Jan 30, 2012

Living Out Love

Last week, I wrote this blog post. 
On Saturday, I got the chance to live it out.
I got the honor to drive my friend Alecia to the airport on her way (flying alone)
to bring the two newest children to their family by way of the Ukraine.
You all helped advocate for their family on Friday and helped them surpass their
financial goal and raised $1400!!
So awesome.
They still need over $4000  to complete the adoptions and bring home a
new brother and sister here to Oklahoma.
If you would still like to donate, go to www.eliproject.org and mark your donation for 
"the Horner family".
You may also go directly to their blog
to make a donation.
Also, please lift this sweet family up in prayer this week.
Alecia is travelling alone to the Ukraine this time and is facing huge obstacles.
Hubby Bryan is here in OK with their other four kids and running their family business.

Thank you sweet readers for all that you do.

Go live out your love for some one else today. 

Jan 27, 2012

Today Only!

I posted about the Horner family back in November during National Adoption Month. Their story is an incredible testament to the faithfulness of our God. Mama Alecia leaves in the morning to travel one more time back to the Ukraine to finally bring home their two new Ukrainian angels FOR GOOD!
They only have this one problem: FUNDS. They still need over $7000.00 to finalize the adoption and pay for airplane flights home.
Today only a donor has offered to double any and all funds that the Horner's can raise up to $500.00, that's a possibility of $1000 before Alecia gets on an airplane!
You can donate directly on the family's blog at http://newhornerfamily.blogspot.com/ or for a tax deductible donation, go to http://www.eliproject.org/ and donate, but make sure that you tag your payment for "the Horner Family".

Please help spread the word!

Hugs and Love to all this weekend!

Jan 25, 2012

Women Wednesday: Just Show Up

I was asked a few weeks ago by my church if I would speak at our annual Women's Conference this year. I fell over laughing when I read the email to The Hero. It wasn't the speaking, or the fact that I had to speak for 30 minutes. It was the audience.

Three years ago, a leaflet fell out of our Sunday bulletin advertising WCC's women's conference. I laughed and tossed it inside my Bible. A few days later, The Hero saw it and asked if I was going.

"Uh, I don't like girls. And this is for an entire day. An entire day surrounded by girls? No thanks. You know that's my personal version of hell."

He smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

"K. But I thought you were praying about making some new girl friends."

It's moments like this when he renders me stupefied that I want to punch him.

"I highly doubt I'll make any new friends at a women's conference."

"Are you going to try on bike night at Hooter's?"

Insert punch to the arm.

I drug my feet for a few days and finally bought a ticket to go.

Surely, I would have something come up and would be unable to attend.

Something. Had. To. Come. Up.

It was Saturday and since we were still sans kids and The Hero was at work, I had no more excuses. I went. Late, but I went. Showing up is half the battle, right?

I sat in the back and while I didn't make any lasting friendships that day, showing up really was half the battle. It was also the beginning of laying a foundation for new relationships to form and new healing to appear.

So this week, when it seems like it's hard and you're not really wanting to engage: Just Show UP!

Jan 24, 2012

Oh The Places He's Gone!

From the first picture we saw of The Dinosaur, almost two years ago,

we knew two things:

1.) We were in love.


2.) He was going to be a mover and a shaker.

We knew these things because the guest house told us in Ethiopia,

that he was adorable and he was the most active kid there.

They also told us they specifically prayed for The Dinosaur's family because

he was such a handful!

True DAT!

But standing in our driveway this morning,

I almost didn't recognize him.

His first day of pre-K!
Baby, you have come so far and I am so proud to be your mommy.

You are most definitely a handful, but you most certainly make a heart FULL.

That, and you have the best fro I've ever seen.

Jan 22, 2012

We spent the weekend almost in hibernation. The kids and I left the house once yesterday to get groceries and break the monotony of being cooped up. The Hero came home from the station today and we managed to shower and change clothes long enough to make it to church today, but immediately after it was over, we retreated back to the comfy state of home and our pjs.

While I'm not sure that we rested or are any more relaxed than if we had spent the last two days chasing rabid cats; it was nice to at least be home for two consecutive days.

I've been reflecting a lot about how we spend our time and what our expectations are with those time commitments. I know that this year of living intentional will require some changes and the letting go of some things we once saw as "pressing", but so far, I'm liking the view.

What changes, if any, are your making as a family this year?

Jan 20, 2012

Is it Live or Love?

In this world of modern technology, I feel equipped to handle astro physics from either my laptop, smartphone or tablet (even though I have no idea what astro physics is really all about) or perhaps conduct peace talks between global communities on all these devices simultaneously ( I can be quite the multi-tasker). But what I find myself doing on these devices the most is email and texting.
While being a sub-par speller makes me a fan of auto correct, I have noticed that if i am typing to a friend or a family member and I attempt to type the word "love", often times by a miss of a keystroke, auto correct will spell out "live" instead, so that my message now reads "I live you" instead of "I love you".
While I often times catch the mistake before I hit send, several of my closest peeps have often received an "I live you" from yours truly. This often elicits a response of "huh?"
But the more I reflect on this phenomenon, perhaps the two words should be synonymous of the other. Because when we truly love someone, we live for them. I love my children and my spouse, which causes me to live my life in a different way. I plan my day around their needs and their schedule. That love lives itself out in meals made, laundry folded, teeth brushed; a litany of acts that if not for love would just be a have-to-do list of chores.
Paul tells us that if we are blessed with amazing gifts and can do all things but have not love, all is for not. If love is not lived out, it really isn't love at all. It's all parts sum to the whole, a variation in the faith vs. works raucous, most pastors salivate to discuss.
Jesus was the most radical example of this 'to love is live for' theology. He tells us that "where our treasure is there our heart will be also" and His ultimate parable was love lived out...to death.

In this year of my "being intentional", I am beginning to grapple with this idea more and how that plays out in my day-to-day schedule, not just with my family but with those God puts in my path.
So if you receive a message from me and it simply says, "I live you" it may be a typo, or it , may be my reminder to myself and to you that I need to continue to live our love.

Jan 18, 2012

Yarn Braids!

The Angel had been driving me nuts to try a new hairstyle for her.
Monday afternoon, I found a YouTube video on yarn braids.
I had my doubts on my abilities and since we knew from the video that the process would take at least 4-5 hours, we thought we'd give us a learning curve at shoot for being done in 6.
We made each other two promises:
1.) The Angel could complain every 20 minutes.
2.) Mommy got scream "Uncle" when enough was enough.
Monday night we went for a solid four hours.
Mommy screamed "Uncle" at 10:00p.m.
And with one-half of her hair braided, we headed for bed.
But last night, we finished and while Mommy knew practice would make better,
The Angel was THRILLED!
She's been swinging her long hair from side to side every time I catch her standing still.
And Mommy is praying that the estimation of the braids lasting 4-6 weeks
is completely accurate!

Jan 15, 2012

Baby Jesse

I had two friends send me messages about Baby Jesse today.
I am convicted about posting her story, because I believe some one reading this is her family.
Baby Jesse was born at 30 weeks gestation.
She is in Taiwan and has been diagnosed with "possible Cerebral Palsy."
Her medical history is somewhat of a mystery,
but this baby needs a family.
Her family is out there.
Perhaps they are right here.
Reading this.
If you think you are Baby Jesse's family,
Even if you are not Baby Jesse's family,
repost and spread the word.
Let's find this angel's family.

Jan 10, 2012

Turning It On

I run. Occasionally, I run a lot. By a lot, I mean every couple of days. I have no impressive times. I've never run a marathon. But the feel of my breath meeting the air because of minor physical exertion has always had a certain healing power for me.
Every runner has their stride. Mine looks like a hippo barreling down a ski slope, but it's all my 5'4" frame will allow. And after years of convincing myself that I'll never look like Jackie Joyner-Kersey, I've accepted my stride as my own.

We moved into the new house the end of September. With school starting, soccer practices, work and a trip to Ethiopia, my running shoes saw the floor under my bed more than the treadmill.
When I was talking to The Hero about being intentional this year, he mentioned my lonely running shoes and suggested maybe I give them a purpose again in send them to Africa so they would be useful to some one on the planet. I knew he was right.
But i put him off because a bizarre thing happened.
For the first time in my adult life, I was scared to run.
I came up with amazing excuses.
More laundry.
Those pesky kids who demand food.

The treadmill was used to hang laundry, be an iPod player for our bedroom and overall dust collector. I'd stand near it and think of running again but then think better of it and find anything else to do. The more I thought about it, I knew my problem was that I was scared that I'd stopped running for so long that I would never find my stride again. That the work it would take might be too painful, too ugly and might never look the same.

Isn't that the way it is for a lot of things in life? Fear holds us back. Whether it is real or justified or just ridiculous, keeps us from so many things, from being better versions of ourselves because we are afraid of getting started.

Tonight as the kids and The Hero settled in after dinner and were watching basketball, the laundry was folded, blog post was written and the kitchen was clean, I was out of excuses. If I was going to live this year intentionally, it was going to have to find my stride.
I went to find my running shoes.

I flipped on my machine and waited for some thing to happen. And I realized the thing needing to happen was me. I put one foot in front of the other, and then I did it again and then again. Sweating and panting. Panting and struggling.
I moved at the pace of sludge. If I looked like a hippo on skis during my prime, tonight that hippo was ski-less, sliding on her butt down a mountain. But it wasn't for not. Some where in the middle of the sweat and the tread, I lost the fear.
I wasn't scared anymore.

I didn't find my stride tonight.
But I did turn the damn thing on. And tomorrow this hippo will put back on those skis and do it all over again.
And that's half the battle in whatever we're facing. Just turning it on. And then doing it again. Until it's no longer a fear, but a stride.

What are you putting off?

Jan 8, 2012

Out of Coverage

This is the view from my front porch this morning.
Even though it's less than three weeks since Christmas,
a blah had settled over our house.
A holiday let down you might say.
Having my sister and bro-in-law in for the holidays was amazing,
but the kids adjusted hard to them leaving.
The Hero and I were unable to take much time off for the holidays,
and since we are trying out our new word: Intentional,
we packed it up and drove several hours outside the city.
To a cabin in the woods.
I've never been in this part of the world before.
And we are enjoying it immensely.
We are playing and praying about things to come,
how else we want to be intentional,
and the things that we want to accomplish this year.
So if you call us in the next few days,
your calls may not be returned.
We are outside of coverage.
Have you and yours made a plan to be intentional yet?
We'd love to hear it,
just as soon as we get back!

Jan 4, 2012

Women Wednesday: Word.

I made a New Years' resolution last year.
I don't even remember what now.
It doesn't really matter.
Because like most New Years' resolutions,
I broke it two days later.
I know that because I wrote it in my journal.
I do that a lot.
Break things, I mean.
Promises, hearts (haha, right), social commitments, dates with my treadmill.
And even though I am a notoriously bad New Years' resolution maker,
there were definitely things that I wanted to change in 2012.
I thought about making a list.
But giving it's past performance, I thought against it.
I thought I'd discuss it with The Hero.
But when he said he really wanted to lose the six pounds he'd put on over the holidays
by the end of the month,
I bit my clenched fist to keep from punching him.
I reread some of my blog posts, journal entries and simply sought the status of my heart in 2011.
In all that reading, there was a theme that blared out in my words and heart: hectic.
So as I prayed and pondered over whether the only thing I would carry over from
2011 was my growing jean size,
I asked that God would reveal to me just a word that I could carry with me through this year.
There were several instances that confirmed that my word would be a complete about face from last year's pace.
2012 for me will be if nothing else:
Everything I do.
Every word I speak.
Every word I write/type.
I want Him in the middle of each step, each family dinner, every load of laundry.
I want to be conscious of every dollar we spend, saving more and giving more.
With each of the relationships I have, I pray for them to be more full.
To stop throwing things together and start knitting them in unity.
I long to seek a solid breath of life, instead of the raspy pant of busyness.
We will say "no thank you" to extracurricular activities and
cuddle on the couch for a little bit extra togetherness.
I want to wear my faith, instead of checking the box marked "saved".
I don't want to make new friends until I have dove head first into the ones before me.
(So if we know each other in 'real' life, watch out.)
While being intentional may seem slower, I pray it will not burn less passionately.
Hopefully, it will only burn longer.
I want to be a better spouse, bringing honor to The Hero.
A woman who respects his authority in our family,
and desires to make his home a place where he is at rest.
(I've read those verses about a nagging wife,
and The Hero's back won't take him living on our roof)
A home where we practice hospitality, cry when the need arises, dance when the music is good,
laugh when it's funny and pour grace on every square inch of what we've been given.
Because that is what He has done for us.
And because there is never enough grace.
I want to be a woman from whom The Angel can seek for a good example,
and from whom The Dinosaur will learn the difference between a lady and all the rest.
I want to eat less and sweat more.
I want to speak softer and write louder.
I pray our family creates memories instead forcing togetherness.
And I will expect more from you.
More discussions, more participation in the tough stuff,
more screaming from our laptops for kids who need us,
and exploring these Wednesdays for what they were originally intended:
for us to be INTENTIONAL together as women.
Perhaps being intentional will mean less of some things, and that's ok.
I am most excited about the depth of what is left.
So let's get started: INTENTIONALLY!

Jan 3, 2012


I think at the end of something, it always makes you a little reflective.
You start recounting the things you've done.
And didn't do.
The Hero and I have been together almost 9 years.
In that time, we've only shared 1 or 2 New Years' Eve kisses.
We've almost written off the holiday completely.
The New Years always comes whether he is at the fire station or not.
And I'd rather it come with me having a full 8 hours sleep.
It's a curse of being married to anyone in the responder field.
There are things that they miss.
But regardless, each year we try to sit down and just hash out
the previous year.
We were discussing our 2011 and
Recycle Love came up.
About a year ago?
The Hero came up with a design and we came up with a campaign?
Ringing any bells yet?
Does this help?

We were curious about whether or not if there would be interest in doing

it again.


Leave us a comment.

I think it would be cool to do the same logo and theme but change it up for Valentine's Day.

(and add some girlie colors!)

But we need a final decision by Friday.

Like three days time.

So let us know.

Are you interested?

And would you want to see long sleeve?

a light weight hoodie?

or short sleeved shirts like last time?

Jan 2, 2012

Can you doubt?

We had one more day off from school and work today. One more day to just be together and enjoy one another. The kids headed out early with The Hero's mom to The National Cowboy museum and when they were done, we decided to visit the OKC zoo since it was free admission day.

The kids had a blast but the highlight came when we were leaving and the zoo was getting ready to close. The passed the lion exhibit when we heard it roaring. We went up to the glass and this male lion was giving a lung shaking growl to another lion in his enclosure. We all just stood there spellbound by this amazing creature doing what God created him to do. Amazing!
As we stood there staring at this exquisite example of Gods handiwork, I couldn't help but wonder how there are those who believe we just evolved. Even a tigers facial stripes are like a fingerprint and are unique to that animal, so how much more valuable are we!
Loved spending the day being reminded that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and so are YOU!

Jan 1, 2012

Ringing It In...Sort Of!

The Hero was at the fire station last night.
The kids were determined to make to midnight,
or at least the ball dropping in New York City at 11:00p.m. our time.
But they made it Mommy's bed,
just after 10:00.
And although I had really good intentions of make some ridiculous resolutions,
Mommy was asleep not less than ten minutes after taking this photo.
That's how we ring it at The Andrews' home.
In bed,
sleeping soundly knowing that He's set the path for 2012,
just like He did for 2011.
Wishing all of you and yours hope, joy and happiness this year.