Monday, July 30, 2007

Ropes Course

This past weekend, we took several girls from our women's ministry (JANES) to a ropes course and it was amazing! A ropes course is designed to promote teamwork, problem solving, building trust and character, and just getting to know each other better. All of these things and more were accomplished. Fears were conquered, new friendships were made and old ones were strengthened. Every challenge had a lesson or spiritual application about life and ministry. One of my favs was the "log roll" you see below. We had to stand on a log and then rearrange ourselves in alphabetical order without stepping off the log. At one point, we realized that if one person would squat down, another person could step over them with the help of those on their right and left. It's the same in life and ministry. When you humble yourself so that someone else can advance, the whole team wins. What an awesome illustration! If you've never taken this challenge before, I would highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed. For more about our day, head over to Alisa's place! She has a great post about our adventure.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I am grateful for so many things, but here are a few:

  1. Even when I mess up while trying to follow God's will, He doesn't give up on me or leave me to my own ruin. Hallelujah!
  2. The greatest family and friends in the world.
  3. Books! I'm grateful for books! I sounds corny...but I have read so many books this summer that have totally inspired me!
  4. Blogs! I love blogs and the encouraging people behind them.
  5. JANES (women's ministry) and the girls that make it so great!
  6. Frappacinos...from anywhere!
  7. Music and the ability to sing it. It is my most favorite form of worship.
  8. Lunch with a friend...that tells you like it is...and then makes you laugh.
  9. God's blessings that come at the most unexpected times, for the most unexpected reasons.
  10. The ability to dream and dream big.

Laurel Wreath is hosting Thankful Thursday this week. Head over to to check it out!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Jill's Book Bag Giveaway!

Hey Guys!

This is so much fun! Go see Jill for more details and tell her I sent you!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cruise 2007

Carnival Ecstasy--The big beautiful adventure!

Me and Mandy conquering my fear!

Lifeboat Rescue Drill-Byron looks much more afraid than I do!

On the boat, but not moving yet. (Notice I'm still smiling!) Mandy had this great t-shirt made for me that says 'Birthday Girl'. You can't see it in this pic, but my name is also on the bottom left corner of the shirt so everywhere I went people said, "Happy Birthday DeeDee!"

Monday, July 9, 2007

Daniel and Mandy watching the sunset

Forty, Fit and Fearless!

At the risk of giving away my age, I would like to share with you what God did for me on my birthday this year. It seems like the older I get, the more I struggle with fear. Not just one fear, many fears. And unfortunately, that can make things difficult for the people you hang with that have no fear. Take my friend Mandy, for instance. She and her husband Daniel like to go on cruises. Every year, they invite us to go with them and every year we (I) say no. Why? Because I'm afraid. I'm afraid of flying because it doesn't make sense how an airplane can stay in the sky. Likewise, I'm afraid of sailing the big blue Gulf of Mexico because it doesn't make sense to me how the ocean doesn't just swallow up the boat. I know it's silly. Doesn't matter. However, this year I shared with Mandy my new faith motto: Forty, Fit and Fearless. Forty (yes, I am), Fit (no, I'm not yet) and Fearless (working on it). So, in order to help me with my new outlook on life, she and Daniel took my husband, Byron and I on a cruise! It was amazing! We had so much fun. I actually have a picture of Mandy and I leaning against the railing on the back of the boat at night! (Night time is scarier!) On top of conquering the fear of sailing, we hiked through a jungle (commercialized for wimpy tourists) and swam in a 35 foot deep spring in the depths of a cavern on an island I had never heard of. The water was a frigid 69 degrees and when you jumped in they said, "Don't scream or you'll wake the bats!" Yes, there were bats overhead and I was careful not to scream. We made it back to safe harbor and it was the most amazing trip I have ever taken. It's not easy for me to conquer my fears...just ask Mandy. But as I step out in faith to conquer a new one, day after day, it draws me closer to the God who says, "Don't be afraid. I am with you everywhere you go." This is what I've learned in my short 40 years: I can walk through this life, missing out on adventures that God has set before me and remain "safe". Or I can hold my breath and dive in, trusting that God will catch me in the deep end. Can't you just see it? Me and God...looking fear right in the face. In this case it was the blue ocean! And He never left my side.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

A Word to My Sisters

I just recently added a ClustrMap to my blog and it has been so much fun to watch the dots light up everytime a fellow blogger stops by. I was checking out the overall picture this evening and when I saw the red circles spread out from the East Coast to the West Coast, I had a thought. This may be the only time that my fellow blog sister and I ever meet this side of Heaven and I wondered, "If I could share one thing with her, what would it be?" So much crossed my mind, but certainly this blog could not sustain it all. So for tonight, this is what I would say to my sweet passers by:

God is crazy about you! He created you in His likeness, but designed you so uniquely that there is not anyone in this world with your mix of gifts and talents. He loved you so much that nothing was too great a price for your salvation; not even His own Son. You are not a mistake. He has destined you for greatness and there is nothing that you can't do with Him by your side. He has given you a hope and a future and the plan that He has for your life is laid out before you, yours for the taking. I am praying for you Blog Sister, that you will become everything that He created you to be the day he dreamed you up! So nice to meet you...

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him!" -1 Corinthians 2:9

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Pandora's Box

I am new to this whole blogging thing and for the first few days, I discovered that it is so much fun. I post my thoughts, people I know read them and leave comments. I read their comments and then go check out their blogs, leave a comment and the cycle continues. However, my friend Susie introduced me to all of her blogging buddies (she has a bunch) on one of her recent posts and I was blessed with a comment from Susanne. Susanne invited me over to her place and so, feeling really special, I made a trip to see her. While there, Without Fear caught my eye and I was sucked right in. I am so dealing with fear right now and you guessed it...she had a word for me. So I left her a comment and upon exiting, I noticed some sort of web ring. Not knowing what that was, I checked it out, mostly because it said something about Christian Women. I decided I would like to be in a club for Christian women and began to snoop around. I happened upon an article about Darlene Zschech and before I knew it, I was lost in an interview with one of my favorite worship leaders. I finshed the article and suddenly realized, "I don't know how I got here and I can't find my way back!" I was lost in the blogworld and as fast as I could type, Pandora's box was growing and growing. I'm going to have to start leaving gingerbread crumbs so that I can find my way home. For now, I'm closing this lid or I'll be up 'til 3:00 a.m. searching for my next blog sista! One day/one blog at a time. This is so much fun!

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
-Ephesians 4:29

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Miss Texas USA

My sweet Meg (son Byron's girlfriend) was in the Miss Texas USA pageant this past Sunday and we took family and friends on a road trip to Laredo to support her. It was amazing! It was televised live and when the countdown started and the girls came out to do their first dance, I spotted Megan (Miss Portland) and the tears started flowing! I was so proud of her. She is beautiful, inside and out, and she has such a heart for God. I've had the blessing of having her in my life for the last 3 years and I have claimed her as my own. I know God has great things in store for her!

Our friends, Mandy and Daniel, made the trip with us and brought their girls (who I've also claimed as my own), Abbey and Brooke.