Friday, March 2, 2012

Walk to Emmaus

Wow describes this experience in my life! I left for my walk less than 48 hours after I returned from Mardi Gras where I had only had from 3 to 5 hours of sleep a night on a blow up bed in a gym with about 75 other ladies. My friend, Kimmy picked me up on Thursday at 5:00 PM, I had to say goodbye to my watch and my phone until 5:00 PM on Sunday. I had no idea what to expect but I was excited and a little anxious. I had been out of town and was leaving again hoping that I had left nothing undone. So here I go for 3 days not knowing anyone or anything that is going to happen. The first night was hard, I had a hard time going to sleep thinking of all the things I should be doing. Finally I just decided that I had to give it all to God and go with this. As far as I could tell there wasn't anyone that I could bribe to let me use their phone. On Friday morning I jumped all in and I am so glad that I did. God showed me more things about myself that He wanted to change, He brought new friends into my life and overwhelmed me with His love and grace. It was one of the most valuable times that I have had with the Lord. It was youth camp X's 100! Those of you who know how much I love youth camp can understand this.
I cried on and off for what seemed like hours (who knows because I never knew what time it was)I was so taken with God's goodness to me! I would like to reflect right here. What would our devotionals, church services, outreaches, time with friends and family look like if we didn't have a watch? I was very convicted of how I have restricted God's voice in my life by the next thing that I need or want to get on to. I am trying to just chill and enjoy His presence more.
This weekend had tons of surprises. I love surprises!!!
It was full of God changing my thinking to better thinking, His thinking.
I came home with a new gratitude for Jesus and all of the great people He has put in my life. It was overwhelming that I had friends who love me so much that they would make this happen for me and my friends and family who wrote me letters of encouragement. I came home feeling so humbled and loved. I will be doing this for many others!
My next blog will tell of a more specific work that God did in me...don't miss it!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012

I've got 3 blogs on the inside of me right now so I am going to be doing one a day for the next few days.
Mardi Gras was once again an amazing experience. I've lost count of how many times I have been on this mission to take Jesus to the people. The first time I went I was 28 and young!
I felt prepared, we had just come off of a 21 one day fast with our church family and it was amazing all of the things that God did in us as a church. I had grown closer to Him and to the body of Christ.
So off I went to Mardi Gras with a team of about 130 people from accross the states. I sat down on the plane next to a couple about my age who were traveling with their 24 year old twins. Their conversation existed of what drinks they were going to get this partying started with. Ed may be the only one that knows this about me but this is one of my pet peaves in life. People drinking with their children. Maybe it's because I was raised in A.A. (my Dad was an alchoholic) from the time I was 6 years old. I know that alchohol can be a real trap for people.
I just decided to get out a book and read because I was agitated with these people. About 15 minutes before we landed I finished my book and got out my itenerary for the weekend. The lady next to me asked if I was on a group trip and what would we be doing so I told her with some reluctance. I told her that I really have a heart for collage age students who might get in over their heads. I like to be the Mom of the street! She told me that she really admired that and proceeded to tell her children to turn around and look at me. When they did she said "if you find yourself in trouble this weekend, look for this lady". They of course were thinking, yeah right! She was very genuine and kept telling me that she really appreciated me going out there.
I had to be faced with ugliness on the inside of myself once again. I had judged her and here she was being so complimentary of me. I realize that I am so far from who Jesus is and trying to re-present Him to the world is challenging for a person who is far from perfect. I love how He never gives up on me and is continually comforming me to His image even more, He still wants to use me!
I had a great time and if you want to hear some of the stories go to Ed's blog, it's on my page.
I did get to be the Mom of the street to many young people. One guy that stands out was Edwardo. Good looking guy who was dressed in a towel and taking pictures with all the girls. I got in conversation with him and told him that he needed to respect the girls and treat them right. He laughed and told me that they needed to respect him also. God showed me that he had a praying Momma so I just asked him if she was. He was shocked, looked me in the eyes and said, yes she is. I left him with "you better think about that!" It was so fun being the Mom of the street. I believe that maybe some kids made better choices and thought more about the people that love and care for them.
We met a girl named Adrian who I was chit chatting with when Ed interupted and told her that he hoped she didn't think he was weird but God was showing him that she had experienced a lot of pain and rejection. She began to weep and tell us that her Dad had died 2 years earlier and the pain that she was in. We got to pray for her and hug her. What a privilege.
Thank you God that you use imperfect people to show your love.
I am always forever changed when I get out of the church and to the streets!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Awakening 21...Never thought I could do it!

We are almost halfway through our 21 day fast so I felt it was time to share some of the things that God has done in me during this time. Let me get this out there....I AM A HORRIBLE FASTER! God is so good! I began to pray about this fast months ago when Ed first presented it to our church. I wanted to hear what kind of fast He wanted me to do. I felt it was a Daniel fast. Ed shared with me a few days later that God had spoken to him to do that fast also. I was thinking to myself "Thank you Jesus, because it was going to be super hard if he was going to be fasting sports or tv and could eat everything in front of me!"
The week before the fast you would have thought I was on death row. All I could think about were my last meals. I can tell you that I had no focus on God that week! I realized I am a food addict for sure. I guess all of the Weight Watchers meetings I've been to had not revealed that to me yet.
We started the fast on Sunday and left for Colorado that day to visit Ed's family. Side note: last summer while we were there I fasted one day as I was getting ready for a mission trip and had called a one day a week fast until we left for our trip. I had already had to explain to the kids of the family about this. Now we are back and fasting again! I know they must think we are religious nuts, but the fact is I avoid fasting almost at any cost!
Now on to the great part...Ed had explained to our church that fasting was just pushing the reset button on our spiritual lives and it has done that for me big time. The food part has been easy, I am loving getting my focus off of things that don't really matter and putting my focus where it belongs. I don't care that my house doesn't look perfect, that all of my laundry isn't done, that my guests are not having a five course meal when they come or that I havn't been able to sleep late. I havn't missed my tv shows at all or felt the need to just mindlessly crash at the end of the day from exhaustion. I feel exilerated, refreshed, encouraged and I have a great anticipation of what God is doing!
There is a new level of excitement at church, a lightness and I am loving it! It is so fun doing this together with my church family and thousands around the world. There is more info and resources at
One thing that is standing out to me right now is: When I make room for God He will step into that space. I'm realizing that there are a ton of spaces in my life that need to be filled with Him. I am getting rid of the business of my life and God is removing some for me! For the last 3 years I have been in charge of the yearly auction for the Boy's and Girl's club, this year I had to miss a meeting and they moved me to decorations which will take very little time and is more in my giftings! I can't wait to see what God will do with the space that I open up to him.
There have been challenges for sure, opportunities to get distracted with things that don't really matter, opportunities for fear to come in, like on day 1 when we were flying out in a horrible wind storm! I am not going to be distracted, I am growing and I love seeing others around me grow.
I believe that this is going to be one of the best years of my life to this point. We have 2 new grandbabies on the way, I will be going to Mardi Gras in a month to minister on the streets and then end the month with a walk to Emmaus. That is just the first two months! Wow!
Make a new space for God today, you won't regret it!

Monday, January 31, 2011

I Don't Want to Waste a Miracle!

Ed has been preaching on "Miracles in Motion" the last few weeks at our church. Last week he was talking about how God does miracles for us so that He can use our miracle in other people's lives. If we hang on to our miracle then it is wasted. That gave me the push I needed to share my testimony of all the miracles that God has done for me in my 50th year of life. I have been blessed with 2 new grandbabies and a grand niece that have brought me so much joy. They are amazing little miracles along side Will our 3 yr. old grandson. Seven years ago we kind of started over when our kids moved out and we sold our home and started leasing a Garden home. It was nice and I loved it but it was really crowded with all of the family events. Then we had a leak under the slab that caused us to basically have to pack up the whole house for a remodel. During this time, Ed took me to St. Martin for a birthday trip. It was so wonderful and I forgot all the stress at home. Our house was supposed to be fixed when we got home it wasn't. We had not been looking for a house at all but Ed had picked up a home facts sheet at his hair salon of a house that we both loved. When we found out that there was not a timetable for our home to be fixed we started to pursue the house. When I prayed about it God told me that he was going to give Ed wisdom and for me not to worry about it. That was hard! We could not come to a total agreement with the owners and Ed left it like that. Things were getting worse where we were living. We both we staying sick because of all the construction going on. Finally after about 5 days of no talking about the house I decided to look at it online and it was no longer available. I nearly freaked. I called Ed and he told me to drive by and see if the sign was still in the yard. It was gone! I was so disappointed! The day before I was praying about it and God spoke to me and said "you are not even ready to move yet, you are not totally packed" so I went home that day and packed our office the main room that was not ready to go. So now I was all packed and going to have to unpack in the same house. I threw a bit of a fit to Ed and he said "you don't have it that bad, there are people in Haiti who are living in tents that are getting ready to be blown away". He was right. The hurricane was headed there within a few hours. That really put my life in perspective. God has given Ed a lot of wisdom! Ed called our realtor who just told him that they decided to go a different way. What does that mean??? I couldn't beleive that someone else was going to get my dream house. Ed got ahold of the owner, we met with him that afternoon and worked out a deal and started moving the next morning. What a miracle!!! God had it all in motion but I couldn't see it. Oh yeah, that's what faith is! What is really special about all of this is all of the unique things that only I could appreciate about this house. It had just been totally redecorated and upgraded to my taste and desires. One of my gifts is hospitality and it has tons of entertaining room! There are things like an excercise pool. Swimming is my favorite exercise. I only saw this house one time in person and nearly everyday there is something that I thank God for because it is something special for me. That is what makes this miracle so wonderful is how it reminds me how personal God is to all of us. This is not a life and death miracle, it is a love miracle. When I felt hopeless and stuck, God showed me His love for me once again through His wonderful provision for me! Last year Ed gave me this scripture and told me that it was going to be our verse for the year. We both memorized it and quoted it alot to each other during the year. I can say with all that is within me that it is true in my life.
Ps 40:5
O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
God's goodness to us really is too numerous to list. I could go on and on. I don't want my miracle to be wasted on me, I want you to know that God has no favorites! He wants to do the same for you, He wants you to know that you are loved and He is thinking great thoughts about you also!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hurricane Katrina Changed My Life!

This morning I am reflecting on Hurricane Katrina and how it affected my life in a most amazing way! I was listening to some conversation about New Orleans and the comment was made that the people there probably still have their hand out. When I heard this comment it hurt my heart. You see I have personally gotten to know and love some of these people and they have changed my life forever. My story with New Orleans began over 20 years ago when I went to Mardi Gras on an outreach with Scott Hinkle. That's when my life with God really took off! Getting out of the church and on the street with people that He wants to love has made me love Him all the more. I have since been to Mardi Gras many times. Back to Hurricane Katrina. When it hit, our city was privileged to have several thousand refugees come here for shelter. The night they came my Sister Carrie and daughter-in-law Lacey and I headed out to a Midnight training with the Red Cross. I could not believe that after all the seeds I had sown into New Orleans that the people were coming to me! I was so excited. In the next few months we worked hard at the shelter but we also got to know some of these precious people. One lady that I will never forget was Charlene. Charlene had quite a story to tell. She was a single mother of a huge family all who were grown except for a teenage son. Her house made it through the Hurricane so all her family came to her house. There were over 20 of them. Then the levy broke. They escaped out of the house with children floating on mattresses. They made it to the bridge where sniper shootings were taking place and then on to the Superdome where they heard rapes going on during the night and then they were bussed to Lubbock. Charlene stood out because she was still grateful even after all that they had been through. She was trusting God. Charlene and her family were moved into some government housing apartments and many of them began to get jobs. Carrie and I would go and pick up anyone who would go to church with us. During that time 17 of Charlene's family members got saved. Five of them were teenagers. Her daughter and son-in-law got saved and their marriage was put back together. Charlene was seeing so many answers to prayer in her life. It was so fun to go and visit with her. This experience gave so much more to me than I could ever have given to them! One day I was in Wal-Mart with Carrie and saw a fellow Christian who began to complain about these people coming to our city and eating up our resources. Carrie handled her graciously, and got us out of the conversation. I think that she could see that I was about to beat up this old religious lady and it wouldn't be pretty! Later I realized that you can't have love and compassion on people if you are not willing to be involved with them. Charlene went with me on a ladies retreat to New Mexico, she was like a kid! Now, you must know that before this Hurricane Charlene had never been out of New Orleans and she was 50 years old! She was anxious about going to the mountains but I reassured her that it would be ok. On the ladies retreat God really ministered to her. She got up in front of about 600 women to share her testimony of how good God had been to her and she also thanked me, her new best friend, Miss Connie. I cried as I watched this strong woman who had been removed from everything she knew, show her gratitude to God. (I told her later that if we were going to be best friends she couldn't call me Miss Connie anymore!) A few weeks later Charlene and her entire family were moved to Houston because the people in the apartments were threatening them. You see they didn't like these people coming and getting resources that they thought they should be getting. I was so sad! Charlene and her family were only part of my life for about 4 months but they have made a lasting impact on me. I cannot wait to reconnect with them in heaven!!! So the Bible is true when it says God will repay you if you help the poor.

Prov 19:17
If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—
and he will repay you!
All of the pictures are of Charlene's family who gave their lives to the Lord.

If you notice there are no qualifiers on this scripture. They don't have to be deserving or jump through our hoops. It doesn't even matter if they have their hands out! We are doing if for the Lord if we do it for them. My Momma has always told me that no one can take from you what you give to them. According to this scripture you are not even giving to them, you are giving to the Lord and He is deserving of us giving our all!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

32 Years and Counting

It's been a long time coming and so much has happened in the last 7 months! Ed and I just celebrated our 32nd Anniversary so I thought I would start with that. I love this man more every year. The week of our Anniversary he told me that he wanted me to go with him to visit 2 ladies we know. One is a sweet widow in our church and the other is a friend who is fighting cancer. The morning of the visit he got up and went and bought flowers and a card to take to each of them. I met him and we went off to our deliveries. Both ladies were so touched, it had probably been a while since a man brought them flowers. I was reminded once again why I love this man so much...he loves and cares for people! He is my favorite ministry partner and I am so blessed to live life with him! Today he left early for a breakfast meeting before I got out of bed. He came home a little while later with our grandson Will in tow.
He had gone by and surprised Will and picked him up for donuts and hitting golf balls.
I am so grateful for his passion for God, our family and others!
I have also had the blessing of 3 wonderful babies in my life in the last 5 months! My great neice, Karsyn, my grandson Reed and my granddaughter, Allie. There are allready so many wonderful memories being made with these sweeties!

Ed got to dedicate my great nephew, Brayden and Allie to the Lord. I love seeing my generations serve and love God!
One more big event....I celebrated my 50th birthday. How can it be??? Time goes by too fast. I can look back and say that God's love has never failed me through the good times and the bad, He has never disappointed me and my hopes are high in him! My bithday pictures...

I titled this blog 32 years and counting because I can truly say that I am trying to live a life that counts!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday Bonding

As is my tradition, I hit it out again this year for some fun shopping on Black Friday. This was the earliest that I can remember getting out there though! I would like to digress now to the year when both my sisters and I drug our elementary aged girls out for a Black Friday find. We got to the store at about 7:00 as I recall. It was a very cold day and the fellow shoppers were all staying in their cars to keep warm. We were so grateful! My sister Chrissy decided to get out of the car to throw away some donut trash and it caused a mass exodus from the other cars. We of course had to follow suit. We stood in the cold for some time to get in the store and recieve our cheesy free gift. The girls were not happy to say the least. They were still talking about it this year. Chrissy, in her defense has never been much of a shopper and had no idea of the mahem she could cause.
Back to 2009, my niece Staci agreed to go with me to Target where we wanted to get a coveted 32 in Flat Screen TV for a mere $246.00. We both slept a couple of hours and then met at the store at 3:00 AM with our supplies. I brought the blanket and she brought the lawn chairs. There were already about 100 people in line when we got there! Staci began to unfold one of our lawn chairs which was very confusing. I couldn't figure out how this chair worked, it looked like a mini-bed. Finally Staci realized that it wasn't a chair at all but a fold out table. About that time the line started to move so she folded up the table and ran to the car to put it up. The target guy moved us to the other side of the building where we perched for the next 2 hours. Part of the adventure is the new friends that you make in line. We were surrounded by some very excited talkative people. It was quite fun! The line began to move for real and 3 preppy little soroity girls ran past us all for the front door. The whole line started yelling at the cop "They cut in line". Yay, they were stopped at the door and they looked very mad that they had been stopped but justice had been served. When we got in Target it was a free for all! I was trying to get a basket to get my TV but people were running everywhere so I grabed it and pulled it behind me. Somehow in all the craziness I ran over my own heal with my basket, and incurred my first Black Friday injury. Staci started getting the TVs and I was trying to put them in the basket, as I was lifting the TV to my basket, it had a run away and I missed the basket totally. I was so focused that I didn't even pee in my pants! We finally secured the TVs and just pulled aside for a moment to regroup. I looked over to where a bin of $5.00 PJ's were and there was a sight that could have made me the You Tube video of the day. A lady was fully bent into the basket with her whole crack exposed! Oh how I wished I would not have seen that! Later in the day I was at Pennys getting some boots for my niece. My sister, Carrie had now joined me. There were women everywhere. I had put my boots in a chair next to me and they fell upon some ladies feet. I reached down to get them and I was face to face with a sea of hairy legged women. My husbund does not have this kind of hair on his legs! My Sister just looked at me very straight faced and said "That was unfortunate"! A few hours later I met up with my daughter Denae and son-in-law Chris. Chris was a newby to Black Friday. He said the whole thing had kind of been a disappointment to him because he thought we were going to have more time to hang out together during the shopping.
Actually, that has been my favorite part of Black Friday over the years, it's been the memories that I have accumulated with many different family members and friends, it's the bonding that takes place that is the most fun to me even though I did get some great buys also. I am so thankful for my family, they make my life so fun, I know that they are very proud of me that I kept myself under control and did not laugh too hard this year. Black Friday ended for me at 10:00 AM. I was starting to see spots and get disoriented so I decided I better hit the bed. It was also the time where people come out shopping looking good. I can tell you that I looked far from good with my hat hair and wrinkled clothes! Bring on more Black Friday Bonding!

The Adventures of Connie