Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Picture found on Pinterest

Reflecting on what I am thankful for over the past thirty days has been refreshing.  I hope that I will reflect more often, instead of dwelling on my wants and 'woes'.

With all that I have to be thankful for, the hundreds of little things that make up my blessed life, I had a difficult job narrowing down my last November post. 

Today we found out that our dear friends tragically lost their brother.  This is just some of the heartbreaking news we have learned about amongst our circle of friends and family this month.  I am so hurt for the families who are affected.  Sadly, almost everyone will eventually go through a very painful journey in their life, and I am so much more aware of this fact lately.  But because of the Hope of Christ, we do not have to live in constant hurt and pain. 
There is nothing more effective to do for someone who is in pain than to be a prayer warrior for them; I believe that with all my heart.  Tonight I am thankful for the power of prayer.  Our Savior is living, powerful, healing and capable of moving mountains in our lives.  When we are in the deepest valleys, He comforts us and lifts us out (Psalm 23).

Without the prayer warriors in my life, I would not be typing tonight.  Prayer is powerful and effective (James 5:16).  

The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me - a prayer to the God of my life.  Psalm 42:8

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

28th & 29th

We bought our first "baby thing" of this entire pregnancy yesterday: paint for the nursery.
I am thankful we could do it with joy, even though it took us over an hour of debating on colors;   color is such a committment!  The amazingly helpful and cheerful employee at Home Depot (really..she needs a raise) was incredibly patient with us, even though she sadly couldn't match paint colors from my phone's Pinterest app.  Home Depot needs to get on that.  Any ways, with her kind assistance and my husband nearly melting down, we made our choice. 
Mostly I am thankful for a very generous friend who is going to help us paint.  Chet has banned me from painting, so our friend is going to paint for us!  Wow, huh?!
I am thankful that in approximately 16 weeks (or really ... whatever God decides ... I am trying to remind myself that my plans are not the important ones) we will meet our little girl.  I am thankful my doctor doesn't act like I'm just plain nuts when at each appointment I tell her exactly how many days we have left.  I like to remind those who are more in charge than I am, exactly how long they have to prepare.  ;)

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

Sunday, November 27, 2011

26th and 27th

Yesterday the Shuffield family drove down to hang out with us for our late "family Thanksgiving" and watch the Tech/Baylor or game.  They were considerate of the fact that I am resting more with this pregnancy, and drove 6 hours in one day just to spend a few hours with us.

I know I have blogged it many times before, but I cannot ever say just how thankful I am for the Shuffields.  Normally you can't choose who your family is, and if I were to pick the most amazing family on earth, it would be the Shuffield family.  Somehow God blessed me enough for that to be reality.  Chet and I ask God to help us lead our family like they lead their family one day.  God is the focus and they truly LOVE and have FUN with each other.  We were thrilled they chose to spend their Saturday with us.  Tisha is a "mom" I can discuss all my pregnancy woes and joys with...priceless. :)

I am grateful I can feel our little girl's kicks and movements every day now.  We are over halfway through this pregnancy, and I can finally say for "sure" that it is the baby I'm feeling moving around in there.  Chet has even been able to feel her most days.  It's so fun and one of the only times I can feel "relaxed" about her.

On a funny note: I asked Chet if he was going to cook us breakfast this morning, while lazily laying in bed late.  My husband will do nearly anything on earth to help me (all housework he can and will do), but the kitchen is just not his "throne".  I was obviously kidding when I said "cook", so I suggested Eggo waffles and a cup of coffee.  His reply, "Um, do those cook in the toaster?"  Oh boy.
I am so glad that we compliment each other and that I have a honey who can make me laugh. ;) ;)  Resolution #10 for the New Year: teach Chet some kitchen basics.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  Colossians 3:16

Friday, November 25, 2011


Joel and Hannah Grace

I am thankful for my little brother Joel.  He is truly one of the most likable and funniest people I know.  Oftentimes humorous personalities make up for lack of book smarts, but this is not the case with Joel.  He is extraordinarily intelligent and passionate about everything he is involved in.  Just ask anyone who knows him.

When Joel recommends that I read something, I read it.  It's just like that.  I think if he said to jump off a cliff I would ask him what his cliff jumping plan was, because he likely had it figured out where we would be okay!  

He has a canny sense of what is important in life, is an amazing, humble man of God, and a wonderful husband (to his gorgeous, lovely wife Charity), daddy, brother and friend.  His love for people and life is contagious.  

I am so blessed to have Joel for a brother.  

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  1 John 5:12

Thursday, November 24, 2011

24th - Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

How different this year is than last year.  Memories of last holiday season are so foggy and unclear.  In fact, Chet and I took a few minutes to figure out what we were doing and where we were last Thanksgiving.  (Pretty sad, considering we were on an amazing trip in Santa Fe with the Shuffields!)  I truly did not know it would be possible to really enjoy any holiday last year.  I thought of all holidays with a jab in my heart.

Obviously I would still give anything to have a 15 month-old "little turkey" running around with us today.  Obviously I am still sad when I sit and think about how much I miss being Holden's mommy on earth through every stage of his life.  But today I am not sitting in deep grief.  Today I am grateful for how the last year has shaped us.  I am grateful that my son is able to spend every moment of his life in Paradise.  Today I am grateful that because of Holden's life in heaven, we are expecting his sister.

We spent the day at Aunt Connie's beautiful home.  She is a wonderfully gracious hostess and we enjoyed the abundant food, games and chatting together.

 I am thankful for Chet's family, my "married in family".  There are many different personalities in his family and they're always a diverse bunch, but I am grateful for the fact that they love each other and we have a place to "be" on holidays.

Chet's grandparents and parents are all still married, a rare example in today's world.  I looked around at the group this afternoon and thought about how much I never knew they would be my family years ago.  It's funny how family grows on you.

I am grateful they gave me my husband...without them he would not be here! :)

I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with love and joy.

For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.  2 Corinthians 4:15 (in context - the whole chapter - is excellent and really spoke to me today!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

21st, 22nd and 23rd

We had a wonderful doctor's appointment on Monday.  It is funny that one short session listening to a healthy heartbeat and/or seeing the little person God is forming inside of me can change my fears.  (I have to be honest, I wish the feeling was longer-lasting, but I will take what I can get.)
I have been so grateful for doctors and nurses these past two years.  I went from someone who had never, ever been to a doctor, to a person who can practically close her eyes on the drive to Lubbock and Covenant.  I cannot say enough how much thanks I have for intelligent, caring, compassionate, brilliant doctors and nurses.  They all love our little girl like their own.  This is a silly story, but it explains how blessed we are with medical care:  The other day I was in Dillard's and a precious, young girl, one of the radiologist techs in training who has seen us before, glanced over my way and literally walked up to me and gave me a hug and asked how I was feeling and how the baby was!  She is 'just' someone apprenticing at our specialist's office, and she remembered us and cared!  Our doctors want to be there for a happy redemption story almost as much as we do.  It means so much to my heart to see how they care for Holden's little sister, and look forward to her special birthday.

I am thankful for Holden Uganda and all involved.  That God would choose all of us to be a part of such a beautiful organization is humbling.  We were given the rewarding opportunity to speak to a huge youth group in Odessa yesterday; their young hearts are already so eager to spread God's love through clean water.  A year and a half ago I met Kara Smith through a baby shower we hosted together.  Our sons' due dates were a day apart, so we "small talked" about our pregnancies.  Little did I know then how much this person would mean to me a year later.  Each and every person who is a part of HUF has changed us and I know they are on our team because they bring exactly what is needed to the table.

I often wonder what HUF will look like in the future.  It has already grown at a rate I wouldn't have imagined.  There are days that I get exhausted and want to take a break, but I cannot picture my life where HUF is not a part of it.  There are few things worth exhaustion like seeing the faces of the people receiving clean water.  Motivation.

I am thankful for the Thanksgiving break and getting to put my feet up today.  Chet is even braving the grocery store for me this morning.  That's true love.  I think the breaks are sometimes the busiest in our lives, but today I have nearly nothing planned.  My feet are up!
Speaking of feet...these are our little one's feet.  She hid her face the whole.entire.time. at the ultrasound on Monday, much to her Mommy's dismay, but she was showing off her footsies just fine.

I think they are cute.  :)

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  Psalm 95:2

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This should not be "#20" at all.  These are not in order of importance, but rather what stands out in my mind and heart on each particular day.

The internet search I just did came up with 51 countries that have made it illegal to own a Bible.  I have not done enough checking to confirm that, but I do know for a fact of quite a few countries that illegalize the Word of God and professing a faith in Jesus Christ.

Today I am so grateful for the access I have to God through His Living Word.  I have at least 8 Bibles, internet access to the Bible 24/7, plus a Bible app on my phone - that never leaves my side.  At any time, I can read and gain from the powerful Words of the one and only True God.  I was in a selfish and sour mood this morning, and once again after spending some time in the Scripture, I could not help but have a positive attitude adjustment.  There is nothing on earth that has the power to change lives like the Word of God.

For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Saturday, November 19, 2011

18th and 19th

Sleepiness has taken hold...but I definitely need to be remember what I am thankful for before I fade this evening.

I am thankful for our home.  It is perfect and cozy for Chet and I.  Although not big and fancy in American standards, it is a palace in the world's standards.  There is simply no place like home; there is no place I would rather be on this whole earth than snuggled up on our couch together.  It is so easy for me to think of "bigger and better" or "change this or that", but I am so often reminded of how fortunate we are.

As I was bathing earlier, my thoughts wandered to remember that the most tired, the most exhausted, the most stressed out and/or the worst day of mine cannot even compare to what many endure daily.  So I am grateful for the healthy, pain-free, blessed life I am so privileged to live.  It sounds a bit silly to type out, but it's what has been on my heart a lot.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Matthew 6:21

Thursday, November 17, 2011


There are three kids who utterly melt my heart.  I cannot go a second without being thankful for them.

 Kayson Scott - 5 years and Christopher Cohen - 21 months, the two best nephews on earth! (My sister and brother-in-law's sweet boys)
Hannah Grace - 2.5 months, the best niece on earth!  (My brother and sister-in-law's precious daughter)

Being an Auntie is one of the most special titles on earth.  I love these three to every single moon and star and back.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I was just thinking about what I was most thankful for today when I received a text with the above photo from Chet.
This is what his office looks like.  He had left the house to deliver some Pampered Chef items for me and then grab some papers at his office.  If he hadn't been talking to our friend (who he brought the PC items to) for a while, he would've been IN his office when this happened.
Tonight I am thankful for angels of protection.  

Chet was only wearing a t-shirt and shorts (he had been walking the dogs), so I ran a sweatshirt up there.  The photo definitely doesn't do it justice.  It's quite a mess, but thankfully no one (including driver) was hurt.  

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.  Psalm 34:7

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I am thankful for the relationship Chet and I have.  We enjoy each other's company and genuinely have FUN every day together.  We don't necessarily have an "exciting life", but we want to be with each other.  I look forward to spending time with Chet after work, the second I walk out the door in the morning.  

I'm so grateful for a husband who will do anything to help me, even if that means he does as much laundry and housework as I do.  (By the way, he does ALL of our ironing!)  Chet is having to help much more with this pregnancy and he is not complaining about his new role one bit.  He wants his little girl and me to be safe and healthy.

Chet is my best friend, and someone I still catch myself staring at in amazement.  I thank God for the man I am married to every single day.

We have a date night to watch Courageous together this evening.  I look forward to having my sexy husband to cuddle with on dates like this 50 years from now.

And the two will become one flesh.  So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Mark 10:8

Monday, November 14, 2011


This evening we are humbly thankful for healthy surprises.

Due to our doctors needing to give our baby extra viewing today, we had a surprise ultrasound.  I am really learning to trust in God's care for this little one He has created, and today was a big lesson in trust for me.

Our little one looked beautiful on the screen.  Healthy, vibrant and kicking like crazy.  Exactly what we wanted to see.

The big surprise came in the fact that our sweet baby is Holden's little sister.  Since the day we found out, we have just "known" we had a little this was a humungous shock.  The news is sinking in and we still keep catching ourselves saying "he".  

God gives the most perfect surprises.  We are thrilled with the precious gift of a daughter.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  James 1:17 


Yesterday was the 13th, so in usual fashion, I will have to do two blogs tonight.

I am so grateful for our church and church family.  When I moved to Snyder after marrying Chet a few years ago, I really was thinking I may become depressed.  I was not expecting to end up in a small, windy, dusty (i.e. desolate to the outsider), West Texas town.  I cried and just "knew" we couldn't live here long.

Well, thanks to some friends of ours who invited us to a new Sunday School class that had been started at Colonial Hill Baptist Church, we have been part of a group filled with the most loving, genuine Christian couples we have ever known.  Chet and I believe God orchestrates every detail of our lives, and I cannot imagine going through the past two years without the family of God that we have in our church family.

My sisters in Christ are fun, caring and truly SPREAD Christ's love.  I can't even type out all the love that has been bestowed upon us in the form of prayers, gifts, food, cards, time spent, etc. by these women.

Brother Tommy and Reid lead our church by the Word and challenge us with all of their messages.  It is just what church should be like.

Years ago, I would have never imagined my husband drumming in a church band.  Well, that is now what our Sunday evenings hold.  He is part of the Word & Worship praise band, and I LOVE praising the Lord while getting to watch my husband drum.  Such a blessings to see how much God is changing our little family and strengthening the man of God Chet is.  Sunday nights are looked forward to starting Monday morning.

I am so thankful for Colonial Hill and the spiritual growth it has watered in our lives.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  Colossians 3:16 

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Last night we had the surreal opportunity to visit with Dr. Patrick Mutano, in person, here in Snyder, TX!  He is in the states from Uganda for a few weeks, and we are so blessed he could make time for us during his full agenda stateside.

Kara's parents hosted the BBQ at their lovely home, and we had beautiful chilly November weather for the occasion.  (Dr. Patrick and I agreed that it was cold; I sat as close to the chiminea as possible.  Everyone else was not bothered one bit by the cold.) ;)  I did not cook or contribute anything, so I must make it known that Kara, JD, Karen, Keith, Darci, Bryan and Chet definitely did all the work.  Thanks team!!  I just got off work and showed up to chat and eat.  Lucky me!

Getting to learn who the 'person' Dr. Patrick is was amazing.  I loved to learn about his beautiful country, a country I believe part of my heart exists in.  Chet and I long to visit, and will very soon. :)

Today I have been overwhelmingly thankful for Dr. Patrick and his heart dedicated to serving the Lord through service to others.  He runs a hospital, overseas the building of our water wells, and we are even discussing the possibilities of an orphanage he will help direct.  He uses his God-given abilities to give to others with all that he has.  During the evening, Kara mentioned to him that they booked him a hotel room so that he would be 'comfortable'.  His reply, "I live in a hut, Kara.  I don't need a hotel to be comfortable."

A servant's heart.  That is what I am grateful for today.

Karen took some photos of the evening with her camera, so I will post whenever I get them from her.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?"  And I said, "Here am I.  Send me!"  Isaiah 6:8 

Friday, November 11, 2011


I sit here typing, safe in my warm office. I enjoyed a warm burrito, hot coffee and a long, hot shower all before 8am.  I ran errands during lunch and had pizza with my husband.  I am not laying in scorching sand, having gone without a real meal in months, tired, exhausted and being shot at. I am not staring at the bloodied faces of my friends as they slip away. I am not; but thousands have and are this very minute. THANK YOU to every past Veteran and current Veteran. You've given us your lives, a gift greater than no other. Thank you to every family member who has had to hug their loved ones goodbye as they are sent off. Sacrifice...for us.  Today I am thankful to have freedom that isn't free.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th

Being away on a work trip made it difficult to blog, so I am going to lump these past few days together.

I am thankful for my job. I have the very best boss and coworker I could ever ask for; they are friends as well as coworkers. We have the best group of students who aspire to do more and more each year. They teach me much and I love working with them. The job also fits our family's lifestyle very well; having a high-risk pregnancy that I go to the doctor often makes me greatly appreciate this aspect. So many people are jobless and go without I type this, and the fact that I don't just have a "job", but a job that is also rewarding, is a blessing I am very thankful for.

I am so very thankful for health and the healthy people in my life.  For years I took it for granted that I (and my close family and friends) were so healthy.  My eyes and heart are so much more aware of how much of a blessing it is to be well and to have a healthy child.  When I see a child with a disability or a person with ailing health, I have much more empathy and care for them...and I remember to thank the Lord for what He has given me. Similar circumstances to what rocked and changed my world are shaking up millions of lives each day.

I am grateful for Texas and the United States. Only about 1 in 22 people on this planet have the privilege I do, in that I was born as an American citizen. We have the amazing and under-appreciated privilege to worship the Lord Jesus Christ without fear of imprisonment, torture or a death sentence. We have access to clean water, healthy food, housing, education, jobs, health care, etc. no matter who you are or what you do. We are able to work hard and earn a good living. This country is not perfect by any means, but when I simply examine at what Chet and I waste on a monthly basis, I have more than most people will ever have.

I am thankful for heartbeats.  I have my own baby Doppler (and brought it with me on our work trip) and get to listen to our little one's heartbeats whenever I need the assurance. I have a new very favorite sound.

Today I am thankful for Hope Mommies. These women are heroes in my life. They daily encourage me and uplift me. Having friends who know that the Lord's plans are mightier and more perfect than ours, yet understand the pain of losing a child, is a dear gift. I am especially reminded of several precious women in my life this week, as they are going on a month without being able to hold their babies on earth. Last year at this time, I knew of only a few Hope Mommies. To date, I know of about one hundred. It breaks my heart to meet new Hope Mommies, but I am grateful to God for allowing our paths to intertwine. My Hope Mommy friends are priceless jewels.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I am thankful for three special fur babies (cat and two dogs) in our life.  There are many days that no matter how stressful or bad it has been, Henri, Luke and Rusty can make me smile.  In fact, I can't be with them without smiling.  Fur babies have a way of doing that.

Chet calls them spoiled, I call them deserving. ;)  We both love them like family!

The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.  Proverbs 12:10

Friday, November 4, 2011


Photo taken last July, at my shower for Holden. 

Each day I am so grateful for the gift of my relationship with my twin.  Charys and I are closer than just sisters.  I look forward to my daily chats with Charys, because oftentimes they are the best part of my day.  We share every little mundane detail of our lives with each other.

Charys is the most giving, talented, creative, loving, caring, compassionate human I have ever met.  She is a beautiful friend, sister, wife, mother and auntie.  She will do literally anything to help everyone (to a point that I sometimes get aggrevated with her).  I sometimes (okay a lot of times) feel a tinge of jealousy towards her; she is great at everything.  Gosh am I blessed to call her my sister. 

She is a woman who loves the Lord with all her heart, and that love is so evident in everything she does. 

Sis, today I am thankful for you!

"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Proverbs 31:29

Thursday, November 3, 2011

2nd and 3rd

I didn't get a chance to blog last night, but I was so thankful for a warm home.  I know I am one of the blessed few on earth that get to live in a home with central heating and air, and always enjoy a comfy temperature.  With Texas' bipolar weather (30's this morning), I love knowing I will fall asleep and wake up in my warm home. 

Today I am thankful for three blessings in my life who I would not be here without: 1. The Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God who came as a sinless and perfect man and willingly died to pardon my sins and give me eternal life.  He gives me health, life, happiness and everything I have.  2. My husband...I never fathomed  growing up that I would be lucky enough to be married to someone I truly cannot imagine living without.  3.  My close friends and family.  They are such a gift.

How great is God—beyond our understanding! Job 36:26

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November's reminders

November 1

I know a lot of people post something they are thankful for each day of November.  I haven't ever jumped on the train myself, but I think it's always important to be reminded of things we are grateful for, so here goes.

This might be especially good since I can't seem to keep up with blogging much lately; I am hoping to get a moment to write down at least one thing I am thankful for each day this month.

Today I couldn't stop thinking of how thankful I am for my two children.  They have changed who I am, and I think will continue to change me all of my life.

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him.  Psalm 127:3