Thursday, June 30, 2011

Video

Some of you that dare to stay tuned on a 'ramble' day should know that I like to visit Lysa TerKeurst's blog and read Proverbs 31 Ministry devos when I can.  She introduced me to her pastor's wife's blog a couple of months back, which lead me to the Elevation Church website and I have shared a few of their sermons with you here.  Yes, I give background infos about 99.9% of the time:)


Last week, I skimmed one of Lysa's posts where she said she was going to be speaking at her church, and I thought 'cool'.  I thought maybe for an audience of women only, a ladies brunch perhaps.  Something I thought I'd have to be in the area for to catch.  When I checked out Holly Furtick's blog earlier this week (as she does a Monday morning commentary on the Sunday sermon), I saw she mentioned Lysa was the deliverer of Sunday's Sermon. Background infos concluded ;)


Finally this morning I got a chance to watch/listen - and she talked about so much, I wanted to share!  If you know her story of adoption, she goes in to far more detail her than she did on Oprah :)  Just a great message about our reactions determining our reach.


Click here to enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Friend Forever

I have know the Michael W. Smith song Friends since my freshman year in high school.  

One of the older cheerleaders would sing it whenever we'd have cheer bonding time, and I just really loved the song.  (that tidbit of info was so pertinent, right?!)


A few days ago, I was thinking about a really great friend of mine who went to be with the Lord 4 years ago today and this song came to mind.  I guess I hadn't really listened to the lyrics in a really long time.  Definitely not since knowing what a 'friend forever' really is.  


Today I wanted to share about a very special lady that I cannot wait to see again.  Melissa.  She and I became friends in 7th grade through mutual friends.  Usually when girls find out they have an old boyfriend in common it makes them bring the claws out...come on, you know it's true!...BUT, this girl and I just smiled and laughed it off and let that be our glue to come together.  We hung out with a group of girlfriends pretty regularly until everyone branched off in different directions for college.  We played softball together for many years.  We traveled to Hawaii together for our HS grad trip...so many memories ;0  We grew closer together after the high school days through some bouts of cancer that she suffered through and planning her wedding.


Tho we have an endless reel of memories that we share, there is one memory that stands out the most to me.  When my dad passed away, I felt completely alone.  All I wanted was to be surrounded by friends.  I was off from work about 5 weeks and surrounded by family visiting my mom, since I lived at home at the time.  I had 1 friend come by the day after he passed, and I'm grateful for that visit ;0  I had another visit from Melissa.  She came over to just hang out....after a radiation treatment.  She drove herself over to my house and we just sat in my room, on my bed and talked.  She brought me a CD I hadn't heard and told me that the following song really helped her get through some tough days she'd encountered while battling her cancer.





She was sharing her faith with me and was a brand new believer.  She had no idea that I was too :) She had never heard of Bible study and was trying to wrap her mind around all the greatness of God that she was learning about.  We had a wonderful visit and she went home to get a nap in before her kids were due back home.


I was so touched that in the middle of what she was enduring, she made the time to come comfort me.  She wanted me to have the comfort that only God could provide.  What a beautiful, beautiful person.  


8 months later she passed away.  I put the Third Day CD in my car and listened to it each day on my way to and from work for quite a while.  Her song that she so kindly shared with me touched me in a whole new way.  


Putting the two thoughts together: Melissa and friend forever....bring a HUGE smile to my face ;0  a little tear because I wish I could call her up, but it's quickly followed by more smiles because I cannot wait to be reunited with her someday...and have her be a part of my forever ;0 


Here are a few pics...not the best I could find.  Those are still floating somewhere from when we took them out to use them for the memorial service...but a few good ones nonetheless. 
...on her wedding day...
...her bff April between us...hanging out in college...
...these are 'the girls' from high school at April's wedding...
...Melis hanging on to her hubby Josh, and the rest of us from our table...
Man...more smiles and tears looking at those pics.  Love and miss you, Tonta ;0  Someday....forever!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Today's Focus (...on the family;0)

Yes, my days were a little off in 'scheduling' my posts.  Oh well.  So you had a Wednesday on a Tuesday :)  ...Emma gave me a little blessing that I'm grateful for today - she slept in ;0  She woke up st before 7 (usually up at 6).  Focus on the Family plays at 7, so I decided to feed her in the rocking chair, relax and listen in.  Today they had Kathi Lipp, who has been at our church for MOPS and Women's Brunches, so I'm familiar with her and was excited to hear her speak.


I thought it would be a great listen for wives, so of course I wanted to share!  


Click here to listen to today's broadcast.


My thoughts ;0
Isn't it crazy that, some of us, need these 'reminders' of little and simple things to do for our hubbies...to let them know we care about them, appreciate them and are just simply crazy about them?! :)  Makes me sad to think of the things that I used to do for Tyler during our (very short) dating season :)  And sometimes that I can't even remember the last time I did one of them.


Early on in our relationship, we shared about our 'love language(s)'.  I (embarrassingly) admitted that I felt I was a little of all 5!  Wow, and I wondered why my girlfriends recently called me high maintenance - ha! 


Tyler shared that he was words of affirmation.  I would send him an email every morning after my quiet time and share an encouraging verse I came across, or some affirmation statement, etc.  Obviously, it was very easy to let that go as soon as we were married and living together.  I think about it sometimes and tell myself, "as soon as i get on the computer I'm going to send him an encouraging email like I used to!"...sometimes I do, sometimes I forget.  I've tried notes in his bags when he travels (of course, more recently now that we travel separately)...and I think ONCE I've sent him an ecard just because.  


A couple of nights ago, after a rough day at the office, I asked if I could make him something for desert...he chose brownies.  We were out of eggs, so I said, "bummer, we don't have eggs, I'm sorry." As I was putting the mix away and heading for the bowl next I thought to myself, "If it were the other way around, Tyler would go to the store to get eggs to make them!"  I know this because he's done it...more than once!  Although it was just about 7 and I was not dressed to go out, I threw a hat on and decided not to care about what I was wearing and I headed to the store.


Now, I'm not trying to say, "look at me, look at me!  And the wonderful wifely things I do for my hubby."  Sisters, please;0  I'm so in need of constant reminders (and prayers!) of how I can be a good or better wife.  Just thought I would share some things with you and see if you might also share some things with me on what things you do for your hubby!  They may inspire and give me new ideas of what I can do next :)  Please leave a comment, I'd love to have new ways of blessing my hubby and making him feel loved and appreciated.


Hope you enjoy the listen and have a great day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A good listen

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been able to start to enjoy listening to sermons on the radio again.  It's been so nice.  For some reason my mind was just too jumbled to be able to concentrate and listen for the past several months, but we've been all good lately so it's been refreshing ;)  


I heard 1 message of a 7-part series last week that I thought would be great to share.  Here's a link to the one I heard, and once you're there, you can find the other messages below.


Enjoy!  Let me know what you think :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Emma "napping"

I have been wanting to get it on video or picture, but Emma's recently discovered the slats in the crib, and the fact that she can: put her leg or foot through, her arm/hand, throw her  bear or socks out, etc. Lately when I come in to get her after a nap or in the AM she also will reach me and feel through the slats, rather than just putting her arms up to get out.  

Just a few minutes ago, she was kicking her leg through and then slowly laid down.  I figured she was gonna finally give in to sleep...but I kept hearing her jabber, so I went to check on her and this was what I found!


video

Come to find out, a messy diaper was keeping her from being able to go to sleep ;)  So she's clean now and just about out.  

...and that, folks, is Saturday before dinner ;0

Thursday, June 16, 2011

10 months

It's June, folks.  My Emma is TEN months old.  She's a double-digit now.  Wow, how crazy-quick time is flying!  Last year at this time there were 6 weeks left before she came 6 weeks early, and now we have 6 weeks left until shes ONE YEAR OLD.  


She's still a petite little thing.  Cute as can be.  To Tyler and I, she feels like she's getting so big!  Growing taller, developing more and more.  But everyone that sees her lately keeps commenting on how she's still so small or petite ;0  A few weeks back, Charrie texted us about Caden being 14 pounds, so we jumped on the scale and Emma was a whopping 16.  Funny that her little cousin (8 months her junior) is catching up to her already!!  It's going to be so much fun to watch them play together the next time we see them.


Emma's still jabbering away.  She calls for Mama only when I'm not where to be found :)  She looks for Papa to either appear out of the bedroom or the front door - the two common places she sees him come from.  She waves bu-bye to whomever leaves from the front door (she hasn't associated leaving with the garage door yet or from other homes/places).  She's a super fast crawler, and stands up on anything that she can.  Not doing much solo-standing action, but I'm quite alright with that.  No need to make things move any faster than how quickly they're moving already.  I don't think I'm ready for her to walk yet.  


She's a super smart girlie.  She comes when we call her by saying, "Emma, mama/papa can't see you, come back/come to mama/papa".  She's pretty good with her boundaries, although we know it'll be a constant lesson to let her know where those lines are ;)  She's 4-5 weeks in to taking naps on her own again (PARTY!!!!) and she's pretty much dropped her mid-day nap.  I'm not sure it's permanent yet.  She's quite a daytime sleeper and I'm not about to complain about that one bit.  I try to be productive during her morning nap and join her in the afternoon.  She's still sleeping 10 hours at night.  


...what else?!...
Oh yeah, she's the cutest thing ever.  Here are a few pics that I took of her on June 3. 

I teased and said this flower was helping her practice for bangs ;0




For the rest (only about 30) click here.


That was it...no wardrobe changes as we were in Valencia at my cousin's house, and this was between visits with Daddy ;0  The adorable outfit was provided by Auntie Julie G.  


Thanks for being patient with me as I mourned the loss of my pics and for just plain not posting any for a while ;0  And yes, although I'm not going O.B. on taking pictures, Wordless Wednesday will be coming back - Tyler got the best shot of her this morning that we'll post next week!


Have a fabulous weekend, all!  The Lord bless you for thinking of us and checking in on our little family. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Catching up with me ;0

I guess I took a little blog break ;0  With the traveling, then trying to get settled back at home...ahh...just needed to catch up at home for myself before I could get back on the computer!  


Like I had shared in the previous post below, Emma and I joined Tyler in Valencia where he was working for 5 days.  We thought we'd jump on the fact that I have some friends and family in So Cal that I could spend some time with, as well as see everyone from work that I hadn't seen in a while.  Some I hadn't seen since last year when I was a part of the working crew ;0


My cousin graciously allowed Emma and I stay at his home, which is what made it all come together.  We couldn't really afford to drop the cash on a room for 5 nights.  I had dinner with one of my dearest friends, Nicole and one of my new friends, Mary who I recently met in Cabo...she and I were bridesmaids for Nicole. (Cabo post here)  I also got to visit with another friend forever, Dawn (more about her here) and back to Nicole's house to just sit and hang for a while.  We weren't able to go out and visit beyond that, because Emma was exhausted with the traveling every day.  We also got to see all the JAMZ peeps every morning for breakfast, which was a sweet, sweet deal.  


The lesson the Lord had for me while I was there really hit home and has had a huge effect on me.  It's really changed how I approach things all together.  My lesson was absolutely perfect for interacting with everyone at JAMZ both during that weekend, and now that we're back.  Sadly, it was also how I approached people and situations in life for as long as I can remember.  It's been great to approach every day with this new attitude, and I just love it!  For so long now, I've been sitting back waiting to be approached for: coffee, hanging out, play dates, etc.  I would sometimes throw it out there but would take it personal when things didn't come together.  Hate being that transparent because I don't want anyone to feel bad.  It was just where I was, so sorry I was so sensitive!  But, since then (you know, a whole week ago) it's been absolutely freeing to move forward, step out and approach!  And I have so many people that I have yet to call or contact...but I'm looking forward to doing it.  


It's been freeing to change it up ;)


The new outlook on things really enabled me to enjoy my time around everyone JAMZ.  For the past year, I felt that people from JAMZ should be reaching out to me because I was the one that left.  They should be telling me they missed me ;0...or whatever.  But after my quiet time that Friday morning, it all clicked and everything made sense to me.  I felt peace and joy.  I loved be there, seeing everyone, being around...and had no itch at all to be working ;0  I sincerely embraced everyone, engaged in conversation and thoroughly enjoyed approaching everyone myself.  Yep, I didn't sit back and wait on others.  Sometimes I was approached while I was chatting with someone, but it was a welcomed interruption - and not expected at all.


And that's where I am now.  Starting the summer up, getting ready for some new daily activities with my precious daughter...and yes, I have started to snap pictures here and there...SO, while at this time it's nap time (gotta take advantage of Emma being down and go for one myself), I WILL post some pics of her soon!  


Thanks for the encouragement from my friend Casey to "blog about 'it'" ;0...and for everyone that has been telling me lately that you enjoy checking out the blog when you can - whether it's words or pics.  I know my primary audience is 3-4 ladies that I love ;0 ...but it's nice to know there's more of you out there that just don't comment.  Feel free to!  Don't be shy...even if it's just to say hey.  

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Amazed

I am just continuing to have the Lord answer my prayers and I'm amazed at the things I'd consider 'little' that He is using to say, "See Connie, just ask".  


Lord, you are amazing!!


And since I have a few minutes, I thought I would share a 'little' thing I experienced yesterday. 


Tyler and I are out of town.  He's working (24/7) and I'm 3 minutes away at my cousin's place.  I have been going to the hotel in the am from about 7-8, then head back for Emma's AM nap.  WELL.  We have a GPS, and Tyler commented on the way here, "we need to update it", but I didn't think much of the comment.  We just got it about a year and a half ago - how much could have changed?! :)


My 3 minute drive that I mentioned above turned in to 15 minutes, each way, my first time to where I'm staying and back to the hotel.  Frustrating.


That first morning visit with Tyler wasn't as nice as I'd planned.  I was a big fat grump (not just because of that, I also didn't sleep well, was achy due to lack of sleep, had issues the night prior...whine, whine, whine;0).  I got in the car and just started to pray.  I told God he'd be my GPS and would get me to where I needed to go!  And if that meant not making some of the visits I'd lined up, then OK - I'm up for whatever God had in store for us this weekend.  I was here to see those He was lining up for me to see, have conversations He wanted me to have, and go where He leads.


And just as prayer always lifts my spirits, I began to feel my insides smile, apologized to Tyler via text (since he was working) and once I got Emma down for a nap, I had an amazing quiet time.  


RAMBLE WITHIN A RAMBLE: Lets just say that the 'lesson' in my homework that I did that morning was a nice swift slap to get my out of my 'poor me' attitude.  Word by word.  I had just been around people from JAMZ.  I was grumpy, hiding behind a hat, in a corner, and yet I expected everyone to see me and approach me (tell me they've missed me;0).  How selfish, huh?  My homework literally had these scenarios to ponder:

  • someone doesn't make eye contact with you.  instead of feeling compassion for them that they might be having a bad day, you think they're rude and tell yourself they don't like you
  • no one initiates conversation with you.  the idea that you should make the effort to do the same just never occurs to you
I didn't realize how 'all about me' my attitude usually is.  I was literally thinking these things while I was there!  And yes, the idea I should make eye contact, approach people or initiate conversation NEVER occurred to me.  Not sure why I felt didn't need to make any effort!  SO...every time I've gone back since then, let me tell you how much better my visits with people are!  What a difference not putting yourself first makes ;)  

BACK TO MY 'LITTLE' REQUEST...in finalizing plans with a couple of my girlfriends, guess what they did?  They both said they'd text me directions!  OK so some of you are thinking, "um, great?!"...but think about it.  This is the day and age where people text you an address for you to find your own directions.  Then we type info in to our GPS or snazzy phones (with internet and mapping software) and you're good to go.  They had no idea my GPS isn't updated, nor that I don't pay for internet capabilities on my phone!!  Then, I was able to get on to this wireless connection, got on to google maps and wrote out thorough directions for the remainder of my drives.  

Just made this little heart smile.  And love Jesus for having my friends decide to go the extra mile, without knowing I would need the assistance to get to them.  I must tell them today how God used them.  I hope it makes them smile too :)

OK enough rambling for now.  Took some ADORABLE pics of Emma yesterday to mark her 10month special day!  Will post them next week (hopefully).  Have a great weekend!