30 June 2008

Finders Keepers

Heather @ WhittakerWoman has a great post about "hiding places," -- places that may appear clean and neat on the outside, but are filled with chaos inside.

Instantly, I thought of our sofa table.

Even when it's all tidy and dusted, I know that lurking in the seemingly harmless drawer is really a Pandora's box of odds and ends that have never quite found their homes.
Some of these items are now permanent fixtures of "the drawer" as we have never found a better place to keep them (scotch tape).

I warn visitors to our house to open the drawer at their own risk...
Among the treasures I have recently found there?

A yo-yo without a string
A package of gummi bears
Two take-out menus from nearby restaurants
The battery door to one of our remotes
A fossilized candy corn (uh, Halloween was 8 months ago!)
Gum wrappers (because, naturally, it's easy to confuse a sofa table with a trash can)
A broken flashlight
Flat-head screwdriver
A stray playing card (or 12)
and my long-lost recipe for Tortilla Soup (a la Brenda)

I'm sure, by now it's more than over-flowing with new and exciting finds... for anyone daring enough to make the attempt.

28 June 2008

Weather Girl

Summer Kelly.

Sounds like a weather girl's name don'tcha think?

I've been obsessed with the weather since I was a little girl. Seriously, when I was a kid (among other things) I wanted to be a meteorologist.
My mom used to leave the tv on for our schnauzer, Sampson, when we left the house so he wouldn't get too lonely.
The preferred channel of canines? (remember this was before the invention of Animal Planet)
The Weather Channel!

I habitually (compulsively?) check the weather online several times a day.

On our way here (to Arkansas), my father-in-law informed us that they were horribly dry... no rain for some time.
Well, in Baton Rouge we've had a deluge every day for the past month it seems!
Our first morning back in the Hog state was met with rumbling, gray clouds and a steady, drizzling rain.

I guess it followed us here. =/

Tomorrow morning I'm going to go check out Rick Bezet's church in Conway. We got to hear him speak last week via the One Prayer series we have been watching. It was a great message about freedom from shame and it really touched a lot of people. I'm really looking forward to hearing him again.
Until then, I guess I'll just curl up with a good book and wait for the clouds to break...

26 June 2008

Out Of The Office

If you've reached this recording...

I realize I haven't posted in several days, but we are leaving in the morning to go to Arkansas for 2 weeks and I've been running around here like mad trying to get everything done!
We have some great friends house-sitting & dog-sitting for us, and even though I know she won't hold it against me if my house isn't "perfect," I will hold it against me.

I will have some computer access while I'm away so I will try to post while I am there.
I'm hoping to meet up with some old friends, re-connect with some new friends (Megan, Brittni, Carolyn), and visit family.

So, what are your big 4th of July plans?

21 June 2008

HIS story In The Making

Ok, so you probably get the play on words in my title name (Her Story -- history -- get it?).

But I think that our lives should be all about adding to
HIS Story:
Making a difference in this world and showing Christ to those who think no one really cares...

Last night was another amazing night of MIDNIGHT OUTREACH.

We met at the church around 9:00 to pray and Alliece was telling some great stories to a couple of newcomers... then, when she prayed, she asked God to "give us more stories."
Did He ever!

Last night began with the realization that one of our "usual" strip club stops was shut down. There was a police raid a while back and apparently, there was some "not-so-legal stuff" going down in there, so they are closed for business.
We headed a short way down the road to another "usual" stop.

This club is an interesting story, in and of, itself.
You see, we've been informed by his bouncers that the owner is a practicing Satanist.
Um, yeah.
A Satanist, strip club owner who allows the Church to come in and give roses and chocolates to his employees.
Wait, it gets even better...
There is another strip club further down the road that we have been trying to get into for ages (no luck). Last night the Satanist dude comes out to greet us and fill us in on the closed strip club's details... then he asks us if we are going to _______?
Alliece tells him no, they won't let us in.
Get this: He CALLS the other strip club and tells them to LET US IN!
After a year of trying to get in, we finally got to go in to _______ and they seemed glad to see us! We gave the working girls roses and make-up kits and gave all the bouncers and managers chocolates and gum.

Then we headed to the inner city to look for prostitutes and to show love to the community.
We came upon a street where a man had JUST been stabbed in a fight. The fire truck and paramedics showed up right as we did and we ended up staying on that street for a good 45 minutes or so.
While there, we were able to hand out roses and chocolates to the good people sitting out on their front porches and in their yards (at midnight, no less) and gave them fliers inviting them to the Winbourne campus for church. There were kids running around everywhere so we invited them to Vacation Bible School and gave them free chocolate and gum as well.
The cool thing was that while we were there, we "found" a lady who used to come to Ladies' Thrive all the time, but whom we hadn't seen in a while, and Alliece "found" a young prostitute that she had lost track of a while back.

All in all, it was a great night and I think God more than honored our request for "more stories" to tell. All I could think about was how each of these people -- the strippers, the prostitutes, the pimps, the drug dealers, the homeless, and the poor -- each one of them are an integral part of the bigger picture, the bigger story:
HIS story.
And I feel honored to have been allowed to play some small part in that...
THANK YOU, Healing Place Church, for giving us the opportunity to participate in such an amazing outreach!

19 June 2008

The Power of ONE

Our church is participating in a HUGE international phenomenon called, "ONE PRAYER."

Basically, churches from all over the world filmed various segments to share with other churches all over the world. The ultimate goal is to make The Church (all Christians -- no matter the denomination or language), ONE.

This was truly Christ's desire for His bride (the Church) and it is the heart of every minister who contributed to this amazing event. Last I heard, over 500 churches all over the United States and around the world were participating in ONE PRAYER.

Our very own, Pastor Dino Rizzo has filmed a segment as well and his message to The Church will be heard around the globe. It's pretty exciting and cool to know that Christians can, and are, coming together for a good cause: Church Unity.
A couple of weeks ago, we heard Craig Groeschel (pastor of LifeChurch.tv) give his amazing piece titled,
"God, Make Us One," (<---click that link to hear it);
it really drove home the point that we need to unite as The Church -- The world sees Christians as so NOT united, so contentious with one another, so hypocritical... what kind of witness is that??? It was very convicting, but also very funny.
It's one of the best messages I have ever heard regarding this topic. You can check the list on the One Prayer website to see if a church near you is participating.
I can't wait to hear what's next!
Really, when you think about it, it's an extremely powerful proposition...

12 June 2008


Ok, so remember how I went on and on awhile back about "RagamuffinSoul" and his awesome blog? Turns out his wife is pretty amazing, too. I love reading her get-real, eyes-wide-open posts.
It's rare that I don't leave her blog page either laughing hysterically or reaching for tissue.
I have added WhittakerWoman to my blogroll and you should definitely check her out!
What a cool family!

Last week was SO insanely busy with us FINALLY closing on our house refi and everything that entails... I completely forgot to mention the awesome new friends I made on Friday & Saturday.

Our church often hosts youth/college groups visiting from other churches all over the U.S. who want to serve it up, HPC-style. So, it's really not uncommon to see unfamiliar faces hanging around the Dream Center.
Last Friday, however, we had a truly amazing team working with us.
They jumped right in and helped without even being asked. And they were diligent!
The air conditioning was out in the Dream Center last Friday and let me tell you, it was NOT PLEASANT.
Nevertheless, they worked right alongside us, praying with the ladies, feeding the hungry folks, and helping them "shop" for clothing in our sweltering "boutique."
Then, I overhear someone say the words, "Conway, Arkansas."
Who's from Conway???
They all were!
They were visiting from NEW LIFE CHURCH (Pastor Rick Bezet) in MY OLD HOMETOWN!

I grew up in, and around, Conway.
Wow, it was so great to work with them and I even made a couple of new friends... let's see if I can remember their names... Megan, Brittni, and Carolyn (I think).
I'm so bad with names. =(
Anyway, I will be home visiting family for 4th of July and I can't wait to check out their church!

One more shout out:
My best friend (since 4th grade!!!), Shannon, has recently helped to start a website/blog for moms in the Northwest Arkansas area. I love reading all the great articles they have posted and I think what they are doing is so awesome. You can check it out HERE: nwaMOTHERLODE
Oh, and Shannon let me know that another dear friend, Tim, has been "lurking" on my blog, so I want to say Hi to him, too. I hope to see you both on my next trip home.
Ok, I'm off to bed...

10 June 2008


There's a reason why people hate Bill Gates.

I have spent the past 2 days pulling out my hair because I cannot send emails.
I can receive emails; I just can't send them.

On Sunday, Windows Update performed a "critical SP1 update" to my PC -- my BRAND NEW PC.
No problem.
On Monday morning, I could not send emails.

I would hit send and Windows Mail (Vista) would ACT like it was sending the messages, but after about 2 minutes, I would get the following message:

Your server has unexpectedly terminated the connection. Possible causes for this include server problems, network problems, or a long period of inactivity. Account: 'pop.east.cox.net', Server: 'smtp.east.cox.net', Protocol: SMTP, Port: 25, Secure(SSL): No, Error Number: 0x800CCC0F
Yes, I have called my ISP (Cox Communications).
Yes, I have contacted Windows Live support.
Yes, I have posted my problem on the Windows Live Forum.
Yes, I have called Geek Squad and explained the problem to them, in detail.

General consensus?
It's nobody's fault and it's nobody's problem.

Isn't that helpful?

Does anyone have the number for Steve Jobs???
I think I'm ready to capitulate.

04 June 2008

God Be The Solution

Every time I hear this song, I think of Carole and our Church -- More than just TALK, Lord, We will be Your hands and Your feet...

(from Hillsong United's ALL OF THE ABOVE cd)

It is not a human right
To stare, not fight
while broken nations dream.
Open up our eyes so blind
that we might find
the mercy for the need.

Hey now, fill our hearts with Your compassion!
Hey now, as we hold to our confession.

It is not too far a cry,
too much to try
to help the least of these.
Politics will not decide
if we should rise
and be YOUR hands and feet.

Hey now, fill our hearts with Your compassion!
Hey now, as we hold to our confession.

We will be Your hands and be Your feet

Higher than all circumstance
Your promise stands
Your love for all to see,
Higher than our protest lines and dollar signs,
Your love is all we need.

Hey now, fill our hearts with Your compassion!
Hey now, as we hold to our confession.


>Only YOU can mend the broken heart,
and cause the blind to see,
erase complete the sinner's past
and set the captives free.
Only YOU can take the widow's cry
and cause her heart to sing,
be the Father to the fatherless,
our Savior and our KING!

We will be Your hands, we will be Your feet,
We will run this race for the least of these.
In the darkest place, we will be Your light,
We will be Your light.

We will RUN, We will RUN, We will RUN
with the solution!
We will RUN, We will RUN, We will RUN
with Your solution.

Check it out:

03 June 2008


My oldest daughter, Nadia, turns 15 today... HOW can it possibly be 15 years since she was born?? It was just YESTERDAY that we were sending her off to kindergarten. This is going MUCH too fast.
I Love You!

02 June 2008

Flight of Ideas

In psychiatry, when a patient jumps from one random thought to another, with no obvious connection between thoughts, it's called, "Flight of ideas."

In the blogging world, it's called TWITTERING!

So, I finally signed up for Twitter, but I'm seriously beginning to question the decision... I mean, I could see its usefulness say, if I were every trapped in an Egyptian prison but mostly, it's just filling up my phone's message inbox.
Seriously, I usually get maybe 8-10 text messages PER WEEK.
In the last 24 hours? I have received 32.
THIRTY TWO, people!!!

No, I actually do like it... I feel "more connected" to my friends now. I know that Carole bought a new hat at Target for $2.48 and that some guy with red-blond hair complimented her singing when she was just mouthing the words (hee hee -- she actually has an AMAZING voice, btw). And Truth4U LOVES to remind me that he is twittering from his iPhone.

It's just so weird to get all these random thoughts from people throughout the day. It must be somewhat like what a schizophrenic deals with on a daily basis. Intrusive thoughts about corn flakes and fingernail polish mixed with song lyrics and inside jokes that don't make sense to anyone but those on the "inside."
I do like it, though.
No, really.
I do.
I promise.
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