Oct 28, 2008

Sheila Raye

This day of my life leaves me exhausted and full of sorrow. It is one of those evenings where I would like nothing better than to curl up in the arms of Jesus literally. My sister Sheila passed away Saturday and today we laid her to rest. Funerals are tough but at the same time it is a celebration of a life. It was comforting to be with family that I wished I saw more often. I love them and hope they all know how much easier they have made this time. Although Sheila and I were 16 years apart in age, I marveled at many things she possessed that I don't. These things I will miss: her ability to comfort the hurting, her contagious laughter, her neat personality, her sense of humor, and her phone messages that always cracked me up. If you think Maggie Lynn has a southern drawl, Sheila wrote the book on it!
Watching my mom grieve was the hardest part. Her and I were the last two to walk away from the casket before they lowered it. Mom touched it and told her daughter she would be there soon. Where? Heaven and when we all get there what a day of rejoicing that will be. Keep us in your prayers as the LORD guides us through this time of grief.

Oct 18, 2008

Eagle Football

Who loves high school football? I love it probably because many of my most fun times involved football Friday night. From the 7th grade until I graduated, my Fall Friday nights were spent cheering for football. I loved cheerleading and really loved cheering for football. Unfortunately I have only gotten to return to a GCT Eagle football game a few times in the 12 years that I have been out of school. We took the kids and went this Friday night.

My main reason for going Friday was their new coach, Jeff Conaway. This is his first year and rumor has it that his new offensive philosophy is working very well for the Eagles. From the stands I could feel the excitement. It was a huge crowd and from what I hear Jeff has already taken the program to a greater level. Even at the away games, dedicated fans fill the bleachers. That says something about the morale of this years football Eagles!! I have known Jeff for many years. His sister and I were close friends in school. I spent a lot of time with her family. He became like a brother to me. Jeff has always had a good head on this shoulders. He is a very smart young man and a good athlete himself. I really think Jeff has the potential to take the Tech football program to new heights.

All of this is well and good but the most impressive thing is that Jeff loves the LORD Jesus and he has kept it no secret that he wants to be more than a coach to these young boys. He wants to be a light for Jesus. Under his leadership these young boys have the privilege of learning much more than how to throw a football or run a play. I believe they will graduate with a greater sense of purpose knowing that life is to be lived in light of their Creator. This will make them better men, better employees, better husbands, and better dads. Jeff's transparent walk with the LORD has already caused one of his players to come to know Jesus as LORD and Savior. That is awesome.

One cool memory that came back to me as I watched the game. I did say I cheered for football but I didn't say I understood it so excuse me if I get the terms wrong. Anyway. Crossroad's own Charlton Cupp was Eagle's starting quarterback my first year as a Sr high cheerleader. I don't remember details but I'm pretty sure it was Charlton. We were down with little time left. We were at the goal line. The play started and all I saw was Charlton diving over the player what seemed like 10 ft toward the end zone for a touchdown that won us a game. Cool huh.

Crossroads is just full of betcha- didn't- know facts.

Oct 16, 2008

What's My Cross Today?

My morning began with a question.
"What is my cross today, LORD?"
During my quiet time I read Luke 9:23-27 in which Jesus says to His disciples:
If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
Two things jumped out at me. One is Him saying to turn from your selfish ways. Ouch!! Doesn't the LORD know us so well. The second thing is when He said we must take up our cross daily. Tommy spoke very well the other Sunday when he said that we must be obedient in the simple things first. I may not suffer at the hands of monstrous persecution daily, but you can be that daily there will be times when my flesh wants to go another way or do another thing than that of God's will.
Who knows what the day holds for me? It most likely will be a normal day, but even the most menial of task can be God glorifying. In what ways? Let me share some common occurrences with you.

Momma, Maggie hit me.

Crash. "What was that?" Wil, why were you climbing on the arm of the chair? My one and only vase is broken now (the other day he knocked its twin off the fireplace mantle and it shattered).

I run in the other room because I hear Trey choking. "Maggie stop picking Trey up by his neck. For the last time he will not fit in your baby doll stroller."

And my newest dealing is with Maggie. Maggie really is a good girl. She is just curious and strong willed just like her daddy. Screaming is Mags' new coping mechanism. Be it at Wil or just because she can't get her baby doll's shoe on right. She gets this from me. I don't scream but when I can't get something to work I get so frustrated. I keep saying to her: Maggie, you gotta have self-control. Calm down and let your reaction be gentle. I then have to tell her that I too have to ask Jesus for help when I get frustrated with things. I love the quizzical look that is returned to me.

I love being home with my children. And I am in 100% agreement with God that my purpose lies at home nurturing my children and loving my husband. With this comes trying days and even tears of inadequacy. I don't want to carry the cross of disciplining them (for the 20th time in a day) or serving Tommy when I myself just want to be served! But its my joy to honor God in all I do.

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Luke 9:24

The cool thing is giving my life to Jesus is not a loss. It is not a burden even. Is it hard sometimes? Sure it is. Do I question His direction at times? I do. But I never stay there long because I am met with peace knowing His will and ways are perfect.

So what is your cross today? May the LORD lead you to it and may you joyfully take it up.

Oct 12, 2008

Lessons from To Kill A Mockingbird

Lately I have had a craving for some literary classics. I love reading and if you are a lover of books, there are just some books that one must read. I started with To Kill A Mockingbird and just finished Part I of it. I don't know if it is just because I get so caught up in books, but it is drawing so many emotions out of me. When I read a book, I start to see my world through the eyes of the characters. This morning at breakfast I referred to Wil as Jem [a character in TKAMB) because something Wil said reminded me of him...which Tommy goes, "huh?". Obviously I get very caught up in the story. This particular book I read in Mrs Cupp's 11th grade English class. But there are just some things that most young people can't appreciate until they are older like classic literature and history and really just learning in general. That was me and this being true causes me to look back on high school with and label it as precious time wasted.

Books just aren't written with the same morals in mind(and I'm not speaking of religion) as the Classics. Don't get me wrong. Scout Finch's mouth sends forth some unpleasant language but Atticus, her daddy stands up against her on it with such grace. Speaking of Atticus. His character in the book one might label as a prude. I for one think prudence is to be admired. C.S Lewis goes as far as to refer to prudence as a cardinal virtue. But when you hear someone call another a "prude", it is most always in a negative sense. Prudence is exercising sound judgement in practical matters. It means you are cautious in conduct and not rash. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus is just this. If you remember the story, the one thing you remember is that Atticus [a lawyer in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama] is greatly condemned for defending a black man named Tom Robinson [in 1933]. The town calls him and his children awful names and are atrocious in their behavior toward Atticus and his children.

Last night after I had already made several comments about Atticus. I told my friend Rachel how I wish I could be more like him. To that she replied, "Misty, remember he is fictional." She is right, but I would go as far to say this:) God is using this book to teach me about a few of my many character flaws. Michael our pastor spoke about character verses reputation just the other Sunday. And Atticus (of TKAMB) is a fine illustration of Michael's point. He said "reputation is what others think about you and character is what God thinks about you." In the story Atticus ruins his reputation with the people and I believe honors God with his character. Atticus tells his daughter who is distraught over what is going on with her father that "he would not be able to go to church and worship God if he did not defend this man" He knows what counts the most with people is NOT what counts the most with God. I get way too caught up in the opinions of man. "What will they say if I stand for this Truth or I will lose relationships if I chose to walk this path (for the LORD)." Let us not confuse "right" with "politically correct"!! Let me just end by saying To Kill A Mockingbird is chocked-full of great lessons.

Oct 9, 2008

Petting Zoo II

First a heads up. I'm allowing myself 15 minutes to do this blog so if it ends with a incomplete thought its most likely because my time ran out. So as Ross Taylor would say, "I'm just tellin' ya."

Several posts ago I spoke about a home school field trip to the petting zoo in Paragould. There was not a ton of kicks and giggles involved with the first petting zoo trip. We decided to try it again and this time bring daddy along. We went to the ASU petting zoo as a part of our home school group. It is perplexing how daddy can do the same things as me but when he does it, it suddenly becomes the coolest thing ever. I guess daddies are just geared that way just as daddy can't kiss a boo boo away quite like momma (although Wil wants daddy to do EVERYTHING). We first arrived alone and of course it was all black and white but the minute I said "daddy is here" even the pigs started to dance. I became chopped liver and only there to take pictures. That is one thing God set in mommas' hearts is to hold onto memories any way we can (scrap booking, pictures, and such), Seriously it is as old as the Bible. Remember when the shepherds come to see Jesus and retold their account of how they heard the news of the birth of Jesus. What did Mary do ladies? She pondered them in her heart. And if it weren't for me, their would be no visual memories of our children. So I am good for some things. OK I have 10 minutes left.

I have actually read that even from infancy when daddy walks into the room, the baby's heart rate will increase significantly. I think I read that in Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson. If I knew how to handle hyperlinks, I would make one for this book. Unfortunately I do not. I have a autographed copy if you would like to borrow it though.
At least once a day my kids will request for me to do some fun thing daddy does with them. And after I put all I have into it I will be shot down with a comment like, "you're not doing it right" Maggie actually cries real tears when I get it wrong. For instance there is a wall we pass on the way to church when we take the short cut alongside the old mall. The wall separates the car dealership and the mall. Anyway Tom chants something as we pass this particular wall and my kids laugh and eat it up. On several occasions I have tried to play this part when Tom is not in the car with us. What does Mags do? You got it. She burst into tears because I don't use the same voice fluctuation. Now you wonder why I go to such exorbitant means to prove a point. I just want to say how important the small things are to our kids. I can guarantee you that the "wall story" and many others will be talked about at Thanksgiving dinners for years to come.
The wrestling times are a hoot at our house. The other day at dinner Tommy played a game with us and we had a blast. You might want to try it. He got a wooden spoon and spun it in the middle of the table. Whoever it landed on had to answer a question like, "what is your favorite thing to eat" or "if you could go anywhere right now, where would it be". We may not have money to buy our kids all they desire or even half of their desires, but who cares right? Our children need more of us. We live in a time when parenting magazines recommend trying to commit 10 minutes a day with each child and scheduling one Saturday a month as family day. That's not okay to me. Our children don't need nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccor practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes twice as much work (I have learned to make myself do this one cuz I wanna do it without hassle). They deserve to know that they're a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them. I am so thankful to the ladies in my life who have taught me this by example because it is so easy to be focused on my to-do list. We as parents just need to be with them and love them and be goofy with them. Daddies are the best at the goofy part but that's they way it is suppose to be in my opinion. I am thankful because I'm only funny on accident! Well time is up. I added a video and if you call our house at about 4pm, this is what you'll hear. Its a tribute to dads doing their thing... only this one ends on a sour note.
Notice Trey in the backgound. He is so oblivious to the chaos. It cracks me up. Note: I have noticed that many pictures I have posted which show my living room looks as if I never clean it. I don't know what to say except I promise it doesn't always look that way or maybe it does.

Oct 7, 2008

A Self-Portrait

This week with Wil and Mags we are discussing how God looks NOT at the outward appearance of man but rather He looks and is very concerned about the heart. The is an abstract idea for my preschooler and even my kindergartner but still I try to give it to them in small doses and use "Misty-creative" ways (this means creative by the skin of my teeth). Activity One: I had them draw a self-portrait while looking in the mirror.

They usually have fun with art. This time was no different. Then I was ready to bring home the spiritual truth of "pretty is means pretty does". This was a saying given to me by my mammaw when I was little and got a little out of line. I had them dictate to me what God loves to see in our hearts. In other words I said, "How is it that God wants us to act?" I then stapled there answers behind their self-portrait to illustrate looking on the inside of a person to see what is there.

Here were their answers (word for word including pronunciation) to what God saw in their hearts starting with Wil:

1. Skin

2. Nothing. I don't have anything else

Yes my sentiments exactly...my son is a little confused. With Wil, you can't go on and on trying to explain something to him because he gets farther and farther away from the point. Had I tried to work with him I'm sure his response would have eventually been something like, I think God sees pickles in my heart.

Here were Maggie's answers to What does God want to see in your heart?

1. act very good

2. share toys with each other

3. if your mom says pick up toys, you pick up em' (word for word may I remind you)

4. if your mom says load up in the car, we have to go (can you tell what issues we have to address often)

5. do somethangs (yes thangs) that my mom says to do

6. if your goin' to cheerleader practice, I have to go (this response comes from a deep desire to be a cheerleader)

Now I was puzzled that Mags got the concept and Wil didn't. Remember I mentioned in a recent blog that Maggie said a couple months ago, "Jesus, will you come live in my heart?" during our devotion time one morning. The morning she prayed this we discussed some things and I can't say to you that she didn't know what she was saying because she seemed confident but I kept coming back to the fact that she is 3 years old.

Wil on the other hand says firmly that he has NOT asked Jesus into his heart because he doesn't want to go to heaven. Why? He wants to stay with momma and daddy he says. In a small way our lesson with the self-portrait reminded me that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who don't know Him but then again no one will ever accuse me of being a great teacher. What is my peace in home schooling? Not me but He who lives in me. When I am weak He is strong and God's Truth will be revealed to my kids if I'm obedient to live it out and seek the LORD when my son says that "skin" is what Jesus wants to see in our hearts.


I am clueless about how to do this tagged thing. I hope I'm doing it right....
I was tagged by my great friend Holly Taylor who is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, who is wonderfully funny, and makes me wish for more fashion sense!!!!!!!!

About me:
1 I don't understand hyperlinks
2. I can never get enough sleep
3. I love Elvis music
4. I really want a vacation with my family
5. I am so boring
6. When people fall down, it cracks me up (as long as they are not hurt)
7. I am not sure I'm suppose to make this a post but I'm gonna cuz Maggie is standing here staring at me as she waits patiently for me to wipe her

I don't have anyone to tag that hasn't been tagged...I don't think

Oct 4, 2008

Yard Sales and Marriage

Today was a great day of liquidating. I decided on a whim I would have a yard sale. Because this is my 3rd yard sale this season I didn't have a ton of stuff to liquidate, but my in-luvs [aka in- laws] always do. They enjoy going to auctions and yard sales. They have a gift when it comes to getting some deals which they turn around and gain profit. They bring a trailer full of furniture and other great attractions that draw a crowd. As for me, I had 3 goals in mind:

1. declutter (I promise you if I declutter much more I will be sitting in an empty house. I am the opposite of a pack rat which means I am uuuuuuhhh...I can't think of a word)

2. make money (I just want a nice Fall door wreath. Is that too much to ask?)

3. eat ribs (Tom's dad brought his smoker and slow smoked some ribs. Collis is "the man" when it comes to smokin' some grub)

I am proud to say all 3 goals were attained with a bonus I might add. The hubby and I got a chance to sharpen our vows as Wil and Mags got a chance to keep grandma and papa young by staying overnight! Trey stayed with mom at home. With 3 kids, we both are very aware of our need to date [each other of course]. Proverbs 29:18 says "Where there is no vision the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." And I think it is fair to say "where there is no date night, the marital passion perishes; but he that dateth their spouse, happy is she (or he)" Well thats my take on it anyway. Thankfully I have been awakened by the fact that keeping my marriage fresh should be a priority for me. And plus I love having QT with Tommy. There is no other who can compete for my attention!! When the kids are away, there is no question where I wanna be. Tonight we had a Starbucks date. Uninterrupted conversation makes for a great date. And even though I didn't come home with a Fall wreath, I come home with a renewed spirit and an even better marriage. I love you, Tom. Thanks for making our marriage top priority. Funny I didn't mean to tie my marriage into yard sales. I never know what direction my blogs will go.

Oct 1, 2008

My Wake Up Call

Tommy just called me with some startling news about a lady we both know. She was in an accident and now very close to death. Even though I know that God can take us in an instant, I am still taken aback when I hear of tragedy striking someone I know. This particular lady was in better condition than any woman or man for that matter that I know. She was fit as a fiddle. Don't get me wrong I am all about keeping yourself healthy. After all our bodies are the temple of God and we need to treat them as such.
I didn't have a friendship with her and certainly didn't come in contact with her a lot and so I wonder if she knows Jesus as her Savior and not did she say a prayer ,but did she have a real relationship with HIM....a saving relationship with HIM? Hopefully so.
This brings me to a challenge and conviction that has been on my heart. For the past 3 weeks and for the next 4 weeks I am taking an inductive Bible study (Precept Upon Precept) on I Corinthians. As I was finishing up my homework last night I was faced with this question:) Is there anything that has kept you from preaching, proclaiming, sharing gospel of Jesus Christ. If so, what is it? If there is anyone out there who can answer no to this question please contact me. I am serious!!
These were my answers that I wrote down:
I don't get out much.
It's hard to know how to start the conversation.
Will my lack of gentleness come across as judgemental?
Is my love for them and my concern for their eternity in the forefront of my mind the way it should be?
Will I stumble and fail?

The last answer [will i stumble and fail] is where the LORD rebuked me. I'm just going to cut to the chase.
Romans 1:16 says For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes- the Jew first and also the

Salvation does not rest on me being eloquent or having all the answers. I Corinthians 1 and 2 state clearly that the Word of the Cross is the power of God and it is wonder-working power (of the blood....are you singing that hymn now). My very existence is in the hands of God and the reason I breathe is to glorify Him. But oh how I get wrapped up in my own agenda, my own plans, my own woes, my own interests. I should not be ashamed and I should not let anything distract me from sharing the gospel. The result is not within my power. That is a relief. People we know and love need Him, they need Him now and they need Him forever. Break my heart for those people but let me also remember it is by the power of God that salvation is granted.
The LORD is using my children for practice. Yesterday we were talking about how we need Jesus and therefore the Holy Spirit living in us to show us the way to act and live. And Wilson said "yep and I haven't asked Him yet." and I was thinking please let me live in a way that prompts the desire for Wil and Mags and Trey to receive Jesus. Maggie does still say that Jesus lives in her heart. She prayed the prayer about a month ago (with no pressure from me) but you never know with a 3 year old. Most importantly I must LIVE IT OUT....my faith and belief in the Lord Jesus that is.