Friday, July 30, 2010

Show Us Your Life--My Testimony

I grew up as an Army brat and so I did not have the privilege of living in the same town all my life or attending the same church. Oftentimes we went to the church on the military post where we lived--and sometimes the showing of youth was small. I truly cannot remember how we ended up at camp, but we did. We went to Teen Valley Ranch in Plumtree, North Carolina. Yes, I said Plumtree. It is nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina and it is beautiful. And when I was in between fifth and sixth grade, it was the place that showed me I was lost without Christ. I was 11, and I was lost. I felt out of place, like I didn't belong anywhere. Moving every three years can take its toll, but that was not it. That was what I thought it was, but that was not it. I just had this hole in my heart that only my God could fill. And there, at TVR, with my counselor named Billie (she was a girl), I gave my heart over to Christ. I tried to download their video so you can watch but it wouldn't work. Here is the link. I watched it and had a huge smile on my face. I remembered that during our orientation they would tell us every year: "Don't wander off the ranch property. People who live in these hills shoot first and ask questions later." And they had a rope swing that you did not jump off of into water and they had a great saying about it and I can't remember what it was...any help Anonymous?

Anonymous, watch the video---it will bring memories flooding back that you did not even know you had!!!! Like the time I went horseback riding and my horse got bit in the butt by the one behind it and took off running off the path into the woods (where they shoot you first and ask questions later), jumped a creek (which felt like a raging river to my 11 year old self) and then decided to stop in the middle of nowhere to eat some grass. I was blessed enough to not be shot before one of the counselors found me and my wayward horse and brought us back. Good times, I say, good times!


Ok...all that to give you HOW I became a Christian. I know it was a real conversion, because the tug on my heart by the King of kings was strong. But I did not know what to do with that tug. We moved after my 6th grade year of school to Northern Virginia and joined a great youth group. We had some fun times in 7th and 8th grade and once I entered high school, I had the privilege of going on some great mission trips. One of those trips was to Jamaica. Now, this may be what you think of when you think Jamaica.

We did not go to that picture up there. We did, however, on our one day off, go to the one below.
That is Dunn's River Falls that you make a human chain to crawl up...and we did that. And it was awesome! But for the most part we were not looking at this scenery.
We were looking at this:

We were there with Youth for Christ to help Jamaica Youth for Christ by doing things like building a chicken coop for a girl's home or building an addition onto the director's house in order to store supplies that can be passed out to the needy people of Jamaica. This where my faith became real. Not because I was so passionate or so on fire for God, but because I was such a doubter.

Stick with me.

We were building an addition to the house and we had to pour concrete. Only there are no concrete trucks in Jamaica (or if they are there, we couldn't afford them). So we had to mix concrete by hand. Fun. And we had to have the concrete poured by a certain date in order to have the addition done in time before we left. We got to the house and started to mix the concrete and the water was turned off. Jamaica does this sometimes. Certain cities just turn off the water unexpectedly with no word ahead of time and no time frame for how long it will be off. So our wise director gathered us all up and said, "They have turned the water off and we HAVE to mix this concrete. So we are going to hold hands around the hose and pray for the water to come back on."

Seriously? We are going to PRAY over the HOSE?

Well, we all bowed our heads (I was good at looking the part) and someone prayed, and then someone else and then someone else--all the while I was looking around with one eye (the other was closed out of respect :) ) and thinking all of these people were crazy.

Then I got hit in the face with the gush of the water coming from the hose...literally. God not only turned the water back on for our group, but we got pressure we had not seen the whole time we were there and He sprayed me in the face with His power. The water stayed on only long enough for us to mix our concrete, then it was gone again. I am happy to say that I realized then just how BIG my God is and how much He is in the details of my life. And then, I got sick.

I usually got sick on mission trips (strep throat, tonsillitis, stung by a tropical jellyfish and couldn't walk and had some crazy-karate kid-like therapy done on my leg) and so I usually missed out on somethings. This particular trip, we were in 2 different locations. Once I recovered from tonsillitis, I was moved from the girls' home to the director's house during the day. I wanted to stay at the girls' home with my friends but it was outside and they did not want me outside after just having a fever and infection in my throat. I might have done more of this if I had stayed there. Clearly, "Keeper of the Nails" is a very serious job when building a chicken coop!

I went to the director's house, thinking I might get to paint the new addition, but I did not. I had to stack blankets. Really? You brought me from the sick house to stack blankets. Wow...I am important in God's plan aren't I? "The Blanket Stacker" job had me all twisted up inside. I had seen how powerful God was, but I could not see how I fit into His powerful plans when He only saw me as the blanket stacker.

That fall, September 12th, 1988, to be exact, Hurricane Gilbert hit Jamaica. It killed over 40 people, destroyed homes, buildings, churches, and left an already desperate people with nothing. Well, almost nothing. Our chicken coop stood. Our addition to the house and the director's house itself stood. And all those blankets? They were dry. Safe inside the director's house. And they were passed out to people who had lost everything.

Somehow "Blanket Stacker" suddenly seemed so important. And I realized that my powerful God had seen this coming--and He knew how much the people would need the organized stack of blankets. The blankets that HE had asked ME to help Him have ready. God showed me how even the mundane is huge when He asks me to do it. He continues to show me everyday how involved He is in the details and how He can take a sinner like me and use my life for His glory.

Now it's your turn...hop over to Kelly's Korner and post your testimony story!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WIWW-The Nosebleed Gone Way Wrong

Ok, I really wanted to participate in What I Wore Wednesday over on Lindsey's blog. And I did take one picture on Thursday of what I wore...only I can't seem to find it anywhere. I have returned home from the beach but have not been able to unpack anything....because....my nose started bleeding on Thursday, the 22nd and everything spiraled out of control after that.

Remember this picture? I had a nosebleed on my way to Charleston and I took this picture as a joke to send my dad. It was a bit prophetic, if I do say so myself.

So my pictures of what I wore go from cute clothes (haha--that is a joke) to hospital gowns and pajamas. See, that picture above was taken on the 16th...nosebleed number one. Nosebleed number two came on Sunday, the 18th. Then I was ok--Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and most of Thursday. Thursday night, I went to eat with my mom and dad after packing up my car. We had a great salad at McCallister's, got home and started to update my blog on my trip home the next day and my nose started to bleed. Anonymous likes to call it a "Facebook injury" (because she thinks FB is evil) but I was not on FB when it happened. I thought it would be like the other nosebleeds and stop after about 10 minutes.

I was wrong and we headed to the hospital. I got the rhino rocket shoved up my nose ( go here for explanation) and while I was bleeding to death and dying of pain, my dad was snapping pictures. Anonymous, the kind, loving sister, demanded I place photos on my blog because, as she said, "Your blog readers deserve to see this." So here are some pictures of me in the hospital.

My wonderful dad drove me home Sunday and my sweet friend Dusty had me all lined up to see the BEST ENT in town (he is the best in my opinion because, well, he took the rocket out of my nose). He and dad bonded over college basketball and thanks to Dusty, the doc was reminded that I was the patient and needed some of his attention. :) He was GREAT...took out the rocket, cleaned out my nose, cauterized a few places and told me bed rest would be my closest friend for the next few days.

Thanks Dusty for saving my nose! :) You are the bomb!

And so there you have it...what I have been doing/wearing for the past 7 days. I wouldn't wish this on ANYONE!
Don't laugh too hard...I can't yet, it still hurts to smile big. :)

Happy Wednesday---maybe by next week I will be back to WIWW...

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Plans Change

I started this post the other night...Thursday night to be exact because I was going home on Friday. I was going to say...Thanks mom and dad---we have had a BLAST here for the past 3 weeks. And we have....you are the best parents and grandparents anyone could ask for!

Caroline has become a boogie boarding queen.
And Will has been a very huge beach bum!!!!

And then I was going to end it. But all I had done for this post was add the pictures. And then a nosebleed started. Completely out of the blue. It was my third one in a week. And they aren't just little nosebleeds. They are huge. And this one was fulfilling that expectation. And then it became the overachiever nosebleed. It would not stop at all. Caroline kept asking me if I could die from a nosebleed (she was horrified at the blood) and Will kept telling me to go to the doctor. Seriously, the sink in mom and dad's bathroom looked like we had slaughtered the fattened calf in it.

I was fine until my dad stepped into the room fully clothed, keys in hand and said, "I am ready to go to the hospital whenever you are." See, my dad is a no doctor kinda guy. He doesn't feel like it is always necessary to see the doctor. When we were young and would hurt our ankle playing sports, we come to him and say, "It hurts when I walk on this foot." His response was, "Well, don't walk on it then." :) So I got a little worried when he was ready to head to the emergency room.

Off we went. By the time we saw the doctor it had been bleeding for 2 hours. 2 hours. That is like 80 years in nosebleed years. They couldn't get it to stop with Afrin and because it was coming from the back of the nose they could not cauterize it. So I got a rhino rocket. Don't know what that is? Let me help.

Forgive my description, but it is like a glorified tampon that they shove into your nose and then halfway into your brain and then they PUMP IT FULL OF AIR. Oh my word at the pain. The doctor said it had to stay in for 24 hours. So my plan for leaving was gone. I thought I would get it out Friday night and leave on Saturday. But when I called my friends who are ENT gurus they all said, very emphatically, to not take it out for 72 hours. That is a long time. And I am only 36 hours into this thing. It hurts like I can't even explain.

My sweet dad is driving me home tomorrow and my sweet friend Dusty has me all lined up to see an ENT on Monday morning. Believe me, Monday morning will not happen soon enough!
Say a prayer for me if you think about it this weekend and I will update you again on Monday afternoon.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What I Wore Wednesday and a Commercial

I am participating for the first time in Lindsey's What I Wore Wednesday. I am not loving these pics but here they are anyway!

Oh, but before I get to that, let me tell you about yesterday. We were invited to participate in a commercial for a local restaurant here. My dad knows the owner and so he wanted our kids to come down with us to be in the commercial. They loved the kids because they wore their shirts from the restaurant and so they go some time in front of the camera!!! Caroline clearly does not have the patience for acting as she was easily frustrated with the takes and retakes! :) Will is a camera ham--shocking since he always seems so shy when I ask him to perform! :)

Here is Will before we got there...he did the "hair flip thing" so his hair would be perfect (and that is dad in the background, all plugged in and charging before his big debut)!

Here is our table of camera hams...Caroline was mad at me so she decided not to look at the camera.
After the acting job ended! They did great!
And now for What I Wore Wednesday:

Thursday
Tank: Gap
Shirt: Target
Shorts: New York & Company
Shoes: local beach store
Hat: it was my Grandpa's
Friday
Tank: Gap
Shirt: The Loft
Shorts: Gap
Shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: from a friend

Saturday
Shirt: Old Navy
Shorts: ????
no head? believe me it is better this way!

Sunday
Tank: Gap
Shirt: Ann Taylor
Pants: The Loft

Monday
(Oh Lord, we went to the water park and I look horrible)
Bathing suit: Belk
Cover up: Gap

Tuesday
(this is my commercial outfit)
Shirt: Steinmart
Skirt: The Loft
Shoes: Birkenstocks my dad bought me when I was pregnant with Will!

Maybe next week I will edit my pictures all the same way so they look the uniform. Sorry about that! :) And I am not sure what I was doing with my stance...gotta work on that too! I hope you have enjoyed it anyway!

Have a great day!!!!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Not Me Monday!


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. She is the mother to four and another on the way and she makes me laugh and truly contemplate some pretty deep issues. Head over to her blog to read what she and her husband and precious children have been up to this week.

I did not spend as many days as possible last week on the beach and at the pool. I did not enjoy almost every minute of my time in either place. My kids did not enjoy it either. They are not beach kids at all!






I am not still doing the detox. I am not on day 13. I am not counting down to the 28th!!!!!!!!!!!! My parents are not looking forward to eating pizza when this over and I am not looking forward to bread with butter! :)

I have not had two pretty bad nosebleeds in the last 2 days. There were not the kind that get all over everything and use up all of the kleenex in the car. They do not take forever to end. They do not eventually cause me to do this:



I am not losing my mind for sure with that picture posted above! :)

I am not dying to know what you have not been doing?

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Charleston

We met up with some friends from back home on Friday in Charleston! They were camping (which my kids thought was the COOLEST) and we were not that far away so off we went. Once there, we thought, what could be better, on a day where the temperature was 103 degrees and the humidity was 359%, than to take a boat tour of Charleston? In our minds...NOTHING could be better so we did it. And we roasted! But we saw Ft. Sumter, Patriot's Point, the battleship Yorktown, many dolphins and even were fired upon by a boat scoundrel pirates! The kids were great, considering the heat, and the tour was one I had never done before, so I can definitely check it off my list.

When it was time to leave, Will begged to spend the night and have me come back the next day to pick him up and Caroline wanted to play in the campers some more. BOTH kids want Daddy to buy us a camper...mommy is not sure! :) I did enjoy time with great friends and I appreciate that they let me crash their vacation.



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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Day at the Beach/Pool

OK...so I have no pictures of our time at the beach today. Maybe because I was too busy sitting in my chair on the sand watching my kids play in the sand and surf. Or maybe because when I was not sitting in my chair, I was in the water looking for shells with my children. I spent so much time trying to convince my son that half shells/slivers of shells or rocks were not worth keeping that I forgot to take some pictures.

But relax. I did take pictures at the pool.

Mainly because our sweet Caroline learned a new trick today--all on her own.

She learned to do "Handstamps" today!!!! Yeah! Aren't you proud of her? What? You don't know what handstamps are? That would be Handstands!!! Yeah!!!! Aren't you proud of her now? I thought so. She was proud of herself too.


The excitement of handstamps was so contagious that even her brother got on the bandwagon. He got so good at them that grandpa jokingly told him he needed to join "the mermaid brigade--you know a bunch of dancing girls?" Will looked shocked and shook his head vehemently, until something dawned on him and he turned back to grandpa and asked, "Are they pretty?" Oh my. I told him to go back to handstamps.

And before you think, "Or maybe go play with the flowery boogie board...hmmmm...maybe the mermaids are calling", Will was being a great big brother here and bringing his little sister the boogie board she brought to the pool!!!

Nothing beats a day at the beach or the pool....or both!!!!

On the agenda tomorrow? Costco. I know. You are jealous.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Not Me Monday!


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. She is the mother to four and another on the way and she makes me laugh and truly contemplate some pretty deep issues. Head over to her blog to read what she and her husband and precious children have been up to this week.

I did not have a date night with my sweet husband last Monday and it was not so much fun. We did not go to a local restaurant here and our waitress (Fran) did not say to us, "I will be right back with some puppies for you." I was not momentarily confused until I realized she meant Hush Puppies. That kind of thing would never confuse me. I am from the south, sort of.

Mark and I did not take Caroline and two other female cousins out for some entertainment. I did not know that we would be turning them into coconut-bra wearing, grass-skirt hula dancing people.


Finally, I did not start a detox last Wednesday that took away all of my favorite foods and for the first couple of day, my great attitude. I did not complain about always being hungry and just wanting a cheese biscuit from the local bakery. I did not do any of that, because I am a big girl and I can handle stuff like this. I did not even take a picture of me and my dad outside the movie theater with frowns on our faces as I held a bag of popcorn I could not eat and a coke I could not drink. I would never frown over that...I do not need popcorn to enjoy a movie.
Or do I?

What have you NOT been doing this week?


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Saturday, July 10, 2010

M.I.A.

I have totally been missing in action lately. I own that. I told you earlier we are doing this detox and I have truly been in bed by nine at the latest each night. Getting rid of toxins takes a lot out of you apparently. :)

But I wanted to post some pictures of some fun stuff we have been doing around here lately.

We have been fashion girls strutting our stuff.
We played in the small plastic pool even though we have direct access to a much larger pool and the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes, doing what you see as normal is fun, even at the beach.
We visited the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach and got pictures in front of the most famous and long-standing gift shop there.
We played putt-putt.
We did our own make up and Aunt Anonymous' makeup! :)

Good times, I tell you, good times!
Happy Saturday!!!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Detox...

Ok...so for the next 21 days me, my mom and dad, brother and sister-in-law, and one sister are doing a detox. I have no energy or creative juices. So don't expect much from me, please. Right now, I am craving an avocado salad, so something is working right! :) I also just want to be full. And kale chips are making me gag slightly. And I miss my coffee. But this is going to be so worth it (at least that is what Anonymous keeps saying!!!!).

I will try to post something worthy of your time later...but don't hold your kale chip breath for that one! :)

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Monday, July 5, 2010

This Year's 4th of July Photo!

712 pictures later, I am not sure we got even one with everyone looking and smiling at the same time! Oh well.

However, my sweet family of four got a picture taken and we did manage to get everyone smiling! We even got Caroline laughing! :)


Have a super day!

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