Monday, November 30, 2009

Free Cookbook!!

Just wanted to share a giveaway opportunity here. Katy Link over at The Link Home is giving away a free cookbook for those who enter by today! Go over and enter now! She always posts the most delicious-sounding recipes! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I'm a country girl... born and raised.

I don't wear cowboy boots or Wrangler jeans, but I feel most at home when I'm sitting on a tailgate in the middle of a pasture under the Texas sky. And I prefer a white-rock road to the highway any day.

In fact, some of my favorite memories with Micah center around the early days in our relationship, when we were seventeen and had nothing better to do than drive around on back roads and talk about nothing. Or when we'd go fishing on his family's land and he'd get mad when my fish were bigger than his.

I loved going to church on Sundays and knowing everyone there. I loved going to football games and seeing the whole community decked out in blue and gold. I loved driving through town and waving to the cars passing by. I loved popping into my Mamaw's house and chowing down on her freshly-baked brownies.

Of course, living in a small town has its drawbacks. You can't keep a secret in Josephine, Texas. Everyone knows everyone, and gossip spreads like wildfire.

But I think that's part of the charm. Driving by the Josephine store and seeing Papaw and the old men in town, sitting outside and talking about city business. Walking through church and hearing old ladies whisper about the latest scandal. "Poor Jenny. Bless her heart." As if saying "bless her heart" makes it a little less like gossip.

I've always loved my town, but I think being away has just made it more dear to my heart. You can't really appreciate the peace and quiet until it's gone.

That's why, while Micah and I have enjoyed the conveniences of living in Houston, there is just nothing better than the feeling I get when we pass the Josephine city limit sign on our way home. It's almost like I was holding my breath and didn't even realize it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Light Bulb Moments...

I'm pretty sure I'm the queen of the "Aha!" moment.

You know what I'm talking about. It's that moment where the light bulb in your head suddenly turns on, and you finally understand something that had been impossibly confusing just a few milliseconds before.

One of my professors in college used to just laugh and laugh at me because I frequently experienced these moments in the middle of class. I'd raise my hand to ask a question, and before he could even begin to answer it I'd suddenly break into a smile and burst out with an "Ohhhh. I get it." He called them my "light bulb moments."

Well, whatever you want to call them, I think they're such a wonderful feeling. And I had one this past week that I wanted to share.

One of the lessons in "The Love Dare" centers around the story of Hosea. Have you heard Hosea's story before? If not, here's the short version.

Hosea, one of the minor prophets in the Bible, was instructed by the Lord to marry a prostitute. (Hosea 1:2).

Yep, you read that correctly. A prostitute.

So, because Hosea was infinitely more faithful than I could be, he married Gomer, a woman who had previously made her living a prostitute. After such a leap of faith, you'd think a "happily ever after" kind of ending was in store for Hosea and Gomer. But, after bearing three children, Gomer was unable to remain faithful to Hosea and began chasing other men.

Now, if I'm Hosea at this point, I'm saying "peace OUT!" and going on my merry way. I imagine myself having a long conversation with the Lord, explaining that, while I had come to love this person He had put in my life, that I just couldn't stick around after something like that. That it was shaming enough to endure the public humiliation after marrying someone with such an immoral past and that I just couldn't bear the thought of taking them back after such a significant betrayal.

And maybe Hosea had a very similar conversation with the Lord, but after some time had passed the Lord called Hosea to again show love to Gomer and bring her home. And because Hosea trusted in the Lord's will, he did. He went and bought Gomer off of the slave blocks and welcomed her home with loving arms.

Maybe your light bulb is turning on much more quickly than mine did, but after reading about Hosea's faithfulness and forgiveness, I was completely floored. I honestly thought he was a bit of a chump. I knew that if I were in Hosea's shoes that I would be completely incapable of doing what he did. That someone who did to me what Gomer had done to him would be completely undeserving of my forgiveness.

And then, after a few seconds, those familiar words popped into my head.

"Ohhhh. I get it."

Aren't we, as Christians, the spitting image of Gomer? Weren't we the worst of sinners before God welcomed us as His children? And didn't Jesus buy us off the slave block and experience the most excruciating pain and shame on the cross as He hung there for our sins? And doesn't the Lord welcome us back, time and time again, when we fall short and sin again? Doesn't He forgive our very worst betrayals, just as Hosea forgave Gomer's?

Hosea's story shed new light on my perception of unconditional love and forgiveness. And on my perception of marriage. I know it would be difficult for me to do what Hosea did, but I know that if I am ever in his position that God will call me to show the same forgiveness and unconditional love to Micah. And no matter how impossible it feels, I will do my best to be a picture of the Lord's unconditional love for us.

Because that's what "for better or worse" means, right? I just knew those vows would come back to bite me in the behind some day. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Open Letter...

Hey, you!

Yes, I mean YOU. You girls who think it's perfectly acceptable to squat and hover over public toilets, leaving a fun little mess for the person behind you.

I realize this isn't exactly the kind of thing people like to talk about, but I've got a bone to pick with you.

I understand that public toilets aren't exactly sanitary, but if you are that bothered by sitting on them, use a toilet seat cover. And if you can't find one of those, put some toilet paper down.

But it is completely un-fun when I come into the stall after you, sit down to use the restroom (because I don't seem to have the issues that you have with public toilets), and realize that you've apparently squatted and missed the mark, and that you failed to clean up after yourself.


So to all you squatters out there, let's get this problem under control. Stat.

Hugs and Kisses.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A sad week...

There is something about funerals that really makes you think. About things that no one wants to think about.

Micah's grandma (his mom's mom) died this past Tuesday, and this week has just been incredibly busy and sad. We drove up to Dallas on Wednesday, to Missouri on Thursday, and then back to Dallas on Saturday. We finally got home yesterday around 6:00.

I'm glad we were able to be there with his family and to celebrate the life of such an incredible woman. It was obviously a very sad time, but it was also encouraging in a lot of ways. At her funeral, so many people stood up to express their condolences and to tell the family what a wonderful person she was. It was clear Grandma Betty had touched so many lives in so many ways.

But the resounding theme was one of faith - Grandma Betty's inspiring and overwhelming faith.

And it really got me thinking. What will people say about me at my funeral?

It's a morbid thought, I know. But I also think it's a good way to evaluate your life. It's easy to see yourself from your own perspective, but how do others see you?

I want to be remembered, first and foremost, as a woman who loved the Lord and who loved her family and friends through Him. I want to be remembered as a woman who served her community and shared the love of God with everyone she met. I also want to be remembered as a woman who loved her husband more than any wife in the history of the world. (Maybe that one's a little unrealistic :))

But what am I doing in my life to make sure that people see me this way? Am I loving my family and friends through the Lord? Am I serving my community?

Just something to think about on this Monday morning. :)
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