Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Morning Walk

The first day of school, I started a new habit - I decided that I was going to be diligent and walk every day. This seemed attainable and feasible since there is a beautiful park with a walking trail just around the corner from where I drop the kids off! Great - I can drop them off and head to walk!

In all honesty, this wasn't something I was truly excited about or really wanted to do -but it was something that I KNEW God was asking me to do and I wanted to be obedient! At first, I thought ok the reason God wants me to do this is so that I can lose some weight and be healthier - logical thought right? This was only PART of what God wanted to do in and through me during my little walk (ok maybe not so little).

Let me start by sharing with the you the physical aspects and then we will move on to the OTHER stuff. I had decided I would walk 2 miles the first week, 3 miles the second, 4 miles the third and by the end of the first month I would be walking 5 miles a day 5 days a week (yep, Sat and Sun are my free days!). So far - I have kept to that pattern with the exception of one day last week when I only did 1 mile (had to quit due to the call of nature and bathrooms being locked - minor detail I know). Anyway - so this week I am at 3 miles which I did yesterday and today...

Ok - so I am learning that I need a few things to make my walk successful each day:

Shoes - I have a pair of $20 Walmart walking shoes. They are sufficient but given the frequency of my walking, I think I need to bite the bullet and by some real walking shoes because my feet have literally been throbbing at night...however, some shoes are necessary! If I don't have shoes on for a 3 mile walk - I am probably going to end up quitting after only a short distance (unfortunately I don't have the awesome endurance in my feet like those in other countries!)

Water - Boy I had better have my water bottle- it's hot out there!

Cool Clothes - I obviously don't go walking in 80 degree weather wearing my Colorado sweatshirts and sweat pants...not a smart idea!

As I have been walking, I have noticed a few things. I notice that typically the first lap is a little hard as I have "gear up" and get going. The second lap (each lap is 1/2 mile) tends to be a little easier as does the third lap. However - that fourth lap, THE DREADED fourth lap is a booger! I mean I have to motivate myself, lecture myself preach at myself, ANYTHING to get through that fourth lap! It's tough...but once it is done then comes the blessed 5th lap! Now I know that I am really on the downhill slide - I can do this! I pick up the pace and away I go!!! ha ha!!!

I also tend to notice the people around me. There are the "mega moms" as I refer to them (I know, bad to label but just can't help it!) they are doing their little speed walk with their little IPODS or whatever in their ears. Honestly, I envy them! I am just ploddin along, dragging my big self along... Then there are the "chatty cathys" these are usually ladies that are walking together, chatting about life, kids, husbands - who knows what? I really don't listen to their conversations - PROMISE!! You have the "leisurly grandparents" - these tend to be older people (by the way, the older I get - the YOUNGER they get!) They are just enjoying the day and the weather and each other, etc. Finally, you have my two very favorite gals, I like to refer to them as the "Matriarchs of the Park". These two ladies, come each and every day to walk once around the park. They truly enjoy one another and the environment and are such a blessing - they both have a cane and literally have to stop every 5 steps or so, but they keep at it!

Today as I was walking (ok, more like plodding) along. I have to confess - there was no joyful obedience in me at the beginning. In fact, I only went to walk because my stubborn pride said I started this challenge and I am going to see it through! Ha ha. So - the first lap was the typical "maybe a 1/2 mile is good for the day" but then I heard the still small voice..."keep at it." My GRUMPY response "FINE! But I am not happy". So the walk continued...

One thing I haven't told you is that after the first day of walking, I decided to make this time my time of prayer and talking/listening to the Lord. With this in mind and my attitude above you can sense where there is going to be a lesson learned!!! Heee hee

The second lap - God really did begin to soften my heart, I began to "wake up" physically and spiritually! It was after this that the Lord really began to speak to me about my morning walk. I started to take all of the above principles about my PHYSICAL walk and start to see them as they relate to my SPIRITUAL walk. Let me share with you what He showed me.

To make my spiritual walk successful each day I need the right tools:

Prayer: I need to have that time each day that is just me and God. It's a combination of listening and talking. If I miss this part - well then, I am missing that relational intregal part of being with God.

The Word: Scripture is ESSENTIAL. God has given us a manual for life. Each and everything we need to know about how to live, work, walk, etc through this life and into the next is in it! Too many times, however, it sits on the shelf or table only to be used on Sundays. We CANNOT expect to have a healthy and successful spiritual walk if we are not DAILY in the Word of God!

Other Believers: WE NEED EACH OTHER! Too many times I hear people say "I am just going to hole up in my house - just me and God." Yes - there are DEFINITELY times that we need that, but not all the time. We have to get out and interact, encourage, invest, etc in the lives of other believers...

So - here is how this all came together during that DREADED fourth lap!! Ha ha!

On our spiritual walks: The first lap is sometimes the hardest. It's hard to get up and have that prayer time, or study the Bible or get out the door to meet with other believers. We have to literally MAKE ourselves do it! Yet - once we do it, then it tends to be just a little easier like the second lap and by the third lap, we are in the groove! We are reading the Bible and praying regularly, we are interacting with other believers and we are growing closer and closer to the Lord...THEN comes that DREADED fourth lap!!! In the spiritual walk, I see this as maybe an unexpected tragedy or turn of events, the loss of a job, arguments with a teenager or spouse, financial issues, etc...we start to waiver just a tad, and then maybe a tad more and we have to really push ourselves to stay in the Word, to keep up that prayer time, to press on! Yet - once we do, once we have pushed through the low points in our lives and have stayed the course - then HALLELUJIAH here comes the fifth lap...it's a little easier, we can catch our breath...and FINALLY the last lap - the time when we will see Jesus face to face, the race of life on Earth will end with one HUGE victory party in Heaven!!!

My revelation from the Lord didn't stop there, just as I observed the people on my physical walk - God revealed some truths about other believers through them...
First there are the "mega Chrisitans" they seem to have it all together, they walk through life hand in hand with Jesus just speeding through like no tomorrow and yes I envy them! I think I wanna be like that...I'm just ploddin along though. However - they also challenge me to dig deeper and push harder!
Second we have the "cheering chanties" these are those other believers who are there along the way to encourage and push us on forward. They are the ones who will just randomly call or e-mail and say way to go! Ones like my friend Kaycee who posted on my FB wall yesterday "Saw you walking in the park, way to go!" Think that didn't push me out the door this morning? Oh yeah! We have these in our spiritual walks to - like my friend Dani who I called yesterday and she was just so encouraging and uplifting!!!
Third the "sure but steady Chrisitans" these, like the "leisuraly grandparents" are the ones that are just firm and steady in their walk with the Lord. They are faithful, not lax, not overly zealous but just steady and true to the course laid before them!
Fourth - "The Matriarchs of Faith" these are my true heros in life! They are the ones that although they have been knocked down, kicked, spit on, and stomped on by this life - they continue to truck along faithful to follow their Savior. One that comes to mind is our friend Gordy Herrick back in Bayfield. He lost his son in an accident only a few short months before the birth of the first grandchild. He has had job issues, family issues, health issues, etc and yet he holds fast to the path of Christ! These are the ones that inspire us!
Fifth - There are the "Plodders" and unfortunately in both my physical and spiritual walks, I think I fall into this category at various times. These are the Christians that are just going along, at a slow pace and the feet may be draggin but they are moving!

I don't think any one group is better or worse than the others and to be perfectly honest - I think there are times in which we will all fall into the various groups. There are times when we are like the "mega moms" We are cruising and growing in our walk with the Lord, we are filled with joy and are focused on the prize of the final lap! Then there are times where we have a sure but steady pace - we know the role God has for us, we are up for the task and we are just going to keep on keeping on. There are times when we are the encouragers - we are meant to spur others on so that they can get where they need to go with Christ. There are definitely times where we really do feel like we are just "plodding along" spiritually. It's all we can do to just be in the Word and pray each day.

No matter where we are on the spiritual walk there is something so critical and so crucial that we have to take note of - EVERY group is moving, EVERY group is pressing on toward the prize...You see, just like the various people on my morning walk in the park are all walking in some way shape or form along the walking trail, so are all believers walking or moving along in some way on the path toward the VICTORY party! We all will reach the same place and have the same reward!!!

Now there is one final group that I haven't mentioned. On my morning walk, I like to refer to them as the "passers by" . They are the ones that drive by the park and will look, perhaps honk or wave at those of us out there walking. They are interested enough to glance or take note but they aren't out there walking that path. In our spiritual lives - these are the lost that we come across each and every day. They take note of us, they know we are on this path and they are observing - but they aren't walking. They don't have that relationship with Christ - it is left to us to point them in the right direction, to take their hand and say "Come on, join me on my walk!"

Wow! This turned into a lengthy post but I just had to share it with you because it truly was eye opening to me. I know that this illustration isn't fail proof but I think it is a pretty close resemblance of the walk we are on in a spiritual sense!

With that - I am off to change out of these smelly work out clothes...oh, I could run with that but I think I will save it for another day!

"I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us"

Philippians 3:14

Sunday, August 28, 2011


There are definitely some exciting things happening in the life of First Baptist Borger and the Childrens' and Families ministries and I can't WAIT to see how God is going to impact this little town through them!!!

First of all - God is just plain moving in the church in and of itself. The worship has been wonderful and so spirit filled the past few weeks, we have heard some awesome messages recently - including one this morning on faith and prayer - small groups are gearing up for launching, Sunday School classes are getting excited and getting involved, etc....

As for our area of ministry - all I can say is I hope the people are ready because God is moving!! We have already launched our 252 Kids Worship on Sunday mornings. It is high energy, innovative, relavent, and all GOD! The kids are learning different virtues and how they can apply them in their daily lives, at the same time - parents are given the tools to reinforce the lessons at home! How cool is that?

In about two weeks we will be launching our CLUB XP for Wednesday nights! This will be a VBS style environment for our children that will also include the parents as they EXPERIENCE worship with their children! Through Bible Workshop, Missions, Games, Music and Worship the kids will learn about the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and it will be presented in a way that will excite them and encourage them to tell their peers!!!

Finally - in October we will be kicking off AWANA on Sunday nights. This will be a time for the kids to come and dig deeper in the Word through hands on activites and scripture memorization. We are excited to bring some fresh life to an already existing program here at FBC Borger....

Needless to say - Joel and I are PUMPED and READY!!! Don't get me wrong - like any church, there are some "bumps" in the road that need to be grated down but I can honestly say LOOK OUT satan cause GOD IS DOING A NEW THING here in Borger and I truly believe some walls are going to be broken, some lives are going to be changed and most of all this town is about to be turned UPSIDE DOWN for the Kingdom of Heaven!!!

My encouragement to ALL of you: What is God doing where YOU are? Are you ready? Are you jumpin on board or are you sitting on the sidelines? God will move with or without us - however we will not be blessed unless we look where He is working and get on board! So come on - it's going to be a GREAT ride as we all work for the King no matter where we are!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I don't know about you but I just love getting a gifts! I really really do - I know we are supposed to enjoy the GIVING more than the getting, but between you and me - I enjoy the getting a whole lot! Ha ha!

However - I do also enjoy giving gifts too, especially to my kids! I love finding things that I know each one of them will like or enjoy...it's just so fun to see the joy on their faces, the surprise, and just the pleasure of knowing I helped make their day better.

I don't know if your kids are like mine, or even like me at times, but sometimes after I or someone else has given them a gift - they turn around and give that gift away...or they abuse it....or they break it. You get the idea. Now to be brutally honest, when I see them break or abuse a gift I gave them - I get just a tad bit upset, ok I get really upset. I mean, hello!!! I spent money on that, I bought that for you, etc...

Another interesting thing also happens sometimes - after they have given the gift to someone else, they sometimes want it back! Oops!! We have a rule here due to this - you can't give away something that is relatively new to you - cause you might want it back.

Ok, so no this post is NOT just to tell you about the gift giving/getting process in our house! Ha ha! Rather, it is to share what God taught me through this process.

You see so many times - I react JUST LIKE my kids in the way I treat/react to gifts either that I give my Heavenly Father or that He gives me. I mean, I decide to give the Lord something and then I want it back or He gives me something and I abuse it or break it, etc. I bet the Lord feels a little upset when I do this - just like I do with my kids but unlike me, He doesn't get angry or irritated...He forgives!

So - here are the things God has shown me....

When I give Him my time - I give it without restraints or limits.
When I give Him my money - I give it without restrictions.
When I give Him my energy - I give it my all
When I give Him my worship - I give it with abandon
When I give Him my belongings - I give knowing they are fully His.

So the next time you give something to the Lord - think about how you are REALLY giving it to Him: are there strings attached? If, so cut the strings and give it ALL!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy New Year...

School year that is!

Today we started our first day of school here in Borger Tx...talk about change, adjustments, and nerves! All 6 of us experienced all of the above and more...

Joel - Today Joel began two new courses through his on-line college Liberty University. He also had to speak to the parents of Kindergarteners at the Wee School at our church. This is a whole new realm of ministry for Joel but he did amazing! We are so excited to see the new year of Wee School begin!

Hannah - HIGH SCHOOL!!! Can you believe it? That sweet little girl who walked around saying "NO!" as a 2 yr old is now a Freshman at Borger High School. We came from a town that had approximately 400 in their entire High School - Borger has approximately 800 in the High School! YIKES. However, meeting the challenge head on - Hannah bravely entered the doors of the two story maze they call the High School. She said her day was great, she embarassed herself but in her words, "that's just like any freshman would do." She is taking mostly Pre-Ap courses and is very excited about the challenge of it!

Malachi - BIG 7th Grader! Again - we came from a smaller Jr. High with only 3 main hallways to a bigger Middle School with several LONG hallways and classes spread from one side to the other! He also took the challenge head on with his normal carefree attitude! He is most excited about his Exploring Technology class in which they will be making ROBOTS! Ha ha - Jr. High has progressed since I was there!

Kestra - 6th Grade JUNIOR HIGH! What? I blinked and my sweet little diva princess is starting her first year as a Middle School student! Talk about being overwhelmed....she has never been in a school where you change classes and then jumped to the middle school! She was relieved to see a friend from church right away at school this morning. She said that she was tardy to a few classes but enjoyed her classes. She is most excited about her Fine Arts class - they will be studying music and history of various time periods. In her words, "Mom, I just know it will be fun, the teacher is AWESOME!"

Tyler - 4th GRADE! Tyler is at Crockett Elementary here in Borger. His teacher seems really nice. They are still working on his Special Ed schedule and all that but he was excited none the less. He is looking forward to going to the Science Lab tomorrow and seeing the hampster. When I asked him what his favorite part of the day was he said "Recess!" Go Figure!!!

Ronnie - First day of WALKING! Borger has a park with a wonderful walking trail around it so I have set the goal to go walking right after taking kids to school. Today I walked 2 miles and had some amazing prayer time with my Jesus! After that, it was home to get some much needed cleaning and laundry finished and no first day of school is complete without MOMMY LUNCH! I was able to meet with one of my new friends here for lunch at the Coffee Ranch which is amazing by the way (and owned by the other Arringtons in town!) She has one in Kindergarten and one in 7th Grade so she was truly enjoying her freedom today! Ha ha!

There you have it - the first day of a New Year! We are all very excited to get into the school routine and all. I look forward to updating you all as the year progresses!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A disturbing trend

"Just getting rid of the table and chairs, my family doesn't use it any more - we just sit on the couch in front of the TV."

"I don't believe in marriage - just isn't worth it" (FB post I saw today)

Sounds kind of ridiculous doesn't it? However it is a trend more and more common. Oh, many may not be LITERALLY selling their table and chairs (yes this was an ACTUAL post on Facebook and he was really selling the table!) but they might as well because the days of the family sitting around the table for a meal are becoming less and less.

My heart breaks as more and more Joel and I have seen the destruction and fall of the family unit. It seems like every where we turn we are hearing of marriages ending, children being removed from homes, kids being left to raise not only themselves but their siblings, etc. The enemy knows that the family as GOD intended it was to not just "co-exist" but to literally be united, intertwined, involved, absorbed in one another's lives. It was supposed to include a mom, a dad, and their children.

Yet, the world and more specifically America has tossed this picture out the window. We have come to believe that we really don't need anyone else - to make a lifetime committment may just not be worth the risk. Children - yeah, they're cute and all but really I got my own problems to deal with - they'll be ok without me. Really?

Today I observed the crucial importance of a WHOLE family as it was first created. One of the Pastors that we serve alongside here in Borger has been gone to Zimbabwe for the past two weeks. Today, we got the awesome privilege to watch his 20 month old girl while Mom went back to work (she's a teacher). All day long, little M was captivated by Joel! She wanted to be where he was, was pointing to his pictures in the house when he was gone, wanted to sit with him, etc. Normally, she says "Bye Joel" when he is mentioned but today "see Joel!" "Where's Joel?" all day long. Why the change? My belief - she was missing the Daddy element of the family unit. She, in her little wisdom, knew that the family was incomplete without Daddy.

There are many theories about why our economy and nation is suffering right now - my theory? First and foremost we have taken the Lord out of the helm and right behind that - we have torn apart and destroyed a CORE piece - the family!

It is time to take this important piece of America back! It is time for us as Christians, communities, a Nation to claim the family as key! We need to invest in our families - take time to sit around the breakfast or dinner table, sit around and talk about your day, ask your kids about what is on their mind or happening in their lives. Take a walk as a family - Play a game - Pray together - Read the Bible together. It will be worth the investment!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Patience or Not...

I am not good with patience and I am especially not good at waiting for God to reveal His exact plan. Fortunately, God knows this so He is constantly placing opportunities for me to learn this in my path! Ha ha!

I want the easy answers, I want the whole plan to be revealed all at once, I want to know when to say yes and move forward, and I want to know when to say no this isn't the way. Fact of the matter - God doesn't really work within the realm of what I want! He works for His will and His path and His direction!

You may be wondering - ok so what's the point with this post? Why are you saying this? What's on your mind? Well - this is something that I have struggled with on many occassions but specifically in regards to a job opportunity that has come across my path this week.

The job is being an aide in one of the local schools. It isn't what I have my degree in BUT it is working with Special Needs kids which is something that I have a heart for. It isn't the greatest pay and honestly isn't the best of work environments...the only real perk? It is a school schedule meaning I have the same time off as my kids.

I have gone back and forth all day about this and you know the funny thing? I haven't even been OFFERED the job! Ha ha! Yet, I have found myself stressing over it...This afternoon it dawned on me that once again - I - am trying to weigh this out and figure it out and I am NOT waiting on the Lord and His leadership, direction, etc. SILLY ME!

My heart's desire is to "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14. I want to wait for HIS perfect timing before I return to full-time work, I want to wait for Him to reveal the job He has for me, His Will - Not My Will!

My lesson today - when faced with a decision or choice I need to be patient, wait for the Lord to give me a peace and direction about it and not worry or fret over it with the knowledge that in HIS time, HE will reveal what I am to do!

I honestly don't know for certain what my decision will be about this particular job - if I am even offered the job - will be. I know what my leaning is, I know how I am feeling about it but I also know that His ways are not my ways and so I am open to what He may do!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Just an update...

With the last few posts being about birthdays and anniversary with a lesson in the midst - I decided I would just post a general family update for those of you who are interested. :)

We have now into our fourth week here in Borger and for the most part we are settling into our new house, job, church, etc. By far the biggest adjustment for all of us has been the HEAT! Although we have lived in Texas before and have experienced hot summers - it has been awhile and the combination of the heat with a drought has made it almost impossible! Yet - God is good and slowly we are all becoming more and more acclimated to it and finding plenty of ways to stay cool - including trips to the pool!!!

Every week we are getting to know people in our new church family better and better. All of us have begun forming friendships and relationships! Joel has literally jumped in with both feet into his job at the church with the Senior Pastor and Pastor of Spiritual Development being gone to Zimbabwe - he has had to hit the ground running in putting the Children's Ministry into place! He is primarily focused on planning the school year schedule right now as well as finishing up summer! With a church of over 1000 members - there are a lot of children and families to meet and get to know - we are more than excited about the challenge! Ha ha!

I am in the beginning stages of helping coordinate the preschool department, workers, programs etc. Being that I LOVE preschoolers and I LOVE their mommies - I am really excited about this opportunity. So far we have started with some basics that really needed to be done immediately - toys washed, batteries replaced, broken toys thrown out, etc. Another big challenge that we will be dealing with in the coming months is changing all the cribs since slide down sided cribs are no longer legal and the ones in the church are way out dated anyway. I am really excited to start to get to know the parents and families of these precious little ones!

The kids - well they are enjoying the last of the lazy summer days! Their typical day consists of sleeping in til about 10:00 or later (often later), cleaning rooms, and then in the afternoons either going to the pool or playing video games. We did go to the library yesterday and got a card - so now they all have some books to read on a regular basis! I was able to get them registered for school this week and so that has made them excited to start school, meet more friends, meet teachers, etc! Malachi will be in Jr. High band (is that even possible he is that big?), Kestra will be in the 6th grade choir (where did my baby girl go?), Tyler will have a similar schedule between the Special Education Dept and regular classroom that he had in Bayfield. As for Hannah, we are looking forward to the school counselor calling us to go do her schedule but she is looking at the possiblity of taking some Pre-Advanced Placement classes in English, Science, and History! So hard to believe we are entering the High School journey!!!

Among the MANY blessings since moving here - we were blessed on Monday to have food, school supplies, toiletries and gift cards dropped off by members of our new church! What a surprise and huge blessing! Thanks to this - we have all the school supplies we need, the kids all have some new clothes, our pantry and freezer are overflowing...God is so gracious!!!

As of today, we have 18 more days til school starts - yes I am counting!!! Ha ha - so ready for the routine but I have enjoyed the time with my kids these past few weeks since the first part of summer was so crazy busy!!! I am looking forward to my sister visiting in about a week - YAY! Other than that - we will be just making the most of the last two weeks of summer break...and Joel will be frantically working on the fall children's ministry schedule! Ha ha!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Faith, Control, Rest

"Faith recognizes that God is in control of my life."

This was the first sentence in my devotional this morning and boy did I ever need it today. Unfortunately, it wasn't til late this afternoon that I remembered this and was really able to process what God wanted to teach me today!

This morning, I set out with one main goal for the day: Register kids for school here in Borger. As for registering, logistically that went very smoothly...just lots of paperwork. The problem was in my head! The first one on the list to register was Tyler - hind sight says I should have maybe waited til last for him but his was the first school I came to after leaving the house.

As many of you know, Tyler is not only my "baby" he is also the one with the most special needs in regards to hearing loss, speech delays, occupational delays, and learning disabilities. I have talked before about how incredibly blessed we were with a FANTASTIC special education team in Bayfield and yes - I was personally close to all of Tyler's teachers. So I know that this is more than likely the reason that I was literally overwhelmed, sad and anxious as I entered his school! However, the secretary was GREAT and I met the principal who was also very kind and helpful...again the issues were in my head. Would they follow the same plan we had in Bayfield? Would he respond well to teachers and therepists? What about friends? What did I need to do to make it smoother, better, etc? Oh - me of little faith! I don't have control!!!

Second lesson (again not realized til later - I can relate well to the Israelites!): Went to register Hannah at the HS. I decided I would take Joel with me because a.) it's a HUGE High School to this small town girl and b.) I thought we may have to set her schedule and I wanted back up! As it turned out - office was easy to find and there is no scheduling until they officially get her records from Bayfield...What??? I want to know, I want to make sure she is getting in the right classes, I want to meet people....Oh - me of little faith! I don't have control!!!

Third lesson ( didn't take as long to realize but still delayed...when will I learn?): Joel calls and wants to go to the bank to set up an account. Now, in most cases this isn't really a big deal but I am going to go on a limb and be a tad vulnerable: Joel and I do not have the best credit and yes we made some VERY poor financial decisions early in our marriage. These mistakes were almost 7 years ago - but well suffice it to say we are still paying for them; including trouble opening accounts. As I was driving to go meet Joel, I went between praying for God's provision and grace and saying "it won't work, why does he want to even try?" We got to the bank, one of our friends is the store manager of the bank and we had no problems! Oh - me of little faith! I DON'T HAVE CONTROL!!!

That's right - I do not have any control over my life - PRAISE THE LORD!!! He DOES have control and PRAISE THE LORD! Ha ha!!! God has already paved the way for me - I just need to have faith in Him and in His goodness!

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1

I can rest assured knowing that God is control of everything - He has it all covered and doesn't need my assistance, just my obedience!!!