Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Still waiting....

Isn't funny how God works? I've been spending some time with family in WV this past week and it was fun and challenging at times (more on that in a bit) but just when I think it's time to head back to my "routine" the Lord says "Slow down, girlie, I'm still cleanin house!"

Our car has acted up and we haven't been able to get home yet. I'm waiting as I type for the car to be done so we can head home. Patience is something I believe He knows I need to develop so here I sit...(teehee)

My family has been thru a lot in the last 5 years. My father passed away, my mom had a stroke and had knee replacement and lots of other serious health problems, my brother-in-law committed suicide at home with my sister, 16 yr old niece and 14 yr old nephew in the next room, like I said...we've been thru it. This week I got to spend some time with my sis and my niece and we laughed a lot, cried even more and shopped til we dropped!!!! (window shopping mostly) But God is definetly working in me, working in them and working in my entire family! My kids got some much needed time with Grandma's allowing mom some much needed time alone - God is good! haha - and then we had a reunion with my in-laws that was awesome as well.

So, here I am waiting. Waiting for the van to get done, waiting to see what the Lord has in store for me, waiting to see him work in my family...waiting! It's not much fun, I admit, but I will wait for Him! He's worth the wait!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

R & R

After taking a few days to "dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in the shadow of the Almighty" (Ps. 91:1) I am taking the next few days to enjoy some time with my family in WV. I pray that each of you will find a quiet place to rest with the Lord and then share some good times with your families as well!

Love to all!!
Talk to ya in a few days!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What more could I possibly say...

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the Only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen!" I Tim 1:17

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fingerprints of God

Have ya'll heard that song? Steven Curtis Chapman (remember the one I wanted to sing back up for? haha) I'm doing the Jennifer Rothschild study with the same title and so far it's REALLY good! It's not a dive in the deep end like our FAVORITE Bible teacher but so far it's been awesome floating in the shallow! Sometimes that's where God can REALLY get you thinking too.

It's nice doing other studies but it's hard not to hold them to the "standard". Jennifer Rothschild is coming to speak at my church for our annual women's conference "Breath of Heaven" in October. Ya'll should come, it'll be good!

Anyway, when you look around at your life - your daily life especially - start looking for God's fingerprints. His divine touch! He SPOKE everything into being yet when it was time to create us - what did He do? He reached into the dust and formed us with HIS Hands! He left His mark on us!!! WHOA!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THAT!!! Ya'll have a great day and look for some "prints" all around you!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sick of "I"

I can't believe it's been 4 days since I sat down here. Wow. Been kinda busy.

Well, that's only partially true. I have been busy, had a Dr. appt Thu, dinner with church friends Fri, hubby had a "gig" Sat (coffeehouse) and our big day of praise yesterday! However, I have to tell you that posting all those things about myself was actually QUITE difficult for me. Not that I mind sharing, or talking (heaven knows) BUT it's talking about ME! I'd much rather be telling you about Jesus, my man or my kids!!! MUCH rather!!

I know that may sound silly as this whole blog is about me, but my sincere prayer and desire for this blog is that you will see JESUS in me, not me, but Jesus working in me, thru me, IN SPITE of me!!!! This is truly a difficult balance on this blog. Not making every entry about me but having every entry bring glory and honor to my Abba Father!

I believe that so many of us struggle every day with self-esteem issues. We tend to be like a pendulum on that topic swinging either to the extreme of LOW self-esteem or to the other extreme of HIGH (prideful) self-esteem (though I doubt we'll admit it). I have spent the biggest part of my life on the low side. I have always felt unworthy, unlovable, get the point. But God (don't you just LOVE hearing those two words together) in His infinite mercy led me to a study on the book of Daniel. (I tried really hard not to say her name haha) The teacher of the study wrote a line that hit me up side my head like she had a 2X4 in her hand!!! The line was "low self-esteem is still SELF esteem"!!! Do you get that? Feeling badly about yourself (especially in light of who you are in Christ) is still esteeming YOURSELF!!!!!!! You're still making YOURSELF an idol!!!! I KNOW!! BLEW ME AWAY TOO!!

I mean when you think about low self-esteem and how many of us struggle with that it's hard to imagine there's any pride in that. However, think of it this way, "No one is as ugly as me!" "No one has a past like mine." "No one could ever love me." Sounds prideful when you put it that way doesn't it? Yesterday, Dr. Rummage (our assoc pastor) preached about America sliding toward Sodom and spoke on sin and pride. What is at the center of sin and pride? "I"!

So today after spending sometime with the Father these past few days and checking any self-esteem issues I may have had I can tell you that I am nothing more than a sinner saved by His grace and mercy!!! I am a child of God a servant to the King of Kings!! I am the bride of Christ!! Those other 100 things you read about me are insignificant in comparison (though I guess they make for a good laugh! hahaha)! I pray that each of you will consider any self-esteem issues you might have (good or bad) and ask the only One worthy of esteem to reveal them and clean them up!

"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Romans 12:3

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The rest of the useless information

Ok, I've put this off as long as possible. haha Here we go.

1. God and I have a thing with birds and ducks.
2. I've known Jesus as my Savior since I was 12 years old.
3. My favorite hymn is "It is well".
4. My favorite color is blue. (reminds me of the ocean)
5. The only place outside the US I've been is Mexico.
6. The only states west of TN I have ever been to are Arkansas and Texas.
7. I've moved about 15 times in my life.
8. I LOVE caramel.
9. I collect snowmen.
10. I've choreographed several musicals and dance teams.
11. I took dance for 6 years and baton for 4.
12. My husband is my best friend!
13. My sisters are next!
14. My sister has met the President.
15. I've been to a retreat at "The Cove" - Billy Graham's training center. AWESOME PLACE!!!
16. One of my best friends is gonna be the NEXT Beth Moore! (you know who you are girl! haha)
17. My mother-in-law is a Billy Ray Cyrus groupie! hahaha
18. My favorite drink is Lime Diet Coke!
19. I have only had dogs as pets, Peppy, Max, Pepper, Trixie and Precious. Not all at once!
20. My niece is a model and a pretty one!! haha
21. I have a nephew who was born in England. (brother was in the Air Force)
22. I can't sleep with dirty feet. (did I say that one already?)
23. I have to sleep with a fan on. (need white noise)
24. I have read the Bible thru 3 times in my life. I mean cover to cover. I read it every day just not in it's entirety! haha
25. I have done 5 Beth Moore studies.
26. I have seen Beth Moore 2 times in the last year! AWESOME!!!!
27. I used to dream of being a backup singer for Steven Curtis Chapman!!
28. (But) I have sung with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers with Carol Cymbala directing!! BIG MOMENT IN MY LIFE!!! WAHOOOOOOO
(This is HARD!!)
29. I have colored my hair since I was in the 11th grade in high school!!! No GRAY hair here! hahaha
30. I love to roller skate despite my previously mentioned injury!
31. My kids make me breakfast in bed just about every Sat. (at their own prompting)
32. I LOVE roller coasters!! My favorite it the Beast at King's Island in Ohio.
33. Though I have sung in church (an out of church) since I was about 3 yrs old I absolutely BUTCHER lyrics!! You'd be shocked!!
34. I have an extra bone in my right ankle! WEIRD, I know!
35. I was a cheerleader in college. SCARY!!!
36. My dad painted the WV state Capitol building in and out.
37. I love home improvement shows. LOVE HGTV! (it's on now as a matter of fact)
38. I love shopping and am a PROFESSIONAL window shopper!!
39. I've taught the above passion to my daughter. (At 3 she woke up one morning and asked me if we could go shopping - literally the 1st words out of her mouth that morning! hahaha)
40. I used to teach preschool music. (just ask Sarahjane!)
41. I have a tattoo! Ok , not really but I wanted to see if anyone was really paying any attention to this! hahahaha
42. I Netflix.
43. I love pedicures!
44. I used to have braces.
45. I flew ValueJet once! SCARYYYYYY!!!!
46. I'm currently reading 2 books and doing 2 Bible studies. FREAK, I know!!
47. I learn Scripture to music. Like, memorize any Scripture to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb, or Pop Goes the Weasel. Don't knock it til you've tried it!!
48. I love to sneeze!!!
49. I have 4 pairs of flip-flops this summer. I love the dollar store! haha
50. I just wrote 100 things about myself that are the truth but are ridiculous! hahaha

If any of you actually sat here and read all of these I want you to get up from your computer, go look in the mirror and say "I ROCK!!" then I want you to tell me you did that!! hahahahahahahaha

Hope you weren't bored to tears!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tidbits of useless information

Ok, so Kim tells me I'm supposed to blog 100 facts about myself that you may or may not know when I reached 100 blogs. (guess I'm not up on my blog etiquette! haha)

I'm not sure I can come up with 100 all at once so I'll see how it goes...

1. I am married to a drummer.
2. I am a mom to 3 stepmom of 2 and have 2 waiting for me with Jesus.
3. I teach Kindermusik. (LOVE IT)
4. I sell Pampered Chef. (Just so I can get the stuff! haha)
5. I have 2 sisters and a brother - ALL OLDER THAN ME!!
6. I've had the same best friend since the 7th grade - Kelley Stewart. (We still talk at least once a week as she's out of state)
7. I can "talk" to doves.
8. I have lupus. (no one said they had to be good things did they?)
9. My dad is with Jesus.
10. I have 14 aunts and uncles! (11 on one side, 3 on the other)
11. I have more cousins than I can count. Really there are over 30 1st cousins. Some I've never even met. BIG FAMILY!!
12. I've lost 50 pounds in the last 2 years. (still a little more to go)
13. I had my right ear cut off in a roller skating accident and required over 200 stitches to reattach it. (don't ask!)
14. I like to eat tomatoes and cucumbers with my eggs for breakfast. (don't knock it til you've tried it)
15. I was a flower girl when I was 12 years old! (thanks Tina!)
16. I LOVE jewelry!!
17. I LOVE shoes!! Have more than I care to confess to!
18. I met Tim McGraw. (cutie pie)
19. I have 5 Bibles.
20. I love to read.
21. My name is spelled weird and people always mess it up. ValArie
22. I've assisted in inserting a chest tube into a man.
23. I've been exposed to TB. (perils of the medical field)
24. I've changed the dressings on a 4 year old girls burns on her head and neck. (mom dropped boiling water on her - ACCIDENTALLY!)
25. I've drawn my husband's blood, my mom and dad's blood and my sister's blood. (Like, in a tube, not on paper with a crayon! haha)
26. I've done CPR - successfully - on 2 people. SCARY!!!
27. I've had to accompany a Dr. to tell someone they have Cancer and I've been the family who HEARS that news. (ok - enough with the medical stuff!)
28. I've been in church since BEFORE I was born and since I was 2 weeks old.
29. I lived in WV, FL and NC. (not at the same time! haha)
30. I marched in the Disney parade!!! (one of the highlights of my life! ha)
31. I've thrown up for 9 months on 3 occasions! hahahahahahaha
32. I've sung with the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra and the Charleston City Orchestra.
33. I play the flute.
34. I love to play spades!
35. I have 5 nephews, 1 niece, 1 great-nephew and 1 great-niece and another great-nephew or niece on the way!!!
36. My favorite movies of all time are Steel Magnolias (I love you more than my luggage) and Dirty Dancing (Nobody puts Baby in a corner)!
37. I've been to the place where DD was filmed!
38. I've been to the Virginia Tech Memorial.
39. I've been on ONE blind date in my life! First and last, thank God!
40. I sat at my daddy's side as he met Jesus face to face! AMAZING!
41. I can't sleep with dirty feet. (weird one to follow that isn't it? haha)
42. I'm a Beth Moore groupie! hahaha
43. I LOVE light jazz music. (when there's no lyrics!)
44. I LOVE to dance! (Yes, I watch "So you think you can dance!")
45. I've eaten moose. The animal, not the dessert!
46. I teach children's choir at church. 4th graders!
47. I broke my collar bone doing cartwheels DOWN the steps in grade school! YES, I said cartwheels DOWN the steps!
48. My imaginary playmate growing up was Jayvee (like gravy) and my stepson's name is J.V.! How weird is that?!
49. I LOVE the beach and cry every time I see the ocean. God's creation just blows me away and I'm a cryer!!
50. I fulfilled a dream and sang backup on my friend's CD this past spring!!! God is good!!!

Ok ya'll. That's 1/2. I'll do more later as my brain is on overload just trying to think of these!

100 and going!!!

100 posts! UNREAL!

I was tagged by Leigh for the 5 things I "dig" about Jesus!

1 - I dig that Jesus said "Let there be light!" The trinity thing is such a mysteriously, miraculous, wondrous thing and I dig that He and the Father are one so when we were made "In OUR image" that image was of Jesus. COOL!!

2 - I dig that Jesus loved me enough to pay the penalty for my sins! Digging it just doesn't seem appropriate verbage, but I'm just going with the lingo of this tag! haha It's amazing to think that before time He knew how much I was mess things up on my own and was willing to go in my place!! "AMAZING LOVE, HOW CAN IT BE?"

3 - I dig all of Jesus' creation! The ocean has always been one of my favorite creations, but I tell ya, as I drove thru the mountains of VA and WV this pass weekend, I was moved to tears by the wonder of it all! I think of things like the Grand Canyon, Mt. Everest, waterfalls in Hawaii, AMAZING!! I love (dig) how creative the Father is!!

4 - I dig that Jesus is with me all the time! I'm a people person and don't especially care to be alone. I'm not afraid, I just like to talk/interact! That's one of the coolest things about Jesus. He's ALWAYS with me! If I am alone physically, I still have someone to talk to/interact with! And I do it often! If I'm in the car alone, we're usually chatting away, or wherever I am (physically) alone, He is with me! DIG THAT!!!

5 - I dig that Jesus is honored by all these blogs of all his children! I dig that we can take a platform like the internet and tell of His love and mercy! I dig that we can - UNASHAMEDLY - tell of the things He's done in our lives and that we give Him all the honor and glory!! He is good!

Those are just a few of the things I dig about Jesus! He's so much more than any human vocabulary can declare!!! It's my prayer that any and all who read this know Him and if you don't PLEASE let me introduce you! You won't regret it for a second!!!!

Monday, July 9, 2007

My whirlwind weekend is FINALLY over!! And what a weekend it was!!

My sweet stepson got married and the wedding was just beautiful! I cried, Jimmy cried, the ex cried, everybody cried. Not because we are sad but because it was just so amazing to see how God has blessed us all with this AWESOME kid!!! He and his bride looked amazing, they were starry eyed for each other and so gracious to all who were there.

God was good to us all and there were no problems, no wedding catastrophes, pretty uneventful for such a HUGE event! I guess if there was a problem it would have to be that the grandfather's didn't get their boutonnieres but that was it.

I tell ya as I watched my stepson taking his bride I was overwhelmed with how good God is to me. I mean, bringing this amazing little boy into my life and allowing me to take care of him, love him and be his friend has been one of the greatest joys of my life. We haven't been around him as much as I would've liked (he lives about 7 hours from us) but we've talked to him every week and gotten together as much as possible. I love him like he is my own and there was a time in my life when I didn't think that would be possible. That's God!! He opens your heart when you give it to Him!

So, I'm still pretty exhausted and still have a bit of "catching up" to do from our trip, but the wedding was a wonderful event and God was honored as 5 people raised their hands that they had prayed to receive Christ at the wedding! (The bride's dad presented the Gospel at the end of the ceremony - how cool is that?!!) So it didn't just impact all of our lives, but impacted eternity! HOW AWESOME!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Somethin's in the making...

Don't you just love it when you KNOW God is getting you ready for something?! I tell ya, I can feel His hand on my life and I know there's something coming. It's funny because in the past when I've had this feeling I've gotten pretty nervous and a bit anxious always thinking it's gonna be something bad. (Sometimes it has been) But now, as I've been spending some time in the Psalms this summer and watching how often the Israelites forgot about God's faithfulness I suddenly am filled with such peace and assurance that I know it's God alone! (I don't for a minute think that's a coincidence either)

I know that God has been faithful to me in providing my EVERY need. I know that He has given me strength to do things I would've never thought I could (2 kids, pregnant with #3 and taking care of my dad while he was dying). I know that He has sustained me in times of trouble (losing 2 babies, losing my dad, losing my brother-in-law to suicide). So I know that whatever happens God will provide. He has to. He has promised that He will and He's too holy to EVER go back on His Word! (Love that about Him)

So, I pray for whatever is coming. I pray that He will protect me from myself. I pray that He will empower me with His Spirit to do whatever great thing He has planned for me. I pray that He will make the way easy and obvious so I don't miss it or get sidetracked with my own agenda. I pray that He'll give me courage to say Yes to whatever is coming.

God I know that You are in control and You have proven faithful to me more times than I could possibly share on this blog so I surrender to Your plan. I anxiously wait to see You fulfill whatever this is You've placed in me and whatever You've been preparing me for. I love you Lord!!

Monday, July 2, 2007

My week...

Today has been a crazy day that is a prelude to a crazy week for our family! My stepson is getting married Saturday in WV and we'll be traveling up there later in the week. Fun stuff! Not only do I get to spend the weekend with in-laws but the ex-wife too! haha JUST KIDDING!!

I spent the weekend trying to find "the" dress and finally God was gracious enough to lead me to one I really like. While I was in the dressing room I overheard another woman talking to a friend about which dress she liked best. Then she says "I mean, really, what is appropriate for the stepmother of the groom!" I about cracked up!! Here I was shopping alone and struggling with what to wear and the Lord puts this lady in a room next to mine who was shopping for the SAME THING!!! She goes "I'm trying not to offend anyone, but I also want to look decent and you know the ex will be there in all her glory!" Well, I couldn't take it anymore! I stepped out of my dressing room and apologized for "dipping" on her conversation but told her that I just HAD to tell her I was in the exact same boat! It was so nice to have a kindred spirit for this adventure!! hahaha After much discussion we actually helped each other pick our dresses!! A TOTAL STRANGER helping me shop!! Doesn't that kill you?

Anyway, my relationship with the ex-wife is so much better than some of the horror stories I've heard about. I can tell you that this is a total and complete GOD THING!! When Jimmy and I first married the ex was not a Christian (good thing since she took off with his best friend - oh did I say that out loud? teehee) and our "relationship" was not good at all. She was rude and angry and foul mouthed, just bad. BUT then about 9 or 10 years ago God got a hold of her and her husband (Jimmy's old friend) and he turned their lives AROUND!! I mean, she has raised those kids in a Christian home, (my stepson just graduated seminary and is an assoc. pastor up there) she works at the kids' Christian school, she teaches a Sunday school class, she's just sold out to Jesus and it's GREAT!

Now, she and I aren't best buddies or anything, but I can tell you that we can now be in a room together, talking, laughing and generally having a good time. We don't call each other just to say "hey" or send cards but God didn't say we had to hang out with each other all the time, He just said we have to love one another. I can tell you that there were a lot of years that I didn't love her! I didn't even like her, much less love her! BUT God got a hold of me too, He made me take a long hard look at my heart where she is concerned and I can tell you now that I do love her. Not like I love my family, and that's ok with God, but I love her soul and I love what a good mom she is to my stepkids!

God is amazing ya'll. If he can turn our relationship around I can promise you that He can fix whatever difficult relationship you may have. He's the ONLY One who can!! So, as I get ready to watch that scrawny little boy I once rode on my back for hours take a bride this weekend I will be thanking God for allowing me the honor of being in his life. I will be thanking God for that boys daddy and yes, for his mom too! That's God ya'll!