December 11, 2009

My All-Time Favorite Christmas Carol

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"...yep, that's it. Have you ever heard of it? Have you ever heard it?? It's not as popular as some other songs but it is my all time favorite...since I was about 5 or 6 yrs old!!

We got a record - I know some of you remember those! - of Christmas songs with a song book and it was one of the songs in there. I swear, I drove my sister insane listening to the song over, and over, and over again!!!

However, to this day, it is one of my faves. A few years ago, Mercy Me added it to their Christmas CD and that made me very happy!

Well, in this age of technology, I looked up the origin of the song. I have thought all along it was English, but I was wrong. That's not that surprising, huh?

Here's some of what I learned, if you are interested ;)

It was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on Christmas Day in 1864. Now, I am a Civil War junkie and was excited to learn this has a place in American history during the Civil War! During the timeline of the War, Longfellow lost his wife to a fire, and his son, Charles, was severely wounded in the War.

He wrote the poem, "Christmas Bells" after both of these events occurred in his life. It originally had seven stanzas, now down to five. The two that were cut out show a man who was still grieving from all that life had handed him during the War.

Having learned a bit more of the reasons behind it, I love the song even more! Now I hear that Jars of Clay and Casting Crowns also sing the song...that makes me even happier!!!

I love the last stanza where Longfellow shouts to the world, "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep." I am so thankful that my Savior knows what is going on in my world, and is a very present source in my life!!!

I hope you enjoy reading all seven stanza's and for a few days, the music will only play this song so you can enjoy it that way, too.

What is your all-time favorite Christmas Carol??

I pray your Christmas is peaceful, joyful and full of grace!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

"Christmas Bells"
(The original poem, complete with all seven stanzas)

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"


Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

December 7, 2009

A Homeless Man Made our Church Cry.....

His name is Kevin.

We were introduced to Kevin shortly after we began attending our new church. At that time, he had recently been diagnosed with tongue cancer and was having surgery to remove part of his tongue. Soon after, we got to meet him when one of our families began bringing him to church after S.O.U.L. ministry. He is such a sweet man and we have all been blessed by knowing him!

Within a few months, the cancer spread and he lost the rest of his tongue and some of his throat. At that time, we rejoiced as a church family because it looked like it was done! During the following months, he was a regular attender and several of us got to know him...even though he could not speak!

Well, last week Pastor Jerry read a letter written to Kevin's church family...and we all cried! Not a dry eye in the house, y'all!!! Sobs were heard all around our area, where many of the usual S.O.U.L. ministers sit.

The cancer has returned...and has become very aggressive. It doesn't appear that Kevin has long to live on this Earth, unless God intervenes. However, his life has already touched so many of us, it has not been in vain.

This is a homeless man, our ministry was to reach out to him, but as God so often does, Kevin blessed us more than we could ever imagine!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow...like Kevin, a homeless man

How have you been blessed by others, when you were wanting to bless them???

God's girl, Pamela

December 1, 2009

Take Your Best Shot - by Austin Gutwein


I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!

Austin has left me with a sense of anticipation to see just how God will use my family as we begin to simply take our best shot!!!

In his first book, Austin Gutwein tells the story of how Hoops of Hope began when he was just 9 yrs old! Austin is the founder of Hoops of Hope....THE FOUNDER!!! He founded Hoops of Hope at the tender age of 9!!!

Austin blew me away in the introduction when he said, "...I'm a normal kid who heard, 'Austin, God wants to use you' enough times that I started to believe it." He tugged at the very heart of my being with the statement, "Kids are really trying to make a difference in the world."

Yes, dear Austin, that is exactly what they desire to do! I've seen it over and over again in my daughters lives...the crisp dollar bill given for birthday money goes straight into the offering plate for the missionary family visiting from who knows where, the love that went into choosing a Jesus gift to share with the homeless ministry at church - for our family, this meant one of their favorite toys as we taught them to give Jesus their best! - tediously choosing a warm blanket for someone they will probably never meet!

My own precious daughters have warmed my heart as they have given from within themselves...and they are not alone. Austin says it so well, "They're reaching out to people in need, and they're stepping out of their comfort zones....They want to do something bigger than themselves."

Austin's heart was touched when he watched a video of a girl named Maggie that lived in Africa. Watching the video started a fire in his heart, one that he could not extinguish...and didn't! With his parents support, his family began sponsoring a child through World Vision. However, it didn't stop there....

Austin wanted to do more for the aids victims in Africa and as I read his story, I was shaken to the core to see how God used the gifts a 9 yr old boy could bring to change so many lives in a far off continent! This book...the Hoops of Hope organization...they aren't about Austin, and he knows it. They are about reaching out to the orphans and those less fortunate, just as God calls us to do.

I pray that you will pick up this book, especially at this Christmas season. Pray as you read it, and ask God what you can do...maybe not in Africa but what about your neighborhood, church or community. Then, pass the book on, maybe even to a teenager, because you never know who God is calling to take their best shot!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

P.S. Today is World Aids Day...check out Hoops of Hope to see if there is an event near you...they have several scheduled in various places for this weekend.
My family is headed to a concert tonight, featuring Kari Jobe and the Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda to celebrate this day. We really are excited to see just what God has in store for our lives...starting tonight.

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


I pray that you are reminded of all that we have to be thankful for! Most of all, I am thankful for the Gospel...the good news of Jesus and what His life, death, burial and resurrection means for me!

I am so thankful for my family...the sibling rivalry going on in my home this morn is making me smile! You see, all too soon, the walls of my home will be absent of the noises that young women make...the squeals, giggles and sighs!!! I am thankful to be their Mom!

I love my husband, dearly!!! It is a privilege to be his wife and I am thankful for our marriage as we quickly approach anniversary #21!

I am thankful for each of you...that either choose to read my blog regularly or just drop by from somewhere else. I pray that your holiday season is blessed with love, joy, peace and grace that comes from our Father above!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

October 23, 2009

My Art Philosophy

I have always enjoyed working with my hands to create crafts and various, elemental works of Art. The only one who can appreciate them is my Mom!!! There are occasions when my dear honey will like something I have created, or at least he says he does! Even though I enjoy giving many pieces away, in the form of cards or some sort of painting for wedding gifts, I don't see a lot of value in my Art. I know I am not alone in this.

However, probably 10-12 yrs ago, I heard a young man speak on the true value of creativity. I took his words to heart and tried to raise my then small girls to see true value in all that they did...writing poems, songs, drawing, whatever creative juices were flowing at various times in their life. What I didn't do, was take his words to heart for me. I still look at my 'art' as elemental. I can look back and see where I have grown and matured in my processes but I will never be Grandma Moses or Picasso. I can't ever see anyone paying $100 for a work of mine! And you know what, that is okay!!!

Well, in this season of creative slumber - Miss PD takes up so much of my time and my family gets 'the rest' - God has really been speaking this word back to me. So, I want to share with you, okay?


Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

We are created in His image, just like I am formed in the image of my parents! I have His DNA deep within me! So, what all do we know about God?

The Bible begins with the account of creation. Now, I am not like God in the fact that I could even begin to just make something out of nothing! I have to have tools...but, God is VERY creative!!! Have you been to the ocean? Have you walked through the forest? Have you seen some of the animals and creatures our God created?

HE IS VERY CREATIVE!!!

Have you read the God breathed scriptures...Psalms, Proverbs, Ruth, John?? Those were penned by men, but breathed by God Himself! His poetry resonates deep within our souls, His stories tug at our very hearts.

HE IS VERY CREATIVE!!!

Have you heard the music in the wind, or the water? Those were created by God, as well.

Eph 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Workmanship suggest someone pored over raw materials and used tools to create something of value! We are His something of value! We have value within us...no matter what we do!

I want to say that I feel, according to the scriptures, we all are creative somehow! It doesn't have to be art, or music, or writing! Are you obsessed with organization? Can you look at a situation and see a better way to do things? These take creativity as well.

We watch a lot of football around here and sometimes hear the sportscasters say, "That last play was very creative!" It means that someone used a bit of their creativity to see things in a different way.

Do you feel like you march to the beat of a different drum? Maybe that is your creativity trying to unleash itself!!!

I encourage you, look around your life in the weeks ahead and really take time to see how your creative juices flow! Seek the Lord and see if this lines up with His word for your life.

I can't wait to get back to cutting, drawing, gluing and using my hands to be creative!!! If you wouldn't mind, I would love to see some of your creative work...photos, cards, drawings, writings, WHATEVER!!! Would you please upload them and share with me???

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

October 11, 2009

What Difference Do It Make? by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent


A book review

Warning: This book made me cry....buckets!!! From the beginning, I found myself with tears in my eyes.

I have heard of the book, Same Kind of Different as Me, but not yet had a chance to read it. What Difference Do It Make? is a follow-up of sorts to that book. It is not just a non-fiction work, but rather a true 'story' of how many lives can be changed by one woman's obedience to God.

Ron Hall and Denver Moore have spent the last several years developing a very strong friendship based on their shared love of God and a very special lady, Ron's wife, Deborah. Deborah reached out to the homeless at the Union Gospel Mission in Ft. Worth, Tx and simply brought husband Ron along. Deborah passed away from cancer but Ron and Denver have continued their friendship, written a book and now speak about homeless issues to various audiences.

This book, What Difference Do It Make?, highlights ways that other people reached out in their own neighborhoods and home towns after reading Same Kind of Different as Me. The subtitle, Stories of Hope and Healing,is definitely fitting. The true stories show how one person may not be able to change the world, but they can change one person that can start a chain of giving hope to the masses.

I could not pick just one story to highlight....too many of them tugged at my heart! However, I love Ron Hall's Thirty-Day Plan to End Homelessness! Do I think I can do it, or convince my friends or church to do it? I don't know. So, why do I like it?

I like the idea of being able to reach out to those 'less fortunate' than us without being judgemental. I will be honest, in my Dallas suburb, I don't see many homeless, but I do see those 'less fortunate'. I desire to have the freedom to just give...not expecting anything in return. If I give money and they blow it on alcohol, drugs or clothes, it doesn't matter. The point is that I give and then it is no longer mine...because I gave it up.

I am walking away from this book with a new perspective on giving. The people that shared their stories simply gave without judgement, without expectation, other than waiting and watching what God would do with the gift. When I consider that I have nothing that has not been given by God, how can I not give of my life, my faith?

The book is written primarily to Christians, those that already know Christ. However, the principles shared in the book are needed in every walk of life; To simply give of ourselves. I highly recommend the book to anyone that feels the tug of God on their heart to give more, give deeper.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

October 5, 2009

On Being a Mom of Teenagers!

Oh, Lord, Ps 139:14.I praise you because my daughters are fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Pamela's paraphrase!)

My girls have such tender hearts. I will be honest right here and now....we have not always handled those tender hearts well. Lord, please forgive me.

Both girls struggle with relationships....one struggles with maintaining friendships, the other struggles with choosing friends (and lots of them!) over family, school and anything else!!! In one week, our whole family dynamic shifted ever so slightly...and it all started with relationship issues!

CD had a disagreement with a close friend, and really thought that would be the end of a close friendship. However, she never told us what was going on! That was on Sunday and you could just feel drama coming in the door!

Monday, I got a text from Bunny that one of her former acquaintances (from the group she hung out with last year) had killed himself over the weekend. I picked her up early from school and we planned to either visit the funeral home for the viewing or the funeral...neither happened.

On Wednesday of that week, CD had an ortho appt. that I was going to ask her to take herself. Daddy beat me to the punch....he asked if Miss PD and I would like to head out with him to a client visit that day. Miss PD has learned to say 'dog' and always wants to pet and kiss ours and his client has several dogs and hubs thought it would be neat to see how she reacted to different dogs. I loved the idea and said yes...it meant we got out of the house for a while.

That same Wednesday evening, the viewing was scheduled for the young man from Bunny's school and I was trying to work out in my head how we could do her home group and the funeral home in a timely manner as we were driving back to our side of town.

Once we were getting close to home, we got a phone call that parents dread...."Mom, I've had an accident."

CD was pulling out of the ortho office parking lot and saw a vehicle coming with it's right turn blinker on and thought they were turning into the parking lot....they didn't! She got hit in the driver's side front quarter panel, pushing the tire back about 10 inches! She also got bit by the airbag; her right hand and arm cut and her left arm a little burned.

Needless to say, plans for Bunny changed at that moment. Everyone's plans changed! I went to bed for the next week feeling so thankful for my daughters...that they were safe and sleeping soundly under the same roof as us! It was a very emotional week and I am glad it has passed!

God was so in control, though...of course!!! Our Windstar was 14 yrs old and they called it a total loss and gave us more for it than we imagined! Within a week, we were able to find a Plymouth Grand Voyager, two years newer but more miles. The good thing, we were able to buy it with the settlement from the accident.

Pics of the Windstar are on hubs phone and he is not home at the moment so I will try to get that later. The 'new' van:



We have all shed tears. We have all hugged one another tighter. We have grown as a family through this trial. I know it seems trivial, but this was one emotional trial that I don't want to go through again! We are so thankful for the many blessings of life!

Relationships? Well, CD worked things out with her friend and they are still growing in God together. Bunny still misses seeing his face around school. His death affected her in ways I'm not sure she thought it would. We've had to learn to lean into God through this time! Honestly, though, where else would we rather be?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

September 30, 2009

Change of tactic

If you haven't noticed, that's just fine - I've not had the time or energy to blog lately!!!

I was hoping that as Miss PD grew, she is 17 months now, that it would mean a bit more independence for her and a few extra minutes for me! Well, that hope was not grounded in reality, obviously!!!

She's really a funny girl! She wants her independence...until I get busy doing something!!! I can be emptying the dishwasher, trying to do laundry, trying to fix lunch, or getting on the computer - it doesn't matter to her!!! She can be playing 'by herself' and seem so content but as soon as I move to do 'something', she is right by me in just a few seconds, holding onto my leg so tightly!!!

Since she holds my leg, it makes moving impossible..as in the case of emptying the dishwasher or moving laundry from washer to dryer. It is frustrating for me.

So....I have changed my tactic. I am working now on being Miss PD focused. I know, that is not good for her but it really is helping the strain in my household!!! The meltdowns come fewer and farther apart! Basically, even though I am home, I treat the day like a work day. When Miss PD leaves, I then 'come home' to fix dinner and care for my family and home.

I hope to one day soon be able to return to blogging on a regular basis. I will still be a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson, just life happenings will have to be shared at a later date.

Speaking of Thomas Nelson, if you have a chance, grab the book, "Same Kind of Different as Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It will bless your socks off!!! (and maybe someone else's!)

Love to you all!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

September 8, 2009

FEARLESS; Imagine Your Life Without Fear by Max Lucado - a book review


Every day we face reasons for fear: our children, our marriages, our jobs, traffic, family issues...and the list could go on, depending on our circumstances! This is exactly what Max Lucado tackles in his latest book, Fearless. With chapter subtitles such as Fear of Disappointing God, Fear of Worst Case Scenarios, and Fear of What's Next, he uses his simple but eloquent writing style to bring fresh perspective in a fearful world.

I learned an interesting Bible tidbit near the end of Facing the Giants: "Well, in God's word He said 365 different times, "Do not fear." Now if He says it that many times, you know He's serious about it, don't ya?" Mark Richt, the football coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, mentions this to Grant Taylor as his underdog team is about to head into the state championship. I remember thinking that was once for each day of the year! "Do not fear" must be an important mandate!

Max Lucado uses several of those 365 scriptures to lead us into an eye-opening view of a Holy God! He lists just twelve scriptures on pp 11,12 that deal with having courage and not being afraid. He begins each new chapter with a different verse that reminds us, again, not to fear!

I appreciate how Max Lucado can be so honest in his writings, really transparent at times. He begins this book with a very personal, emotional story about his brother, Dee. Lucado later tells a story of Molly, the family dog, that most everyone can closely relate with. When he shared about his personal feelings before heart surgery, I came away hoping I can learn to face death bravely.

I am walking away from reading Fearless with a deeper insight into the grace of God. My favorite quote is from the chapter on Fear of Disappointing God, "Nothing fosters courage like a clear grasp of grace. And nothing fosters fear like an ignorance of mercy." I was reading through this book as our pastor was bringing a series of messages on the types of grace that God gives! It still amazes me that that is usually the way God works!

I suggest this Lucado book, not only for the faithful Lucado readers, but for anyone that lives, works and relates in this present world! Even if you do not consider yourself a fearful person, it can be exciting to see just how big and good our God is in a fresh way!

I want to leave you with one line that rocked my world for several hours: "Heaven's best took hell's worst and turned it into hope." Praise the LORD!!! He can do this in our lives, as well.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....like His grace!

God's girl, Pamela

August 29, 2009

What's He Really Thinking? by Paula Rinehart - a book review


Have you ever noticed that God brings someone or something into your life just at the moment you needed it most? That is exactly what happened when I received this book from Thomas Nelson, the publishing company.

I don't think I'm alone to say that we have a cyclical issue in our marriage. An issue that rears it's ugly head every few months or so, and threatens to ruin all of the hard work we have put into the last 21 years! I also don't think I'm alone when I say that when this issue comes up, he and I see it as polar opposites! So What's He Really Thinking? is a very intriguing title to me.

I appreciate the author's first major point tremendously; "Men aren't women with big feet and beards. They are completely other." It brings validation to my thought that he really has no clue how I feel! Why? He is absolutely nothing like me...in feelings, opinions or thoughts! NOTHING!

Paula Rinehart, the author, spends a whole three chapters on "Understanding the Man You Love". She uses scripture and her background as a counselor to point out many of the ways we are different. She uses stories of real people to show just how much many couples have in common...perhaps different discussions but many common threads.

I really enjoyed the chapter on Intimacy, especially finding my heart wrapping around the thought that, "Some of this man's weaknesses and flaws are the front door through which you enter and experience the love of God, which is the best of all loves." Oh, how true!

Without our personal struggle, I would not run to my Heavenly Daddy in such a state of need. I am convinced that I would not know the depth of love and grace that my God freely gives and then invites me to give...as part of being a "good forgiver."

No matter what stage of marriage or life you are in, this is an excellent book! It will help to remind you of why you married your particular man in the first place! It will give you practical ideas for ways to change your conflict. The author also gives several appendixes with ways to pray for, understand and love, not only the special man in our lives, but all of the men God has given us.

At some point in the future, I would love to do a ladies Bible study using this book as our guide. Would you be interested in joining me?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow...like my precious hubs!

God's girl, Pamela

August 23, 2009

My Dear CD,



If you would like to join other bloggers on this Wednesday walk, visit Lynnette's site for all the details.

This post seems perfect for a Wednesday's Walk and even though I originally posted late Sunday so that my CD could read it before she headed off to school, I really wanted to share it with y'all. Hope you enjoy and have a terrific week ahead!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow...

God's girl, Pamela


Ps 139:17,18a How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand....

My heart is overwhelmed! So many memories of you growing up right in front of my eyes! I am such a blessed Mom to have spent my days with you as part of them for the last 19 yrs!

I cannot wrap my brain around the fact that you start college in less than 12 hrs! Your graduation day seems like such a dream - did it really happen already??? If I allow myself, I can remember the first few moments of your life and lots of moments between then and now.

Your very first day of school....Bethel Temple Mountaintop, El Paso, TX.
A very difficult move from El Paso to Dallas just a few months later.
Kindergarten graduation from GCA....and GrandMom came to watch!
Your struggle starting first grade at GCA. We decided to keep you home the 2nd semester and that was when you came down with chicken pox....and passed them to Bunny.
Your first day at Ethridge Elementary....my first day of public school - ever!
Soccer!
The very consistent 100's on your elementary report cards - man, my child is smart!
The move we made to BNCS for 4th grade....you were excited, but unsure. I'm sorry, that may not have been the best move for you.
Upwards basketball!
The tears through 6th grade...once again, I'm sorry!
Seventh and eighth grade at Webb.....and uniforms!
Basketball!!!! Basketball!!!
Freshman year at North Garland: choir and basketball!!!
The biology trip to Denison with Mrs. Hess...and that lovely centipede!
Sophomore year: Miss Harvey and how she began to shape your life for the future!
Junior year.....that was a hard year!
Senior - choir, lack of basketball and watching God change your heart and mind! New church, new friends, new outlook!

Now, all of a sudden, you are going to college! For the first time in 14 yrs, we won't all go together to drop you off for the first day of school! I know that God has His gentle hand upon your life! I know your Spanglish is going to drive me crazy for a few months!
I know that I have been blessed to do my best to "raise you in the nurture and admonition" of the Lord. I know that I have failed many times but God always reaches down to pull me back up and try again!
I love you and am praying that your first day in your new normal is blessed by the God of the universe in unbelievable ways!

Mom

August 9, 2009

Summer is already over??? Seriously???

Ah, yes, Bunny is back in summer band so technically, summer is over! This makes me so very sad!!! Where did my summer go???

Well, let's see....During the first three weeks, Bunny was baby-sitting full time and getting into trouble. That meant that I didn't get to sleep in and was emotionally spent from trying to understand why we were back in the same place with attitudes and actions!

Then, the girls went to camp and I had one of the young boys Bunny was watching here at the house along with Miss PD...and at that point, I thought it wasn't easy!

The girls came home and we had just a few weeks before CD left for Colombia so there was finalizing everything for that and Bunny was home with me due to the boys Grandmother taking one month of leave for an injured hand. Bunny was touched at camp and is really working to let God lead her life. It is not always easy - when is it? - but God has become so real in her life! Somewhere in there, July 4 came and went.

Then, the week before leaving for Colombia, CD got sick one evening after VBS. We really thought she had just gotten stressed about some aspect of the trip so Miss PD was here the next day. Then, a couple of days later, the day before CD was to leave, I took care of Miss PD in her home because she had spent the previous night sick...just like CD had been!!! Oops!

Poor CD just kept texting me about the little things she would think of left for the trip...and she was leaving at 6 the next morn so this was our last shopping day! We did get it done, though, by the grace of God!

Unfortunately, the night after CD left, I came down sick and a few days later, dear hubs did as well!!! Only, instead of us being better the next day, we took 4-5 days to get fully well!!! So, Bunny was home with sick parents the whole week that she should have been having fun being the 'only child'!!! And, if you've been counting, (hahahahahaha!) my sweet hubs got sick the day after his birthday!!!

The next week, Bunny went back to work, CD went back to work and it was kind of nice to be home during the day with just Miss PD. Last weekend, hubs and I were blessed to have a date night! It was really nice to enjoy a pleasant, good dinner (Esteban's is now a pretty top fave!) and a nice evening stroll around our Town Center.

I knew we would need the date, because come Monday morn, Bunny was back at school for summer band and I have both of the boys that she has babysat this summer!!! Three kids in the house...two of them being boys!...has definitely been different!

So, all of a sudden, school actually begins in two weeks and I have another week ahead of three children in the house! I also have a band fitting this week and a meeting for our coffee bar volunteers from church!

I know God's timing has been perfect, we need the extra money to pay for band! God has been gracious in allowing us to open our home to children who need love and Him in their lives!

Also, while Miss PD has been taking steps for a few weeks, this past week, she actually begin walking around the house a bit!!!!!!! This is exciting news! She has come so far and I know that she is beginning to be a sponge and soak up so much of the environment around her!

Now, that is why there has not been much blogging these past few months!!! I tried for a while but realized that my family was missing a big part of me when I was on the computer for too long!

I have missed keeping up with so many of you and hope that in the weeks ahead, life will slow down and I hope to spend more time with y'all!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dear Hubs!!!



If you would like to join other bloggers on this Wednesday walk, visit Lynnette's site for all the details.

Today we are celebrating his birthday for the 23rd time together!!! WOW!!! That makes us sound a little bit old, huh??? YIKES!!!

Today's memory is of that very first shared birthday...his 18th! Man, we thought we were hot stuff! I also don't have too many memories of that evening.
I, unfortunately, don't have any pics of that birthday...this one is pretty close to it when we went to Six Flags that summer.


We went to dinner that evening with his parents and Grandmother to a restaurant off of Stemmons Frwy...Mother Tucker's. Does anyone remember this one? The food was really good....that I do remember well!!!

We had only been dating a few months but already realized we were falling in love, and those around us knew it! Just a couple of months after this, we literally began talking about our future...together!

My gift to him that evening? Why 18 kisses, of course! Too bad he hasn't let me continue that tradition for many years - something about how it would take too long!

I love birthdays and my desire is that everyone notice and make a big to-do on my special day! However, oppisites do attract and his desire is for the day to pass quietly and shared by only those closest to him. So today, that is what I am trying to do...this is my big to-do for the day!!!

To my dear hubs...I love you. You are such a precious part of me and I am privileged to be your wife and share in your daily life. I pray today that you will be blessed and that in the year ahead, you will continue to seek God's will for your life, family and business.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....like my wonderful 41 yr old husband!!!

God's girl, Pamela

July 19, 2009

Illness and Mommyhood

UPDATE: Finally able to eat something substantial this morn!!! My whole upper body aches, though. I am able to take the day off, thank you, Lord!!! Now, the rest of you, BETTER NOT GET SICK!!! Love ya!

So if you are a Facebook friend, you have seen both of these subjects take a front seat in my life this week. I have been somewhat surprised by both, even in the midst of knowing that God is not.

Tuesday evening, the girls came home from VBS; Bunny talking about all that had happened in the 4 yr old class and CD being very quiet. She answered the question of what did she do at VBS, then disappeared to her room upstairs. We were not surprised since she is a perfectionist and packing on Tuesday when you leave on Saturday is so the right thing to do. Then, not half an hour later, she came down telling us she was not feeling well and had not been since having Goldfish at VBS. As her parents, we figured she was beginning to stress about the trip ahead and encouraged her to settle her spirit before going to bed.

She did go back upstairs...and back down within ten minutes!!! She had gotten physically ill! No fever, just an upset tummy - for the next six hours!!! I finally crawled in my bed about 6:15 Wed morn and slept a few hours before Miss PD made her entrance for the day. I did what I should have done...told Miss PD's Mom but since there was no fever and extenuating circumstances of stress surrounding the trip, I really thought we were fine.

WRONG!!!

Miss PD's Mom called me Friday morn, little Miss had started getting physically ill around 10 pm the night before and had finally drifted off to sleep around 5AM. I went to their home that day to watch Miss PD for just a couple of hours, getting lots of texts from my CD of all that she was remembering she needed to get before leaving early Saturday morn. We had also planned a dinner party for family that night so they could say their goodbyes and prayers over her...somehow, I know with God's help, we pulled it all off!!!

The alarm went off, very rudely, at 2:25 AM so we could get luggage and people to the van and to the church by 3:15 AM, with the final destination of the airport by 4! We watched our oldest walk through the airport security for the first time without us! Very surreal...trust me!!!

We then headed for some breakfast at Whataburger...Bunny loves their taquitos! We came straight home and all crawled back in bed for just a bit more sleep. Needless to say, being up for a portion of the night re-arranged our whole day and even on a Saturday, not much housework got done...oops!!!

I was first up, no surprise, by about 9:30 and checking Facebook and Twitter to make sure they had made it to the Miami airport! Her youth pastor, Doug, had uploaded some pics of her and friends and I surprisingly found that did my heart some good!

For a little bit, anyway!!! (This is at the hotel in Colombia!)

Then, I noticed just how quiet the house was while the other half of my family continued to sleep...and it began to drive me nuts!!! All of a sudden, I could not pull away from the computer for fear I might miss something new pertaining to CD! I found myself leaving this status on FB, " I know y'all are gonna be sick of me, but....I did not realize I would miss CD this much!!! And she is still in Miami!!! She is my early riser and I am lonely while the other two still sleep!!!!"

I have been trying to 'let go' little by little, but I am now convinced that cannot be done...I just have to at some point let go!! I see the difference in my relationship with the girls - Bunny is my buddy, CD has become my friend!

So, to wrap this up, I come downstairs last evening and see hubs eating and I was overcome by a wave of nausea. Within the hour, I was sicker than a dog!!! However, unlike CD and Miss PD, I am now 16 hours into this and still can't see the end! Please pray for my dear hubs as he tries to keep up with me! As I said earlier, I know that God is not surprised by this. I am praying that the Colombia team that we spent about forty-five minutes with, will not come down with it over there!

I really wish my Mom were here to take care of me! However, I know that my Father is always near...especially when I'm ill.

Moms, stay healthy, okay???

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

July 15, 2009

I Remember When....



If you would like to join other bloggers on this Wednesday walk, visit Lynnette's site for all the details.

Can we play a game today??? Well, I suppose since it is my blog you really don't get a say in that, now do you!!!
Yes, I'm feeling a bit snarky....thanks for noticing!!!

Somewhat still on the subject of letting go, what are some of your favorite memories from your babies...ya know, when they were still babies??? And because it is my blog, that means I get to go first! Yippee!!!

I remember when....

...She would not go to sleep when it was bedtime!!! The first approx. 6 wks of CD's life and about 8 wks of Bunny's, they simply REFUSED to go to sleep before 2 AM!!! They would do so well during the day, not always taking really long naps and waking around 7 pm to nurse, get a diaper change and hopefully interact with us! By the time 11 pm rolled around, I was getting tired but my girls were just getting going good!!! At around midnight, they would begin to get fussy - didn't want to nurse, had clean diaper, nothing was poking them, they would just get fussy! Closer to 1 AM, they were no longer fussy...they were all out crying!!! For up to two hours!!! Screaming at the top of their little bitty lungs!!! They refused to nurse, did not want a pacifier, just wanted a little lung work out apparently!!!

Finally, at close to two months, both of them learned to go to sleep somewhere between 9 and 10 pm. Other Moms would tell me this was normal behaviour but I was really never sure about that!!! Man, am I ever thankful they finally started sleeping at a decent hour!!!

I remember when...

...I woke up one morning, shortly after having Bunny, listening to a baby cry and wondering why in the world my Mom did not get the baby!!! I even went so far as to look out the front window to see if there was a car out front before I came to the full realization that this was my home, my baby and my job to go get her!!! I must have been really tired...ya know, that whole staying up half the night thing!

I remember when....

...CD would play with her sippy cup by shaking it violently up and down and having fun watching all the liquid splash out!!! Yes, this was long before the no-drip sippy cups!!! It didn't take long, though, for her to realize that the only sippy cup she could truly play with was one filled with water. So, in order to get 10 min. of peace to clean the kitchen, I would put water in a sippy, snap on the lid, put her in the middle of the kitchen floor with the cup and say, 'Play'! I do believe between the ages of 12 and 18 months, that was her favorite thing to do!

I remember when...

...Bunny would go outside, just inside the gate to the backyard and scoop up dirt by her fingernail and put it in her mouth!!! She loved to eat dirt!!!

I remember when....

...Bunny was just figuring out how to go downstairs and the girls wanted to go out and play, having to go down two stairs to get out the door. Hubs had recently changed the oil in the vehicle and left it standing in the large round container right by the stairs! By now, I'm sure you have guessed that Bunny made it from the first to the second step but when trying to maneuver down to the ground, she fell head first into the oil!!! Poor baby, we laughed so hard and she was screaming!!!

I remember when....

...It was 114 degrees on CD's 4th birthday!!! El Paso can get hot, y'all!!!
...They loved to sit on the patio and finger paint!
...They would want to play in the water but drink more from the sprinkler than went on the lawn!
...They wanted to sleep together in the same bed...and it only lasted about an hour!

I remember when....

...Barney was the first thing we watched on TV. But their favorite show was Lambchop!
...Life seemed simpler! I knew where my babies were...right under my feet no matter what I was doing! It was hard, I do remember that, but I knew where they were!

Okay, now it is your turn!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....like my beautiful daughters

God's girl, Pamela

July 11, 2009

She Still Calls Me Daddy


by Robert Wolgemuth

I will have to be honest: I was kind of in a hurry the day I chose this book for my next review and didn't really take the time to read what it was about! I am so far out of the prime demographic - Dads that have recently given their daughters in marriage or those with a daughter's impending marriage on the horizon - but truly found so much practical advice for now and in the future, when our two girls do make that walk down the aisle!

If you have read my blog at all over the last few months, you have noticed that 'letting go' has been heavy on my mind for our oldest daughter! While I realize that we do not yet fully let go (she is still under our physical, spiritual and emotional protection) there is some breaking away that needs to be done so that in just a few years, when she does find the man God has set aside for her, we will be gracious in doing just that - let her go!

One thing that caught my attention was how the author parallels letting go with how we raised our daughters in our home. The chapter on protection will be re-read a few times around here, I'm sure! When they are small, it is our job as parents to protect our children in so many ways; touching a hot stove, crossing the street, talking to strangers. When we give them away in marriage, it becomes our job to protect their marriage....even if that means from us! Protecting their marriage means we give them respect as a family and let them grow together, and not expecting our children to always be available to meet our needs.

I really enjoyed how the author, Robert Wolgemuth, made the book personal by using stories, good and bad, of letting his own two daughters go. His story of purchasing a dining table for his daughter is a reminder that none of us are immune to doing the wrong thing in regards to our grown children. I have relayed several stories from the book to my daughters in hopes that we will remember to put into use what was learned from this book - several years from now!!!

I would certainly recommend She Still Calls Me Daddy to anyone - Mom, Dad, Grandma - who is realizing just how fast the children in our lives are growing up and are beginning to see a need to simply let go.

My favorite part is when he acknowledges that the young man at the end of the aisle does not deserve our daughter, but that she was first a gift to us and we are simply re-gifting this precious young lady! Did we deserve the gift God gave us twenty or so years ago??? Do we deserve the gift of His Son???

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.....

God's girl, Pamela

June 13, 2009

Honor and Respect

This is going to be an odd, transparent blog. See, I have questions! I think I have the respect part down (my Momma can tell me that!) but the honor thing...I struggle with, especially in regards to family.

This last year has been hard on our family. There are things going on in our household that I don't feel the freedom to share with anyone! These same things are causing me to be so emotionally drained that I don't feel I can see straight most days.(no rumors please, my marriage is just fine thank you!)

Add on to that a baby in the house 8-10 hrs a day, plus school, church and all those other 'things' that are just part of life.

I am tired!!!

Now, please hear my heart...I know that God is in the midst of all of this. I see His hand at work in so many ways that I am continually blown away! Have you read Acts lately???
The Vicky Beeching song playing as I began typing sums up alot of my spirit walk...

"You are my strength and you are my song giving me hope and guiding me
on

(chorus)
At all times I will sing of your greatness
At all times I will sing of your love
At all times I will sing of your faithfulness
For your goodness remains and your love is the same at all times"


That doesn't change the fact that I am tired...really tired! Those of you that have raised teenagers know exactly what I am talking about, I know!

So, as the wife and Mom of my particular family, I feel torn. How do I respect the issues going on in my own home and yet honor extended family? I went to bed last night feeling like I just could not give any more of me away for the day, or the month for that matter!

My question to you, my dear blog friends, is not so much for advice but...

How do you show honor?

What are some practical things that you do to let your extended family know you really do love them?

For those of you that are older adults, how do you expect to see honor?

I do understand this is a season in life. I know that soon, the winds will change and life will become a different normal (the sooner would be better, please Lord???)Somehow, though, I need to get through this season and I want to do it well.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for praying for my family.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow...like blog readers

God's girl, Pamela

June 10, 2009

Graduation Day



If you would like to join other bloggers on this Wednesday walk, visit Lynnette's site for all the details.

This will be a short memory post...but a terrific memory it is!!!

The day we have looked forward to for 14 yrs, we held her back a year to mature a bit in 1st grade, and it went by in a flash...just like those 14 yrs feel!

Only one fly in the ointment....THEY SAID MY DAUGHTER'S NAME WRONG!!!! I will admit, she has a bit of an unusual name...but not unheard of. There is also a Hispanic way to say her name - and that is what they did!!! I was MAD!!! MAD, I say!

As y'all know, we love this school!!! They have very rarely said her name wrong! On the most important day of high school, the end, they mess it up! Oh, my!!!

Her former Chemistry teacher was sitting next to me and trying to console me by saying how many names they were messing up. It didn't help...only made me madder for those young people and their families, too!!!

My niece was chuckling at me afterwards telling me that I didn't even clap for CD as she walked across the stage! Apparently, I was too stunned and just sat there saying, "Are you kidding me?" I can see that of myself!

Okay....putting that to rest.....


She graduated #41 in her class of over 470!!! She graduated with honors, a 3.6 GPA, and a Texas Scholar!!! She's my daughter and I am so proud of her and her accomplishment!

The choir sang for the very last time - it is a tradition for them to sing "From Sea to Shining Sea" at graduation. When they finished the song, there were lots of hugs given and even though we weren't close enough to see, I'm sure there were more tears shed.

Now, life moves on. We still have one in high school - she will be a sophomore next year. I'm not sure if life will slow down or not....when something ends, it always seems we find something to fill up that time!

CD's plans are to attend a local community college for a while. She is still seeking exactly the path God would have her to take. Would you please partner in prayer with our family as we seek His face? For the summer, she has her last camper year at youth camp to look forward to and her mission trip to Columbia, which is all paid for!!!

Sorry this does seem rushed...gotta get other stuff done around the house before Miss PD comes!!!

I am definitely one very proud Momma!!!

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow....like children!

God's girl, Pamela

June 3, 2009

Six Days in May



If you would like to join other bloggers on this Wednesday walk, visit Lynnette's site for all the details.

As I've posted earlier, May always seems to be a very busy month and this year has been no exception!!! In fact, it seems to be busier than normal...or maybe it is just all of the emotion going into this time in our lives as parents of a graduating senior!!! Not sure, but there were six days that passed in a blur, yet I want to remember most of them for a long time! We took pictures and even some video and near the end of those days, sleep was very needed!!!

On Thursday night, CD (formerly DD1!) had her final choir concert...as in, this A Capella Choir will not sing together again in a concert setting!!! She has been in this choir for three years and has made some really deep friendships during that time. This year's choir has really gelled and become a 'family' within the school and it has been so neat to watch them work and grow together! It was a choir of 16 seniors....16!!! That is a lot of people that they will have to replace next year! I do not envy the director during that process!

I did cry, I cannot lie. As CD received her rose, I could not keep the tears from falling down my cheeks! I've watched the rose ceremony for 4 yrs now and it was even sweeter to hear my own daughter's name and accomplishments being called in front of everyone!!! The tears really began, though, as they sang a version of the Irish blessing, "The Lord Bless You and Keep You." Knowing that the time was short, many of the students began to tear up themselves and this Momma/booster club president, just could not keep the tears away!!! These kids have a special place in my heart because I know just how hard they have worked to get to this point and to know that after Saturday, the choir will change is a very hard reality...even for me!

Then, we woke up early that Saturday morning to make a trip to Waco for my niece's graduation ceremony at Baylor University!!! It started raining on us about an hour away from home and truly rained on us until graduation was over!!! We were in the auditorium/stadium listening to the rain pound the roof!!! However, to see my niece graduate with honors was so worth the trip!!! I am so proud of her accomplishments! She graduated with a BA in journalism and I know there is an awesome road of life ahead of her!!! GO JD!!!!

The next day was Senior Recognition Sunday at our church...ya know, the new one!!! So, that meant that the trip to Waco was fairly short lived! Thankfully, we have a 10:30 am service and that is the one we attend as a family so we did get a bit of extra sleep that day! There was also a lunch for the graduates so I didn't even have to cook - what more could a Mom ask for???

It was so neat to watch CD's pictures up on the big screen during the slide show. I was a very nice Mom and turned in mostly studio pics of her...except for the one of her and the Beluga whale - I just could not resist!!! The church gave each graduate a journal and the youth pastor called them up one by one to tell what they planned for the next stage in their lives and CD was called up first!!! She was not excited about that part of it but she did so well. She plans to go to community college this fall and get most of her basics then in a year or two head to a nearby university to get a secondary teaching degree! Can I just say, I did not cry that day!!! AT ALL!!! I PROMISE!!!

Then, to wrap up the insanity, we had Bunny's final freshman band concert on Tuesday evening! Both of her high school's bands, Symphonic and Honors, received sweepstakes at UIL this year!!! I would say that is a big accomplishment, but their director expects just that of them, so no one was really surprised! Bunny had been concerned for that night, though, because in practice some songs just were not coming together between woodwinds and brass. But can I just say, THEY BROUGHT IT!!! They sounded great!!! She is in the symphonic band, and will be again next year, so they are only losing a couple of seniors from their section (trumpets). I don't think it will make too big of a difference!

So, that weekend served to let me know that I should have bought stock in Kleenex a few years back! It was so neat to watch my daughters display their talent! It was equally awesome to see my niece and my oldest receive recognition for what they have worked so hard for....graduation!!! I am proud of these young ladies! They each bring their own brand of joy and smiles to our family and I would not trade for anything!

I have no pics right now because my desktop computer keeps acting up so I am doing this on hubs laptop! Just when I think it is fixed, another error box pops up with a different problem!!! Oh well, it's all gonna be okay!!!

Thanks for sharing a bit of the craziness that encompassed six days in May!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow...

God's girl, Pamela

June 2, 2009

The Noticer by Andy Andrews


I'm sure you have heard some whisperings about the latest work of Andy Andrews, author of The Traveler's Gift. My curiosity was piqued by just the title. One of my faults is that I miss the subtle things in life. I see what I see and usually don't go any further than the surface. In many ways, I desire to be a noticer.

A Noticer. That is what Jones called himself. I wish I had that same ability. Jones took it a step further, though, and was willing to share what he noticed.

How many times do we find ourselves at an impasse, or a crossroad in life? We truly don't know what to do or even which way to turn. For many of us, that is when we turn to our faith. For a Gulf Shores community, it seems God's answer was to send them a man named Jones - or was it Garcia, or even Chen? God sent who they needed, when they needed.

Jones brought a fresh 'perspective' to each situation in which he chose to involve himself. He had a way of seeing past the facade of a person and seeing into their soul. He would become your best friend, if you let him.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Noticer. From beginning to end, it doesn't seem to be a heavy handed book but by the time I put it down, I had begun to re-think many areas of my own life. Hard, oft times hidden areas. Jones take on worry, for instance, is that smart people worry. To him, our "creative imagination" creates all sorts of improbable situations that lead us to worry. Boy, somebody read my mail on that one!!!

My favorite quote from the book is during a conversation Jones had with a young businessman who had made many wrong choices in life and business. "It may take a long time to decide to change...but change happens in a heartbeat!" In my own life, I need to change some things and quit taking my sweet time deciding to change!

Do you need a fresh perspective? Do you need a faith-filled perspective? I suggest you pick up a copy of The Noticer by Andy Andrews. It won't take long to read but by allowing God to shed some fresh perspective in your life, the results may be long lasting!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

May 30, 2009

A C T S

I am reading through the book of Acts at the moment...taking my time to really study what the probable writer, Luke, had to say about the fulfillment of the promise of a Comforter. It is amazing to me how God moves by using not only my personal alone time, but also sermons that I hear and devotions that I read to coincide with one another. They seem, at times, to just go hand in hand together!

I was reading a Proverbs 31 devotional the other day (May 22) about God's Messengers. The devotional referenced Acts 6 which I had just been reading. It is somewhat a reference to the fact that we each have a different calling in the Kingdom, but of course there are many nuggets of truth in this passage. What caught my deepest attention was that Stephen was chosen as one of seven men to basically wait on tables! The devotional solidified the fact that Stephen was chosen to serve in this way...as a waiter.

Stephen. The martyr!

In the very next chapter of Acts, Stephen is martyred for freely sharing his faith in Christ. Of course, you probably remember that a man named Saul held the cloaks of the men throwing the stones.

Saul. Who later had THE Damascus Road experience with Jesus. The man who became Paul and wrote 2/3 of the New Testament.

I am having a hard time wrapping my feeble, human mind around the fact of simply serving with such a heart of love that I would be willing to be martyred for waiting tables! Do I really want to grow so deep in my faith that I am willing to lose everything, even my life, for a small act of service? Or even for a large act of service?

If I am willing to grow that deeply, how do I get there? Yes, there is the Bible reading and daily prayer, fellowship with the saints and deepening my personal relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. But, I've been doing that for years and I don't feel all that deep into it! If someone asks if I am a Christian, I don't hide it; however, I don't just go up to strangers on the street and share my faith.

Then, I was reading a post a few days later on MckMama's blog and Prince Charming was mentioning that he likes to use the A C T S acronym to pray.

A Adoration
C Confession
T Thanksgiving
S Supplication

I have heard this before, many years before actually. Isn't it neat how God brings us full circle? He reminds us, ever so gently, drawing us nearer to His bosom. This is His promise: Hebrews 10:19.Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20.by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21.and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22.let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23.Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

I question my own life...Do I love deeply enough to serve no matter what the cost? I hope so. God's promises are so clear, why is it so difficult to simply lean into His heart and fully serve?

Do you question yourself, or have you developed such a servant's heart? If you have, I would love to ask some questions of you. I know that God brings so many areas of life into focus at just the right time. Maybe, this is my time.

Thank you for letting me share from my heart.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.....

God's girl, Pamela

May 13, 2009

I Am Wrecked



If you would like to join other bloggers on this Wednesday walk, visit Lynnette's site for all the details.

I am doing this as a Wednesday's walk because this is a fresh memory that will linger for many years in my spirit. Oh, my friends, I am fully wrecked at this moment. I cannot yet say it is in a good way. However, I firmly believe in Romans 8:28! It says "ALL THINGS"!!!

A gentleman and his young son were found dead Friday morning in a park that my girls and I love to visit. They were members of our church, and even though we did not know them, we chose to stand with the body of Christ and attend the funeral yesterday.

Here is the link to the news story: Deaths at Ranch 111

Now, for my thoughts.

We did not personally know this family. We have only been a part of the same church since December and since Brody was his oldest child, we never had the opportunity for our paths to cross. Today, I am thankful for that.

I simply cannot fathom the hopelessness that would lead a father to take his son's life and then his own. Only God knows what was going on the in waning hours of Matt Knapp's life.

I listened intently as Matt's testimony of leading so many people to Christ was shared; first by his boyhood pastor that is now a staff member of our church, then as his brother shared his unique views of Matt's life, and lastly by our pastor who has known Mr. Knapp for a couple of years and watched him leading the young boys in Bible study faithfully on Wednesday nights.

Someone very close to me once attempted to take her own life. Even though it has been many years ago, I have found myself drawn back to memories of that time as God redeemed her precious life and has given her many more years to praise His name and live for Him. I would not have thought it possible, but I am even more thankful now that God spared her life than I have ever been.

The church was full....standing room only, truly. I know each one of us was comforted by the words of Mr. Knapp's boyhood pastor when he said, "Don't judge a whole life by the one act that ended it."

Romans 8:37-39
37.No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38.For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39.neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


I will choose to hug my babies a bit closer tonight. I will choose to be thankful for the precious husband God has given me. I will choose to love. I will choose to follow Christ.

What is your choice?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

PS If you have time, please read my previous post about my daughter's unexpected award given at her public school for her faith ! Thank you.

May 8, 2009

I'm a Very Proud Momma!


Let me begin by saying, I love our DD1's public high school!!!!!! Love it!!!!

As most of you know, we are wrapping up her senior year! She has attended the same school all four years and is the president of NGSTRONG this year. In so many ways, we have been blessed all of these years by teachers, coaches and other students. Many of my Facebook friends came from previous classes at her high school!

We knew she would get two graduation awards: Texas Scholar and Honor graduate. She has worked hard for good grades and is ending her high school career with a 3.5gpa. That is all any of us were expecting...oh, and the top student in their class is graduating with a 4.75gpa!!! INSANE!

We were totally BLOWN AWAY by the goodness and grace of God, though, at last night's award presentation!

BLOWN AWAY!!! BY GOD!!!

When we were walking in, they gave us a sheet of paper that listed all of the various organizations that would be presenting either cash awards or scholarships to students. It was a long list, y'all! Dear Hubs looked at me at one point and asked, "Do you think she will get one of these?"

WE HAD NO CLUE!!!!


Before they began giving out those special recognition awards, they introduced the special people that were there representing families or companies that offered the recognition. The Craig Bennett family was asked to stand, his Mom, Dad and sister. We were told their son had been a football student at the high school in the early 90's and was tragically killed in a car accident the summer of '93.

Within a few minutes of beginning the awards presentation, one of the school counselors called our daughter's name. She was sitting near us and we all looked at her as she walked down, in disbelief. What was she getting? No one even told us about this being a possibility!!!

As she walked on stage, the counselor said our DD1 was receiving the Craig Bennett award. He explained further that Craig had been a strong Christian man, with deep morals and values that he was not afraid to share at school. Our DD1 was chosen for this small award because of her unwavering faith! He mentioned to all those in attendance last night that our daughter, God's precious daughter, was this years president of NGSTRONG and had lived out a life similar to Craig's!!!!

SHE WAS AWARDED, IN FRONT OF HUNDREDS, FOR HER FAITH!!!!

She is definitely more humble than me....I could have never been given such an award for the fact that pride would have taken over!!!! God knows the heart of my firstborn and has seen fit to lavish her with this very precious gift!

Can you say TEARS!!!! We were all tearing up! We have watched her walk with God through so many struggles during high school. We have prayed over teachers, students and coaches over the years. WE HAVE BEEN BEYOND BLESSED!!!!

If you want to stop reading right now, please do. I am about to crawl way up on my soapbox and share!

Dear Hubs and I are graduates of a Christian high school in our area. We could never have been used in the public school arena because of our attitudes....we really know very little about what it means to be in public school. When we moved into our home 12 yrs ago, we knew the high school was close and were a bit concerned about living so close to the school. We enrolled DD1 in our old school, partly because that was what we knew....that is where we were comfortable!

Then God moved!
DD1 did not do well in first grade at our alma mater...first grade, y'all. So, what is a Momma to do? Well, I prayed! And God began to pull me out of my boat of comfort. I felt a tremendous stirring to enroll DD1 in the elementary school in our neighborhood, the one right behind the high school. I thought, surely, this was my own small way of thinking. God could provide a Christian school for her, including the finances....if that was His will!

Can I just say that we never have known exactly why this is God's calling on our children's lives. NEVER! There have been a lot of tears and sleepless nights over things going on in their lives and most of those start at school. Many times, I have said if they could only be in a private school, things would be better. Many times, I have been wrong!!!

His will, the God of the universe, y'all, desires for my children to go through the local public school system.

The beginning of DD1's sophomore year, God stirred deep in her heart to pray for her basketball team. I mean really pray, not just throw them up before the Lord and go on her merry way. She really put hours into praying for each one of them, and the coaches.

It would have been really nice for all of us, if those prayers had just been answered during the course of that year. But, as most of you know, God does not work on our time....He has His own time table. That year, she became co-captain of the JV basketball team...at the behest of the coach, not the team. Many of her teammates were angry that the position went to her, and they were not silent about how they felt. While we were so proud of her for following through with what the coach asked of her, we could feel a portion of her pain as we watched her cry over games, players, everything!

Then, the end of her jr. year, she came in one day and said she was feeling God was asking her to not play basketball her senior year. Can you say broken hearted??? She had started on the team her freshman year...three years straight. She had invested so much time in this area of her life, while upholding a great gpa and being part of the honor choir two of those years!

God spoke! And my precious daughter listened.

This year has been a roller coaster all it's own! NGSTRONG has taxed her limits of leadership...those under her are high school students - can you imagine??? For the second time in high school, she has taken an advanced class, but not taken the final exam for college credit. We changed churches in the middle of the school year. She has matured. In her spiritual walk, she has greatly matured.

She knows she wants to work with young people in her career. Right this moment, she is not sure what that looks like. She had a plan, but now feels God calling her down a different path. Out of her comfortable boat.

Many of her coaches, teacher and counselor's have been unwavering Christians. I know they hold their students up in prayer. You can feel it when you walk in their classrooms or office!!! They love their students because they love God more.

We need Christians in our public schools! My daughters have seen much more of life than I had at their age. Some of it, I will be honest, I would have preferred they waited to see. However, through all of it, God has held the hearts of my precious children. God has a plan for their life, and it started in public school!!!

My soapbox is that if you feel God calling you to put your child/ren in the area's school system, don't be afraid of it
! Do what God is calling you to do. I personally know it is not easy but this moment, I would not trade these years for anything!!!

My heart is full. I am a very proud Momma. I am a very grateful daughter of our King.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.....

God's girl, Pamela

April 22, 2009

My Nephew



If you would like to join other bloggers on this Wednesday walk, visit Lynnette's site for all the details.

My parents are blessed with 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren! Of those 7 children born to me, my sister and my niece, two of them are boys! Yes, only 2!!!

The oldest of those boys, RB, was born on the Ides of March my sophomore year of high school, while we were studying Julius Ceasar!!! I thought that was so cool! It has always made it easy to remember his birthday...even if I do want to forget just how many years have passed since then!

The youngest of those boys is brand new to this world! He turned one week old yesterday! Congratulations to my precious niece on adding to her family!!!

Various circumstances have led to the fact that I haven't really shared much of life with either of these young men. It has sometimes been a hard lesson to learn that what we expect out of life is not what we always get! I would have loved to have had a relationship with RB, my nephew, since day one...but now, I will take what I can get. Realizing it takes both of us to communicate but only one of us to close that door, I pray that this time, I won't be the one to close the door.

So, a couple of years ago RB and a couple of his friends came down to visit with his Mom for a few days. I'm glad he brought along friends because down here, hubs is the only male in the family....and he was busy working that week! I cannot imagine what it must look like when all 5 of us girls are together - laughing, giggling, making high pitched noises!!!! I can imagine even less what it would be like to be an only male in that group!!!

We ate lots of food...'cause that's what you do with family!, played Dance Dance Revolution until we could not breathe, and stayed up way too late! But we had fun! One evening, RB and I decided to go for a drive and see other parts of our fair city that he had not yet visited. We came to an open field that is used for motor biking and mudding on the weekends , across the street from one of mine and Sissy's childhood homes . The field had really deep ruts all around and it leads to a creek bed...where my Sissy and I played as children!

It was just the two of us out in that field...an opportunity for a memory! Even though he was in his young 20's, he was still such a kid at heart out there in the middle of nowhere! He was trying to pretend to be tearing down trees with this little branch that he found on the ground! He was talking of making a fire and fixing up whatever he caught on his hunt that day! He was re-living boyhood moments...with me!

I have been privileged to raise two girls. They have their own fantasies..about princes and dresses and forts made with sheets and pillows. And while I have also been a teacher, I've not spent much actual playtime with boys...I simply don't know how they operate! I saw that night as a memory-making time with the boy that I never had the opportunity to know!

Isn't it neat how God gives us special moments...especially when we aren't looking for them? Redemption for a lost relationship. Redemption at the foot of the cross.

I heard from RB recently. I know he needs prayer. I know God is holding him tightly!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.....

God's girl, Pamela

PS...I love to receive your comments. I would also love to visit your blogs. Miss PD makes it impossible to spend time on the computer so it may take awhile before I actually get to visiting yours. Thank you for your patience! Thank you for visiting!

April 18, 2009

The Ripple Effect

Just in case you were wondering...I am feeling much better!!! Almost fully like myself again!!! Now, though, my poor Sissy is fighting it!!! I did not pass it on, the dr. is telling her it is viral and she will just have to let it run it's course! That is apparently why it has just been so hard to shake! Thank you, Lord, for your grace during this time of illness!!! I ask that you, my bloggy friends, please pray for my Sissy and my FIL - he is fighting off something similar! This illness NEEDS to stop! Thank you so much!!!

Well, I could have written my post about the ripple effect about our being ill and watching those around us deal with our being ill. However, God has a very special way of showing Himself in the details of life...and I'm not really a detail person!

As many of you may remember, DD1 is president of the Christian organization at her high school. Each organization must have a sponsor and she has been blessed with two wonderful teachers to sponsor hers! Today, I want to encourage myself (and you) in watching how God works over the years of our lives...day by precious day...to further His kingdom - even using school sponsors!

We met Coach Wilson last year when DD1 began dating the then president of the organization. There was a youth gathering that DD1 had been invited to by her boyfriend and when we pulled into the parking lot, there was a truck full of teenage boys in the back....and I do mean full!!! And I swear, just as many teenage boys piled out of the front of that truck, too!!! DD1 spied her boyfriend (they are no longer together, by the way) just as I realized the driver of the truck was headed my way. I rolled down my window and he kindly introduced himself. Very humble, nondescript, did not even identify himself as a sponsor of the club, only as a coach!

I did not think much of it.

When DD1 began her senior year, she was asked to lead this same organization. As parents, we have been so proud of her as she truly seeks to lead her peers through the halls of a public school with Christ as their true guide! Through her leading the club, we have also gotten to know just a little bit more about Coach Wilson.

Fast forward just a little bit as we began our search for a new home church. I had passed a church last year when Bunny was going through her worst time that I got very excited about. I could not explain to you why but I felt really drawn to this particular church. When we finally made the decision to make the move, hubs and I drove by one evening on the way home from somewhere, passing right by the church. We saw several vehicles out front and he pulled into the parking lot. This was a Monday night, I believe. Both girls had fallen asleep in the back of the van and were not interested in visiting a new church at this point!

The church doors were open, and my fearless hubs began walking down hallways...me following closely behind! We found the youth area and began looking at all the pictures and activities listed on the bulletin board!!! They were a busy youth group! The pictures were of so many different people, not the same one or two in each shot....I was impressed by that!

Hubs and I began to talk and walk toward the front of the church, and when we came around the corner we saw a lady apparently locking the doors we had recently entered. Poor thing, we scared her so badly when my hubs simply says, "How are you doing tonight?" The foyer is large and she had not seen or heard us come around the corner! She quickly recovered, though, and began to answer our questions about the church and ask questions about our family and situation.

Well, wouldn't you know it!!! God had a plan! The lady we met was Natalie...the admin for the youth pastor and leader of the freshman girls small group!!! Bunny is a freshman this year! When she asked if the girls were with us, we told her they were resting in the van outside and she asked if she could come meet them. Natalie was so full of energy and was very passionate about her work. When she met the girls outside, she asked them where they went to school. Come to find out, she is an alumni of DD1's high school!!! Very exciting stuff for me to watch God work!!!

We made the decision within a couple of months for the girls to visit their youth service when our former church was not meeting. We were making the move more for the girls (so we thought then!) so this seemed a fairly logical decision.

When our girls came home that night, they were so excited about the youth group! It was larger, the youth pastor showed a passion for the students and the small groups were a hit with my girls....being split into grade and gender when our previous youth group only had 3 girls in the whole high school....and two of them were mine! It became clear within a few weeks that we needed to fully make the move as a family.

Shortly after the move, we realized our new church home was part of a movement called I Am Second. We had seen ads and heard radio spots for it but had never really looked into the movement. So, I sat down at the computer one night and began to click on people's pictures on the site to hear their testimony. One of those people was Natalie!

As I listened to her testimony, I heard a very familiar name...Craig Wilson from high school!!! We soon learned that Coach Wilson and Natalie's Craig Wilson were one in the same! Craig had shared Christ with Natalie in high school, then they went their separate ways but both ended up right back here in our town...serving God in their own unique way! Both working with teenagers!!!

I have watched Coach Wilson have a very positive affect on DD1 as she has hit some pretty rough patches this year. (yes, part of life!) I have watched Bunny grow in Christ under the loving care of Natalie. And when I look back just 15 yrs ago, these two people walked the same halls and served the same Lord!

Can you imagine the people that will be lined up in heaven to welcome these two precious people home??? I know that Natalie is not the only life that Coach Wilson has touched, but even if she were....his crowns to throw at Jesus feet would still be so many just because he invited Natalie to touch the hem of Jesus garment! And Natalie's life....she touches teens each and every day for the cause of Christ!

God set a plan for my family in motion many years ago...when I was home with two little girls in El Paso! He raised up a teenage boy to courageously share his faith at his high school and He raised up a teenage girl to hear the word of the Lord from this same young man! And look at all of them now...serving our risen Savior and furthering His kingdom!

THANK YOU, LORD!!! Ps. 145: 3,4 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.

As far as I know, Coach Wilson will still be reaching teens at the high school next year. Natalie has changed positions, she still leads the freshman girls small group but is planning on serving the Lord in Ethiopia one day in the near future. These two precious people will continue touching lives for the glory of God. I know because of their position in my girls lives, that my girls will also be a light to shine to all men and 'tell of Your mighty acts'.

I am looking forward to watching the continuing ripple effect!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!

God's girl, Pamela

PS...I'm sorry this is so long! I really am working on not being quite so wordy! Thank you for visiting and please feel free to leave a comment if you are moved by this post. Thanks!

April 15, 2009

walking down the aisle with a scraped knee



If you would like to join other bloggers on this Wednesday walk, visit Lynnette's site for all the details.

I am so sorry to have been away for so long...and yes, I know I am only apologizing to the two people that read my blog on a somewhat regular basis - and I really do love y'all!!! Remember, I said I was getting a bit sick?? Well, turns out I got really sick! I am finally slowing down on the coughing and was even able to host the family Easter lunch here in our home!!! This annual lunch gathering includes both sides of the family...his Mom and Dad along with my sister and niece. This year, we were also privileged to have Casey join us from the Honor Academy! It was definitely a blessed Easter! And yes, church was absolutely awesome!!!

Mom, Daddy and DL, I miss y'all something terrible! I wish we could spend some sort of holiday together....that is what I'm praying for and that it would be SOON!!! I love y'all!!!

Okay, now that I have that out of the way, are you ready to share a memory from a very long time ago? The occasion was the day of my sister's first wedding...circa April 1981! I cannot even fathom it has been that long ago since I was a 12 yr old girl!!!

We traveled from Texas to Middle Tennessee during Spring Break to attend the wedding. We had only moved to Texas 6 months earlier and still had many friends and family in the Middle Tennessee area that she wanted to be at her wedding. This basically meant, for a 12 yr old, that the comforts of 'home' were left behind right before an important life event...I was not exactly happy about that part of it!

In Tennessee, we stayed with friends in a newer subdivision, but remember, this was the early 80's and the road was still not fully paved around the subdivision....there was still lots of gravel on either side of the 'road'! And the gravel was the rub!!!

While I would not consider myself a tomboy, I did enjoy spending time outdoors - especially when a bicycle was handy. The family we were staying with had some extra bikes hanging in the shed so I took one as my own that week! The bike riding was my escape from the fast wedding preparations taking place inside!

The family also had two boys a couple of years younger than me - and we all know it is more fun to ride bikes together than alone! We had taken time most days to ride around for a bit and by Thursday, I was feeling very comfortable and confident on my loaner bike! Confident enough to race the oldest boy!!!

As I'm sure you can guess by now, I did not win the race. I cannot remember exactly why, but as we were riding along, I pulled a bit farther into the shoulder of the road than was necessary and went spinning out of control on the gravel! I tore my knee up really well!!!

We were not far from the house so it did not take long for my Mom to come running to the accident! I had landed with most of the weight on my left knee, the rest of it on my hands! I was bleeding from all three of those places and quite a bit! I did try to walk to the house but could not put any weight on my left leg, it hurt too badly!

The worst part? The accident happened on Thursday afternoon and the wedding was going to happen on Saturday!

My Dad finally came and carried me in the house. They ran a bath for me so we could try to wash out all the dirt and loose gravel. It was determined that the cut was not deep enough for stitches so there was no need for medical care. That was fine with me! I was so embarassed to have had the accident in the middle of the day when neighbors could observe what happened! I was a very self-conscious 12 yr old!!!

Thankfully, my dress for the wedding was long and would cover the HUGE bandage I would be sporting! I know in the picture, we look so much like Southern Belles...this was Middle Tennessee, though!!!

I did manage to limp down the aisle and stand by my Sissy as she said her vows. I don't really remember much of the day, other than my limping (self-conscious!!) and being in some pain!

Unfortunately, the marriage did not last. However, I still cannot fathom that it has been 28 yrs ago! My Sissy and I have grown and changed so much since then. She is now one of my best friends in the whole wide world and if I could smooth some of the memories away for her, I certainly would! I look up to her in so many ways...as a friend, Mom, employee, citizen.

I'm thankful that God put us in the same family all those years ago. Don't tell her but I love that she refers to me as "Mini-Me" because I truly have always wanted to grow up to be just like her! I love you, Sissy!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....like my big Sissy!

God's girl, Pamela

April 3, 2009

Answer to Prayer

Well, you hate when babies are sick but....

The sweet little one that I babysit has been fighting a bug for over a week and the cough was only getting worse. On Wednesday, her nap only lasted 25 minutes...she woke herself up coughing and could not get back to sleep! Her Mom finally got her an appt. yesterday morn and come to find out, she has double ear infections and they are both of the severe variety!

Poor baby!!!

However, Mom kept her home yesterday, started her on the antibiotics and just let her rest. And us? Hubs and I had a chance to TALK without interruption!!! It was awesome!

There were things said yesterday that I can so see God's hand at work....I knew it was there, just life was whizzing by so fast that it was a big blur!

So, for today I will rest in the hands of my dear Savior, knowing that He is in control. I will be thankful for the sunshine - both inside and out! I will contine to look to see Jesus!!!

Thank you so much for your prayers....I was so tired - yes, I got a bit of the bug, too, and that is to be expected. I will be okay in a few days, though!!!

PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW......

God's girl, Pamela