Thursday, October 30, 2008

Letters to the Next President

In the midst of all of the transition and change in our life, we have been closely following the upcoming presidential election. We've already sent in our votes to Georgia via absentee ballot and have been praying consistently for the results. Am I worried? Trying not to be. Am I concerned? You bet!!!

This morning I went for a long walk and listened to a podcast of Andy Stanley's series, Letters to the Next President. You can watch all 3 parts here. The individual teachings are entitled Heaven Rules, Beyond Approval Ratings, and Once Upon a Time in the Middle East. What was interesting to me was that my focus when I pushed play was on the election, but by the time the teaching was over, I was focused on how the teaching applied to my life and to the lives of so many people that I know and love. If you have any kind of leadership position at all - leading a family, a business, an organization, a church, or a class - then you should really check out this series. Not only did it help me to put some perspective on my own life, but it also gave me a new way to pray for the outcome of the election. I hope you will take the time to check it out!

Monday, October 20, 2008

When it Rains, It POURS!!!

I am not even sure where to begin, but needless to say, John and I are EXTREMELY blessed. In the past 2 weeks, we have been given an amazing house at an even more amazingly low price that we are moving into TOMORROW, I have accepted a job that is so unbelievably perfect for me that also allowed me the opportunity to go to Chicago for 4 days for training last week, we have received countless gifts and blessings from our family through this whole transition -including the tremendous gift of rent-free living - AND we have found a church that has totally embraced us and provided us with love, support, encouragement, and friendships that seem like we have had them for much longer than we actually have. I still don't know what God has planned for us in Florida, but I am confident that it is something incredible. Yes, I still miss Georgia and yes, I still want to go back someday, but I am blown away at the lengths God has gone to in order to show stupid, selfish, bratty me that He has a great plan for me, even when it is hard for me to see it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


This past weekend, my in-laws took John and me to see the new movie, Fireproof. Honestly, John and I did not have any expectations walking into the theater. We were just happy to be spending some time together with his parents and happy to be getting out and doing something. Having seen Facing the Giants, we both knew that the acting would be like watching a high school play, Kirk Cameron would be the only actor that we recognized, and all of the Christians in the movie would be over the age of 65 - but still, we grabbed movie snacks, got all comfy cozy in our seats, and prepared to mock the movie.

Well, there were a few moments that John and I made comments under our breath and made up our own script, but I have to admit that about halfway through, I was really into the movie. Yes, the acting was a little bit cheesy and no, we didn't know any of the actors, and yes, most of the Christians in the movie were knocking on Heaven's door, BUT...the story and message of the movie completely made up for all of that.

I'm not going to go into the storyline, but I walked out of the theater with a very thankful heart for the husband that God has blessed me with and a huge burden for those whose marriages are struggling. After the movie, John and I went to Ikea and then out to dinner and during dinner, we started talking about the movie and our marriage and what goals and dreams we have. One of my goals is to set aside one night a week to watch or listen to a teaching and then talk about it. I also want to continue to read as many books as I can on strengthening our marriage. In the movie, the main character is given a book to go through for 40 days. While walking through Barnes and Noble today, I saw that same book on the shelf and thought about buying it. As I looked at it, there was a part of me that said, "Things aren't bad - you don't need this book." But the longer I stood there, another part of me reminded me that marriages are fragile and we should be doing all that we can to improve them so that they can reach their full potential and not just get by.

So yes, I bought the book (The Love Dare) and am really looking forward to being challenged by it. If you haven't seen the movie, go see it and know that while it won't be winning any Oscars this year, it will be worth your time and money.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hippie Chicks

As promised, here are some pictures of "the girls."

Georgia, Sheryl, and Prissy

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Ever since we have moved back to Florida, I have found that I am dealing with many of the same emotions I was experiencing right before we left. There was a lot of hurt that took place here and now that we are back, so is the hurt. It seems to be lurking in the most unusual places! I have talked to trusted friends for godly counsel, prayed just about every minute, and tried everything I know to keep forgiving and not let my heart become hard and bitter. It is not easy, but day by day it seems to be getting better. Yes, being 800 miles away from the places and people made it a lot easier to let go of that pain and move on with life, but now that we are back, I find that I am being sucked back into the past and it is a place that I definitely do NOT want to return!! I feel like I have moved on, but it seems like there is a force that is trying to bring me back down and I am determined to fight it!!

I know that I have written about this before, but I think that it is a lesson that you have to keep learning as you go through life. It is never easy to forgive, and there are a lot of misconceptions about what it means. For a while, I thought that I needed to mend all of my broken relationships and forget every hurt and offense, but I quickly realized that sometimes pain can be a warning - once you have been burned by a hot iron, you learn to be extra careful and do everything you can to keep from touching it again - and in the same way, when you have been hurt over and over and over again by the same people, I think it is wise to guard your heart and move on - remember the good times and continue to pray for them, but then move on! Most of all, I try to remember how much God has forgiven (and continues to forgive) me and I ask Him to use all of this pain and hurt to teach me how to live my life for Him and for Him to use it to change me and to make me into the person He has created me to be. Part of my journey of forgiveness is forgetting the lies and holding on to His truth - and the pain is not nearly as strong as His love and truth!!

When we moved to Georgia, I would play this song over and over again to remind myself of how destructive it is to hold on to offenses and to allow bitterness to rule in your life. I find myself playing it a lot more these days...I hope it encourages you to fight against the destruction that unforgiveness can unleash in your life.

Tornado by Sara Groves

You live your life like a tornado
Destruction follows everywhere you go
And you have no plans to stop or slow

I will not let this bitter root grow in me
I will not let you leave that legacy
But it gets so hard when pain is all I see

And every time I find healing, you're making a new mess
And I am learning the real meaning of forgiveness...

And I tried to remove myself from your path
But I keep waking up in the aftermath
So I pick up again and say I won't look back

I will not let that bitter root grow in me
And I will not let you leave that legacy
But this constant fight is breaking me

And every time I find healing, you're making a new mess
And I am learning the real meaning of forgiveness...

And it hurts when you hit at the hearts of the ones I love
When everything you touch is rubble and dust
And it gets so hard to know how to trust...

But I will not let that bitter root grow
I will not let it, no no
But it gets so hard oh...

And every time I find healing, you're making a new mess
And I am learning the real meaning of forgiveness
And I could move and never send you a forwarding address
Or I could learn the real meaning of forgiveness...