really was not at all that silent!

I’m reading Adam Hamilton’s book called “The Journey” and in it he shares this “All of us take unwanted journeys, but God always walks with us on these journeys.  God works through them and redeems them, and these difficult journeys will never be the end of our story.” (p.101)

As I sat reading that last night it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear for the step I was on!  It brought peace and clarity to sometimes a difficult journey.  You are NOT alone!  You are NOT forgotten!  You are LOVED by a God who LOVES you MORE than we can ever comprehend!  That does NOT mean we will NOT have struggles in this life but it means that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

 

 

DC Talk reunion show..what?! What!?

So…..for many of you, you know that I really love DC Talk BUT I would be LYING if I said I miss them!  I do miss them but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE them out as lead singers in Audio A, Newsboys and TobyMac!  Seriously, each one of these artist are able to show case their talent and musical gifts in a BIG way without over shadowing the other one or feel like they need to fight for the lime light.  BUT there is a small part of me that would LOVE to see Audio A, Newsboys and Toby do a concert together!  So, here are my ideas for that!  

Idea #1

1) DC Talk does a “reunion” tour like in 5 major cities across the US one being Indy!  I don’t know a lot about the best selling ticket cities but I do know that Indy does well at supporting the Christian music talent!  We like music and concerts!  My guess would be New York City, Orlando, Dallas, DC, LA, not sure how Seattle would do, and Indy!  I would say that would be with in a days drive for those die hard fans and I think doing a select few cities would best serve these guys already crazy schedules!  And they would hopefully be SOLD OUT shows!  I think if we could get them to do just a DC Talk reunion thing that would be the most cost effective too because you wouldn’t have 3 big bands to rent tour buses for, equipment, semi’s and a whole slew of other expenses where if you did option number 2 you would have

#2

TobyMac and the Diverse City

Newsboys 

and Audio A!

While I would LOVE this option it would be short sets for each band like 30 mins each and it would be a massive tour!  And I just don’t know how cost effective this would be but at the same time you might have a larger audience because of the know fan base of each band but the ticket price would be kind of crazy too.  See each band would play their set and then do a collaboration of old DC Talk stuff.  

#3

The other option I just thought of was if they showed up at summer festivals and did the summer festival circuit one last time.  That might be another option.

I know there’s been talk.  I just feel as the fans of DC Talk that we should have the closure of a final tour.  These are my thoughts and in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM represent that of the bands and their intentions! 🙂

 

Toby Mac!

Well, it happened!  I asked and I received!  I have been a long time fan of DC Talk like in the days when it was “Heavenbound!”  Yup, huh huh heaven, ha ha heaven, heavenbound!  But the sad thing is I NEVER EVER saw them in concert because growing up if it wasn’t in South Bend I didn’t get to go!  The one time they came to World Pulse Festival it got rained out and instead of seeing DC Talk we pushed cars out of the mud!  DC Talk is not together at the moment but rather each singer has gone off and done their own thing and to be honest I LOVE them way better now than when they were together.  Each artist, Toby, Michael and Kevin all get to show case their unique talent and style!  LOVE!  So, having NEVER seen these guys in concert when they were DC Talk it is now my goal to see them each as individuals with their new bands!  I have known that the Hits Deep tour was coming to Indy for quite some time now but never took the time to buy a ticket.  I waited and waited until the time came and it was just not in my budget.  So, Saturday on a whim I sent TobyMac a tweet.  120 characters I think ok so 2 tweets.  That was it…”any way that this long time DC Talk fan could be gifted a ticket to see you in INDY tomorrow? NEVER have I seen any of u in concert before! 35 years old..it’s about time! :-)”  As I was driving to work I got a tweet DIRECT MESSAGE from Toby Mac that said “my web girl will take care of you for the show in indy tomorrow night 🙂 peace”  I started CRYING!!!!!!  I was so stinking excited!!! It was FINALLY happening!!!!!!!!  I contacted said girl and asked for two tickets!  She responded and the asking of friends started.  I started with my friend “Andy” but he couldn’t go.  So, then I asked a mom of a sr. high student from church if her son could go.  He is a production geek and LOVES all things production!  So, I knew he would enjoy the show!  I got to church and she said YES!  So, I asked him and he was surprised but excited to go!  SO, I went to work until 6 and then he and I left for Bankers Life!  We got there and there was TWO MEET AND GREETS!!!!!!  CRAZY!!!! But God is good!  So, this was my FIRST TobyMac concert but NOT my last!!!!!!  The show was AMAZING!  There was Capital King, Chris August, Brandon Heath, Colton Dixon, Jamie Grace, Mandisa, and Toby and DIVERSE CITY crew!!!!  Here are a few pictures from the night!

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THANK YOU TOBY MAC for this opportunity!!!!!!!