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12.28.2008

Fun with Numbers

I thought we'd have some fun with numbers on this little edition of "One Time With Aimee"

2 - the number of really truly awesome Christmas presents I got this year. I don't want to give away how spoiled I am - but I will be rocking like a HERO playing GUITAR on a BOX marked with an X............

362 - the number of times in the month of December I thought, "Man I hate that Christmas song..."

31 - the age I turned this month.....ugh.

96 - the percentage that I have in my leadership class at church.

4 - the number of songs we performed in our church choir! How fun was that?

1 - the number of presents my 1 year old niece Taylor opened for herself.

10 - the number of presents the rest of us had to open for Taylor.

23 - the number of dollars I won from our annual tradition of Lottery scratch off tickets in our stockings.

4 - the number of times I told my 6 year old niece that Santa had crashed into a mountain and there would be no Christmas.

7 - the number of days until my colonoscopy (yes, I know - I'll ask for pictures...)

278,760 - the number of Christmas lights we saw on our outing with our Young Adults group at church.

35 - the number of minutes it takes me to get to work from my new place living with my aunt.

45 - the number of degrees it is outside right now at 9:30 pm.

64 - the number of degrees it is INSIDE the house right now (it was 61 earlier....)

12 - the number of times I've wondered if we're gonna turn the heat on in this place.

0 - number of times I've actually ASKED if we're gonna turn the heat on in this place

10 - the number of minutes it took me to remember that they never turn the heat on - even in Colorado when I was housesitting and there was 9 inches of snow outside and I had to sit in front of the fireplace wrapped in blankets just to stay alive. I think I could see my breath inside that day..... sure seems like I would have remembered that quicker than 10 minutes.

And this concludes F-f-f-f-f-f-un with N-n-n-n-n-n-umbers. (get it - cause I'm cold and chattering...)

12.22.2008

Tagged

I was tagged by Holly. I think I'm supposed to post the 4th picture in my photo files...oh how I wish it were the 5th photo....
Please...don't ask me why I have this scanned...but yes, this was my drivers license from Michigan. One nice thing about that license - no weight is listed!

12.16.2008

I have no Computer

I have no computer. When I lived with my parents I used theirs - now there is nothing. No happiness to my life anymore....  ha ha ha. Totally kidding.


Okay, so I'm writing this on my cousins computer (which, incidentally is a Mac....I need one of these). Wanted to at least update you on the latest happenings. 

....

Yeah, there is not much going on. My birthday was yesterday. I'm 31. That doesn't even look right to me. Ugh. Oh well, guess that means I'm officially a grown up. Still feel like I'm 24 - young and dumb. Guess now I'm just old and dumb! ha ha ha. Some friends from church took me out for dinner and a movie on Friday night. That was really cool. I had fun. 

Have some pictures that I want to post....when I get a computer. Which may be some time soon, like in January - so watch out. Until then, I'll be living my life vicariously through my friends on Facebook whom I can chat with on my phone. Sort of. And I don't have to pay for texting. Yeah, pretty awesome!

Well, I hope to write some more before my cousin leaves and takes his laptop of happiness from me...till then, this is Old Dawg Hamilton, signing off.

12.03.2008

wow

I know most of you know this, but God is just awesome! I recently moved to Queen Creek, AZ. I moved in with my aunt. I have my own room now people.

This is big.

Its a little farther from everything but, my own space sure is nice. :)

So, many of you know about Bert. Bert was a friend of mine about 7 years ago until I had him whacked. Its true. He was a cyst and he was big and he was on my fallopian tube. He met his end on an operating table in Nov. 2001.
Now, For the last 5 months, I've thought perhaps Bert had a brother. I'd been having some of the same symptoms as before, and so they started testing me for another cyst. My friend Lynette from church prayed that God would touch my body, and I thought that was nice. I go in for an ultrasound, and there was nothing. I was curious, but knew that the pain would be starting in a few days as it had the last 5 months, and maybe then I could better tell he Dr. where it hurt. She sent me for a CT scan, just to be safe, as well as had bloodwork and all that done, too. I went in yesterday. CT scan was clear and even my cholesterol and bloodwork was normal and everything! Then, I realized - I didn't have the pain this month. At all!

We didn't pray about my cholesterol-but God took care of it. I'm healthy and its because of Him! Praise God!!

11.17.2008

Annoying my Dog

I don't know why - but its so much fun to annoy my dog. Just see what I mean...

video

11.11.2008

Veterans Day

A hearty thank you to every Veteran. There are no words that could say thank you enough.


11.08.2008

nothing new

Not much new going on around here.

Of course the minute I typed that - like 3 or 4 things came to mind....of course they did. :)

One, my mom had surgery this past Tuesday. She had a cervical fusion meaning they fused some of the vertabrae in her neck together. My dad had this exact same surgery a few years ago. On the exact same vertabrae! They're weird. Anyway, everything turned out good, praise God!

Speaking of God - how good is He? I was reading through John 6 this week (and to be quite honest - I hadn't read anything in a while) It was talking about a group of people that had followed Jesus across the lake (after he walked on water). This group of people asked him to show them a miracle and they would believe in him. Not only that - they said, "Moses sent bread from heaven, why don't you do that, and we'll believe." Okay...the DAY BEFORE Jesus fed the 5000. Did they forget already? It was not even 24 hours after that they were asking him for, not another sign, but the EXACT SAME sign he had just given them. Made me think about how I do the same thing. I watch God do something amazing in my life one minute, and the next I'm asking him to prove himself to me. He shines a light on my path one moment, and the next I ask him to show me again. Why? I can't answer that. If I knew I guess I wouldn't be doing it. Sigh. So, I was thinking about how patient, and loving God would have to be to love people like me. Oh well, at least I know I am a work in progress, right?! :)

In other news, I had an appointment today with the National Saftey Council's Defensive Driving School. Yeah. Did I mention that on my camping trip a few weeks ago I got one of those photo radar tickets. Yeah, well, I did. $210! Tell me about it, right? So rather than pay the ticket you can "choose" to go to this class....for $165! Oh well, I did it, and its done. Learned some stuff too. Like I probably shouldn't be Facebooking from my phone while driving on the freeway during rush hour....

11.01.2008

Okay, okay!




10.30.2008

T minus 2 hours and counting.....

...until its technically and officially Halloween. Not that I enjoy the pagan-ness of the day so much, but definately dressing up.


I completed the shirt tonight. I sewed it myself. Yeah, you can tell....but its WAY cooler than a store bought one - AND I can say I made it.

I haven't pieced together the entire ensemble yet...never anything like the last minute, huh? Anyway, here is the shirt (sewn on a machine that some wonderful friends let me use!).

Have a fun and safe Halloween!


10.26.2008

Two things...

Two things:
1. Tomorrow will be 15 years that I've been a Christian. Officially half my life. And you know - I feel like I am in a good spot spiritually. There is always things to work on, but I think compared to where I was this time last year - its a definite improvement. A little update on the stronghold (click here) I've talked about... I'm at 33 days without engaging in that sin. God is SO amazing! I can't even begin to describe it...


2. Recently I transferred offices at my work. I now work in Tempe and am saving about 50-60 minutes a day on the road. Time I could use to sleep, or blog, or eat.... you know, something better than just driving. One of my new friends from the new office invited me out to see a band play on Friday night. It was fun. Somehow I ended up on the dance floor. No, alcohol was not a factor. Though, if I HAD been drinking, I may have had better moves....

This is Barb, Sara, and I... Sara (middle) is my friend from work, and Barb is Sara's friend...well, my friend too, now. :) I think we had fun. The band was awesome and I wasn't even upset when they played country music! (LOVED The Devil Went Down to Georgia...) So, yep.

Okay, I should have titled this three things....but the Jack Sparrow costume is nearing completion. I'm in the final stages now folks....

10.17.2008

Most women don't want to look like Mutants

I'm getting pretty darn tired of certain people (Elaina) making mention that perhaps I shouldn't wear flip flops in public. You know, just because my feet may not be as PERFECT as someone elses feet....just because I need to use lotion and someone elses feet probably have a PERFECT blend of natural oils and moisturizers.....just because my toes have hairy knuckles and someone elses toes are smooth as a baby's bottom.....just because YOU have all your toe nails and I have knubby stubs....well, okay - you got me on that one.



No, those aren't my thumbs....they're my big toes. And, no you're eyes don't deceive you - I don't have toenails on my big toes. They were removed in college by a doctor who told me, (as he's ripping the toenail off) "Most women don't want to look like mutants..." Well, I'm not most women. Thanks for that, by the way, Dr. Offutt (get it....off it! ha ha ha).

Yes, my other toes have their toenails. Yes, I will still wear flip flops. If that offends you (Elaina) then just be glad you live a state away. I am looking for a circus side show that I might possibly be a part of...that'd be cool.

10.13.2008

Eek!

Okay so I'm driving home from the store and I look down and there is a freaking spider on my flippin foot! I was wearing flip flops and I'm pretty sure I felt all 8 of his creepy litte legs crawling around on me... Needless to say I may have freaked out a bit. My little eight legged friend lost his life there on the side of the road

10.12.2008

Camping 2008

I am back from a much needed camping trip. Its hard to believe that the last time I went camping was back in 2004 with Tara and Laura at Eleven Mile Reservoir in Colorado. This time I went with some great people from my church, Bryan and Lynette Durrett and their family. We went to Woods Canyon Lake, which - cooincidentally is where I used to go with my family when I was little. A great time was had by all, I do believe. Even though the last night there was a high wind advisory and none of us got much sleep due to our tents being whipped about. It was cold - and it reminded me of how places other than Phoenix actually have cool temperatures. :) I didn't take very many pictures, but here are a couple.

Me taking a picture of Lynnette taking a picture of.....
Bryan gettin the grill ready for dinner...
Woods Canyon Lake
We hiked around the lake. They had said, "Oh we're just gonna take a little walk around the lake..." I'm not a hiker. Well, I'm not a GOOD hiker....anyway....I did it......now I can check hiking off my Bucket List (well, I'll put in ON my Bucket List first and THEN check it off)
Tearing down camp with the Durretts
Loading up...

10.06.2008

Pirate gun (updated and cool-i-fied) - Check
Bandana (made from an old pillowcase purchased at Goodwill) - Check
Fabric belt...thing (made from an old sheet-also purchased at goodwill) - Check
Dreadlocks (made from yarn) - Check
Pirate Boots (that my big ol' calves wouldn't fit into so I had to slice open the back of the boots to allow for the vastness of my leg girth....) - Check
Pattern to make the shirt and vest (yes, you heard me right - MAKE the shirt and vest) - Check

I'm getting close, everyone. My mom is going to be a whoopie cushion - complete with a remote control noise maker...its pretty cool.

We are having a Harvest Festival at my church. Its going to be fun! I've talked Noelle into coming (who, by the way, either wants to be an Asia Girl (Geisha) or a Diva...) and so now the entire family is going to be coming. Its sort of like the famous phrase, "The family that Trick-or-Treats together, may ultimlately come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ together." Or something like that.

9.30.2008

One Year

Can you believe its been a year since I've been in AZ? For those of you who thought I'd never make it through the summer - I nearly didn't! Praise GOD that I'm still alive and not completely melted (slightly melted, but not completely).

Anyway, there have been some awesome things that happened this year. God has had to work overtime on me. There was a lot of junk that he and I had to work through. And we did. And we still are. And we always will.....I'm sure. Its amazing to me how faithful he really is. I mean, seriously. If I were him, I'd have counted me out years ago. But he doesn't. He never will. How awesome.

He brought me to a job where I can literally impact peoples lives every day. I spoke to a young woman yesterday whose 2 1/2 year old daughter had just been diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease. I was able to be an ear...thats all she needed right then. I told her I would pray for her. Thank you Lord, you know? Even though my job can be stressful, and sad, and discouraging I am right where I need to be.

I think the best part of this year has been finding my 'home' at Desert Springs Church. I know, I know, I talk about this place all the time. Trust me, if you had been through some of the things that I went through at church - you'd talk about this church all the time too! I mean, all churches have their issues, and I'm certainly not saying they are perfect by any means. I really can't describe it. Its a freeing place. Its a delivering place. I've heard it described as a hospital for the sick - and that is really what it is. I had some wounds when I came in, and now those are healing and I'm ready to start finding others who are wounded and bring them in, too. You know? Anyway, that little paragraph doesn't do what God has done in me through this church justice. I've had a couple of old friends call in the last few weeks and they have said, "Wow, you sound happy again." Praise God. I am happy. I found my home.

9.28.2008

Costume Gun - Before and After

My mom says I'm spending too much time on this costume. I say - whatever, I don't care. I was up until almost midnight the other night turning this boring pirate gun...


into this....
Argh matey!

9.26.2008

Strongholds

Stronghold
–noun
1. a well-fortified place; fortress
2. a place that serves as the center of a group, as of militants or of persons holding a controversial viewpoint
3. a place of survival or refuge

Stronghold. Its a word that many times Christians use to describe sin. Something that has become so embedded in our life that we no longer know how to get rid of it. If you've read here for very long you'll know I've talked about certain strongholds in my life. One in particular I have dealt with for years. Many, many years. In that time walls have been built up around that area of my life. Big, thick walls. Stone ones. There's probably even a moat with crocodiles surrounding the thing. Its become a stronghold. A fortress. I have told God, "God, you can have my life - I'm giving it freely to you." Yet this stronghold remains. This sin struggle remains. Guilt, shame, discouragement. It all remains. Why? I've thought all this time that I am the one who built this stronghold. That stone by stone, I'm the one who labored and made the walls and the moat, because of my sin. For one, I would hope that I would not have willingly build such a fortress around a known sin in my own life. Truthfully, I don't know if I'm strong enough to have even done that. But I know who is. I know of someone who would like nothing more than to build walls like that around my sin. Our enemy. Our nemesis. Satan. He is the one who lugged these stones in here. He is the one that I myself allowed to dig a moat and entrench himself in this area of my life. He has made himself well fortified in that area.

Something stuck out to me as I read about strongholds. I was thinking about the enemy making himself a stronghold, making himself a place where he can go in our life that no matter what its safe. Maybe its an addiction that we have that we have given to God, but haven't really given to him. Satan knows that is an area that he is safe in. Its a stronghold for him. The mighty fortress that Satan has built is nothing compared to the stronghold the bible says we have.

Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 37:39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

The Lord is my stronghold. He is the place where I can go and be safe. The enemy can't go there. He is not allowed within its walls. Does that mean we won't have to battle? We won't have to fight to keep Satan out. No, I don't think so. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, "The weapons we fight with (so, we have weapons, and we're fighting) are not of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power (power that comes from God) to demolish strongholds." Now, God wouldn't give us weapons that could destroy HIS stronghold. So what strongholds would he be talking about? The same one I'm talking about - the enemy's. The passage goes on, in verse 5, "We demolish areguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Guys, we are in the midst of a war. An actual, literal war. Our lives are the battleground. The enemy has a stronghold in my life where he feels he is safe. No more. NO MORE! No longer will I allow Satan any inch of ground in my life. Its over. It stops here. Satan's stronghold will crumble. Stone by stone - its going to fall. The only stronghold I need or want in my life is the one where I can run to and be safe.

9.19.2008

Halloween 2

Okay, I've made my decision..........




Yeah....this is what I was doing last night....should have been practicing for worship tonight....eh, what can you do...

You shall see the full effect October 31.

9.17.2008

Who decides...

Who decides that guys can have hairy legs and armpits, but that girls should shave theirs?

9.14.2008

A Grandpa Story

My mom, my aunt and my grandma basically took care of my grandpa in the weeks before his death. My mom told me this story that happened just a few days before he died.

Hy mom and Grandpa were in his bedroom doing something and Grandpa said, "Now, Liz, there is a gun and magazine (clip) under the bed. I don't want Aimee to come in here while she is playing and get a hold of it." My grandpa was thinking I was still a child. He was suffering from terminal dementia my mom called it. When they asked him the date he replied March 1985. I would have been 7.

"Okay, dad," my mom said and she lifted the mattress to look for the gun.

"UNDER the bed, Liz UNDER the bed. Would you listen to me?!" cried my grandpa.

So my mom climbed down on her hands and knees and looked not expecting to find anything, but sure enough there was a pistol and the magazine clip under the bed.

Just wanted to remember that story later, so I posted it here. :)

9.09.2008

In over my head?

I'm not a quitter. When I say I'm going to do something - generally I do it. (Unless its the gym - yeah that lasted like 3 days). Tonight I started a 2 year bible/leadership course at my church. I'm pretty excited. I was pretty excited. Well, I'm still pretty excited, its just that - I don't know what I'm doing there. I'm not planning on being in any form of leadership any time soon. Some of the people in the class have been in ministry, are currently in ministry....want to be in ministry. I guess we're all called to be ministers, but..... Why did I sign up? Thats what I said! No really, I had heard about it a while ago and thought, Wow, that is something I'd like to do. This summer I decided I would try to go back to college and that I wouldn't have time for this course. Well, school fell through and I felt like God said, "Now you have the time. I want you to do this." I sure hope that was him and that I'm not doing this to fulfill some selfish desire to complete this course just to complete it.....anyway. Well, the first thought I had as we're sort of going through the introductions is that, Man, I am SO out of place. I wanted to quit. Sorry, I've made a mistake - have a good year. SEE YA SUCKA'S!!! I won't do that, but its what I was thinking. Anyway - I'm still excited about it. I am pretty sure everyone in the class is married....and I'm single. Thats ok. I don't care. (I probably wouldn't have metioned it if I REALLY didn't care, huh?) I'm not going to quit. I quit the gym, thats enough for this month.

9.07.2008

I don't know - you choose the title....

I'm sure I'm not the first one to come up with this "new" thought. Sometimes I have to "choose" to feel or act a certain way, even if I don't really feel that way. Case in point (and I apologize in advance to any male readership - you know who you are...) you know "that week" during "that time" of the month? Well, as I get older I'm finding I'm getting more and more emotional during that time. Not all crying and boo-hooing either. No, one day I'll be sad, but then the next I'll be very annoyed, and then I'll be very angry, and then I'll be depressed, and then I'll finally figure out what week it is, and I'll calm down (a little). Can I hear an AMEN?! Or, another case in point - shyness. Okay, I call some of my recent behavior being shy. You know, standing back and watching group interactions from a distance. Being in a group, but not being a part of the group. Not wanting to stretch myself enough to actually reach out and make new friends. I call it shy, God calls it something else. Pride? Stuck-up-iveness... I think I've said I'm shy because that makes me feel better about not talking to anyone at church or work.

You know, I can be so stinking selfish, too. That is one thing I really want to work on. Something I really need to work on. I tell myself that I am entitled to these feelings and that I can act in whatever manner I choose. But I can't. I just can't. Not only is it not fair to my friends, but my life is supposed to be a living testimony to those around me. To those closest to me. To those who need to see Him through me, because they're not going to see Him anywhere else. I have to keep myself in check, you know?

God was impressing that on me this morning. How can I be a living testimony and I have an attitude, or I'm depressed, or I'm fill in the blank. THEN, once I am a testimony and someone asks about God, how am I supposed to respond if I haven't even been in His word the last week? *sigh* Okay, so back to my initial thought: Sometimes I have to "choose" to feel or act a certain way, even if I don't really feel that way. I may feel shy - but God says that he has not given us a spirit of timidity. I may feel depressed or down - but God says rejoice in the Lord always.

DISCLAIMER: Oh, one last thought - I'm totally not saying that we should suppress our feelings or anything like that. I'm saying that personally I have a tendency to let my emotions control me - and for ME, these are things I, myself need to work on.

9.04.2008

Grandpa - William Gill

Four months ago, while I was in Colorado for Memorial Day, my grandfather, Bill Gill, was playing golf and threw out his back. While at the doctor it was discovered that he hadn't actually thrown out his back, but rather he had cancer in his bones, lungs and liver.

He lost his battle with the disease yesterday morning. He was 75 years old.

Please pray for my family (my mom, aunt and uncles and grandmother specifically) during this time. Thank you so much.





9.01.2008

Halloween

Okay, before you start lecturing me on how sinful Halloween is....I know. I really do. I'm still dressing up, though. For those who feel I'm sinning....pray for me (I need it).

I want to be something really cool. I really REALLY want to be Jack Sparrow....but I haven't gotten up the courage to dress like a man in front of people at my church. (I assume we are having a Harvest festival....I haven't heard yet) Even still - thats the coolest thing I can come up with. I don't have my Jedi costume anymore, though I am not against making another one.

What do you think I should be? I really want something different....like me.

Discuss.

8.28.2008

Beth Moore Videos

Okay, so this clip is from the Siesta Fiesta - the question: What was your most difficult parenting situation with your girls when they were younger?

video

Here is another clip from the Fiesta and the question is: What music is on your iPod?

video

8.26.2008

Hmmm

Why is it that when we are caught up doing something we shouldn't be doing, we wait for someone we don't even know to tell us something we already do know, when all the time the One who does know already said No.

8.25.2008

Texas Photos, video and more!


Erika, Lily and I

Me and Erika

Again....

Lilybug

Amanda, Beth, Melissa

This was one of about ten of these sized group photos taken. I'm the one who stands out like a sore green thumb!

A group shot....can you see me?

There I am!


video

Lastly, here is the video of the thunderstorm I saw from the plane. Obviously the video does not do it justice at all... **okay just watched the video - SO not as good as the real thing was...**

Living Proof Live

Hey All - I am writing this out long have on the plane coming home from San Antonio TX. I was there for 2 reasons this weekend. One was to visit my friend and college roommate, Erika Gray. I had not seen her in over 4 years and hadn't seen her daughter Lily since she was 2 months old. She is now a beautiful 4 1/2 year old who can actually READ! She was pretty much potty trained at like 6 months old (ask Erika....I still don't know how she did that) Anyway it was really good to see Erika and Lily.

The other reason I went to San Antonio was for a Living Proof Live event. As a blogger, this was an extra special event for me. I may have mentioned Beth Moore's blog in previous posts before (its on my side bar under Other Places I Visit). Anyway on their blog Betha nd her daughters, Amanda and Melissa write about faith, life and whatever comes to mind. Those who frequent the blog Beth calls siestas (go to the site to see why...) So this weekend they decided to pair the Living Proof Live event with a blogger event called the Siesta Fiesta. There were probably 1000 bloggers there. We got to take some group photos with Beth and her daughters and it was SO refreshing to see how down to earth and "normal" they are...

I'll have to speak more about what Beth talked about at the Living Proof Live event later - I still need to process it all myself.

There was a cool lightning storm that I could see from the plane tonight. I'm going to post a video of it - if it came out. :)

8.22.2008

Here I am!!

Well, I'm in San Antonio! I'm staying here with Erika Gray who was my roommate in crime - wait no, in college...yeah, that's it! We stayed up lsst night until nearly 3:00am catching up and reminiscing...

Tonight is the first night of the Beth Moore conference and I'm REALLY excited. Erika can't go, so I'll be there solo. Still great fun.

I'm posting from my phone and can't post pictures here till I get home but I am remembering how my hair and humidity don't mesh well (insert frizzy headed picture here)

More to come!

8.21.2008

I'm on my way

Well everyone, this is it. I'm leaving this evening for the Siesta Fiesta held in San Antonio TX. While there I'm going to also be visiting with Erika, one of my closet an oldest friends. Anyway - Its 3:30 am right now...I haven't packed. I hate mornings, but wanted to give this short little update.

I'm going to be sending pictures from the road on Facebook, so if you're on - check it out. If not - JOIN! :)

8.04.2008

Random thoughts

So, I took the plunge tonight. I did. I didn't even plug my nose before diving in.... I joined a gym! My church had a fundraiser for the youth where you could get 3 months for $20 (and a deal at that!!) I signed up for a year.....so if I'm still going strong in 4 months - I'll want a prize! :) Yeah, yeah, yeah, being able to see my own toes will be prize enough...

Another bit of information - I'm going to see Beth Moore in San Antonio, TX in like 2 1/2 weeks! I'm so excited. I've meet a ton of people on her blog and there is going to be a special section at the conferece for all the bloggers to go. I'm totally excited. PLUS, I'll get to see Erika and her daughter Lily whom I haven't seen in about 4 years. Oh, and if Erika asks, I'm going to see HER not Beth Moore.... :)

Our church had their grand opening this weekend, and it was amazing! It really was! You could really feel the presence of God in that place.

Umm, I guess thats it. Hope you're doing well!!!

7.27.2008

This is home

I visited Colorado Springs back in May. I had been looking forward to it for weeks. I had to be at the airport very early...I left my house at 3:30 am to get there (and I still almost missed the plane...) Not only would I be seeing some old friends from the Springs, but Yatron and Pastor Weatherly were going to be there and I hadn't seen them since they left Detroit last August.

If you know me at all, you know I'm barely functioning in the morning. Don't like the mornings, never will. So this particular morning I'm driving to the airport and turn on the radio (to keep me awake) and the song that comes on is called, This is Home, by Switchfoot. If I hadn't been running late I would have pulled over, cause that song hit me that morning.

I've been in AZ for about 10 months, now. Since I've been in here, I've thought about the good 'ol days. Whether its back in college in Alamosa, Colorado and hanging out with friends from church and school there. Or being in Colorado Springs and hanging out with everyone from Compassion and church there. I've even thought back to Detroit and how, even though it didn't end up well for me in Detroit, I still had a family of believers that I could call if I needed to. I think that is why I was so excited to go to Colorado Springs, that weekend. I wanted to get back to the good 'ol days. I hadn't heard this song before that morning. Maybe it wouldn't have affected me so strongly if I had. I realized that I can't go back to how it was. People change, they move, they grow up, they grow apart. Lives go on, cities change, plans change. Maybe I haven't settled in here yet, but thats mostly my fault. I've gotten shy in my old age (some of you can't believe it - others can...). Blah, blah, blah, anyway, all that is to say that I know that God brought me to Arizona. He directed me to my church and gave me a job. He's asking me to lean on him for everything, right now. I'm going to do it, too... Really, I am. I have no other choice. I know he loves me, and I know he has only the best in store for me. I am not going to dwell on the past, and wish things were like they used to be. The truth is when I left Alamosa, Colorado Springs, and Detroit - I was SO READY to leave. I wasn't happy there. Each new place I go I think, "Man, things were so good in Alamosa..." I'm SUCH an Israelite in that sense. I would rather go back into slavery then spend time, free, in the wilderness. Okay, I blah blah'ed like 5 sentences ago, and I'm still talking. I'm done. Here are the lyrics to the song. If you haven't heard it yet, listen to it.

This is Home - Switchfoot
I’ve got my memories
Always inside of me
But I can’t go back
Back to how it was

I believe now
I’ve come too far
No I can’t go back
Back to how it was

Created for a place I’ve never known
This is home
Now I’m finally Where I belong
Where I belong
Yeah, this is home
I’ve been searching
For a place of my own
Now I’ve found it
Maybe this is home
Yeah, this is home

Belief over misery
I’ve seen the enemy
And I won’t go back
Back to how it was

And I got my heart Set on What happens next
I got my eyes wide It’s not over yet
We are miracles And we’re not alone

Yeah This is home
Now I’m finally
Where I belong
Where I belong
Yeah, this is home

I’ve been searching
For a place of my own
Now I’ve found it
Maybe this is home
Yeah, this is home

And now after all My searching
After all my questions I’m gonna call it home
I got a brand new mindset
I can finally see
The sunset
I’m gonna call it home
Home

7.18.2008

Arizona.....

The time is now 5:49 in the morning. The temperature outside is 92 degrees...at 5:49 in the morning...

What else is there to say?

7.08.2008

Letting it Go

I have a talented dog. You might remember a post several months ago where she is showing off a new trick (click here to see it). Anyway, in this video is my dog and her ball. She wants me to throw her the ball, but she won't give it to me... well, you'll see...

video

This is my dog Babe. She is pretty annoying most of the time - but we still love her. She is never far from one of her tennis balls, and someone is always throwing it for her. Her big thing is that she wants you to take the ball from her. You can't just have a nice game of fetch with Babe, you have to wrestle that ball from her, and she will not let it go until SHE is ready for you to have it. In the video, when I pretended like I didn't want the ball, she put it down. The instant I went to get it, though she picked it right back up and wouldn't let me have it. And so we play this game over, and over, and over AND OVER each and every night!!! Sigh......I do love that dog, though...

I was thinking about that today and thought, man, that is SO how I am with God. There are things in my life that I have asked, begged, pleaded, bargained and prayed for God to take out of my life - and He hasn't. I've told myself I don't know why He hasn't taken these things from me, but I DO. I know why. I'm not giving it to Him. I want to give it to Him. Right now, at this very moment, typing this I want Him to have every part of my life. But later, maybe tomorrow...maybe the next day I'm going to want to take those areas of my life back from Him. Like Babe with the ball, I want Him to take it from me. I'm saying, "Here God, I want you to have this part of me that I've never given you before," and then when He goes to take it, I won't let go. I hold on to that thing like that ball of Babe's. God doesn't want to wrestle things out of our lives. He wants us to give it up freely to Him. He wants us to WANT to give it to Him, and then leave it with Him.

The sin in our lives is just that: sin IN our lives. I am a child of GOD who has sin IN her life. (bear with me, but I'm about to use ANOTHER analogy...) Okay, lets say you have a bowl of Potato Cheese soup (the best soup out there, if I may say so myself). Now, lets say I put some pepper in that soup - does it then become Pepper Potato Cheese soup? No, its just Potato Cheese soup with some pepper IN it. Or what if something weird happened....like a bug flew into the soup. Is it now Potato and Bug Cheese soup? Eewwww, but no, its soup with a bug in it. I know it sounds sort of dumb, but that is how we (or at least I) view myself in Christ. I am not a Sinning Child of God. I am a child of God who has sin IN her life. If I never conquer the sin in my life - I will STILL be a Child of God. Nothing will change that. What I do is not who I am. I have to remember that. I HAVE to remember that. I cannot live the life God has intended for me to live with the thought in the back of my mind that I am not good enough to live it. If not for God's grace, His mercy, His unfailing love for us - where would any of us be?

6.27.2008

Wow

Okay, I got goosebumps after this. It is really good and you ALL should watch it! (thanks Holly!!)

I might have teared up a little too, but don't tell anyone...

6.22.2008

when God speaks

So, I was supposed to write this post on Friday...but I didn't, sorry.

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a song in your head? Or while you're doing something in the middle of the day you realize there is a song in your head that you haven't heard in a while? And you think, Hmm, why is THAT song in my head, I haven't heard it in a while... (mind you, I'm not talking about having the last song you listened to in your car on your way to work, or the song that woke you up on your clock radio...this is a random song that I haven't heard for a while...). Well, I've learned to listen to these songs that seem to get stuck in my head from nowhere because several times the particular song that is stuck in my "coincedentally" speaks to whatever it is that I may be going through at that time. I think it is a way that God tries to speak to me when He knows that I won't be diving into the Word... (which is awesome in itself, that he speaks to me in my disobedience)

All that to say, this happened to me Friday. This is a song by Relient K called, I So Hate Consequences. I love Relient K - they're pretty darn awesome....anyway. I was singing this song in my cube for about 10 minutes before I realized that maybe God was speaking to me through it. Here is the part that was stuck in my head:

When I got tired of running from you
I stopped right there to catch my breath
There your words they caught my ears
You said, “I miss you son. Come home”
And my sins, they watched me leave
And in my heart I so believed
The love you felt for me was mine
The love I’d wished for all this time
And when the doors were closed
I heard no I told you so’s
I said the words I knew you knew
"Oh God, Oh God I needed you
God all this time I needed you, I needed you"

And I so hate consequences
And running from you is what my best defense is
I hate these consequences
Cause I know that I let you down
And I don't wanna deal with that

I'm humbled that God chooses to speak to me when I hadn't spoken to Him. That he doesn't give up on me when I want to give up on him. And that he loves me too much to let me fall to far away from him.

How does God speak to you?

6.13.2008

Faith part 3

Okay all. You know - I have to say this. I fear that the majority of my Christian experience has been based on emotion. You know - like, worshipping God at church when the music is just right and I have the tinglies. Oh I sure know how to come to Him when I am in despair or having an anxious moment. But what about now? Things are going pretty good for me right now (well aside from this crisis of faith). My prayer life falls off durong these times. Why? Because I don't feel I need anything from God right now. I have this desire to know more about God, yet don't really feel like spending time in His word. Yeah I know that the way to get to know someone is by spending time with them and that the same holds true for God. Just because I don't physically feel the goosebumps on my arms when I pray, doesn't mean he is not there. Just because perhaps I don't get all riled up in church like perhaps I have in the past doesn't mean that God has somehow left or His presence has left me or that He doesn't love me...His word is true whether I feel it or not. Its true whether I believe it or not. And you know what - I'm going choose to believe it whether I like it or not!

6.11.2008

Believing God

Okay real quick:
At the suggestion of someone I've started reading Beth Moore's Believing God. I really want to share an excerpt with you that I read yesterday:

"If you want to be full of faith, don't argue with a legalist! Love them. Serve side by side with them if God wills. Don't judge them. And don't argue with them! Unbelief is highly contagious. Nothing is logicals about miracles. To the degree that we debate matters of faith, we could find ourselves drained of it. We are not called to debate faith but to do it. To be nouns turned into verbs. Presently. Actively.
Keep seeking. Keep believing. I am convinced that the pure-hearted, faith-filled petitioner is going to behold a miracle. Whether lesser or greater, temporal or eternal, wonder never cease.

6.09.2008

Faith - Part 2

You know - in the Bible there are many, many times when a prohpet or teacher was relaying a message to the people and when they did so, often times they would begin by telling of what God had done for them in the past. I think in my current situation - I need to do that for myself. I'm posting it here so that there is no question to me (or anyone else, for that matter) that God 1. exists and 2. that he absolutely is who He says He is.

What God has Done for Me
1. I survived my birth even with being born blue, having no amniotic fluid when the doctor went to break the water, and not knowing how to eat on my own.
2. God has kept me in at least 2 cases that I am aware of from possibly being kidnapped.
3. He has kept me from harm in 3 car accidents.
4. He revealed himself to me when I absolutely needed him to.
5. He has never left me without earthly friendships.
6. He protected me in Detroit when there was gunfire a few houses from where I was standing - outside, alone and at night...
7. He has kept me through 2 surgeries
8. He has always kept a roof over my head and food on my table.
9. He protected me when my apartment was broken into in Detroit
10. He protected me in Alamosa when I thought my apartment had been broken into.
11. He protected me the COUNTLESS times I slid in my car on icy roads.
12. He protected me in several instances where common sense would have told others to get out of there...and I didn't
13. He provided a doctor who treated me on an ongoing basis in Alamosa for free.
14. He kept me safe from online predators.

I know I could keep going...but I don't know if I need to. I think its pretty clear. As I was typing this a verse came to mind:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Cor. 4:8,9

How true, huh? We ARE hard pressed on EVERY side. We have bills, jobs, kids, worries, anxieties, fears, doubts, and all that before lunch! So we are hard pressed, but you know what - we are NOT crushed. To me that means that while we struggle with things like lacking faith, it is NOT going to be the end. Some of you who have left comments (thank you, by the way) have said that its normal to question God - He expects it almost. Oh to have the childlike faith that I used to have when I was....well, a child.

Okay, I'm beginning to ramble...I am a bit tired, I suppose.................*snore*

6.02.2008

Faith

Have you ever driven around for a few days with the gas light on in your car? You figure, I can go for another day or so - but actually running out of gas is a constant threat. Well, friends, let me tell you something - my gas light has been on for a while now - I just don't know where to go to fill up. I'm talking about faith, and truthfully, I could use your help here.

Okay, please let me start by saying that I am not ready to throw in the towel, or give up on this whole Christianity thing. Far from it. I've been dealing with this area of faith for a while now - and and seeking advice from you.

So, what is faith? Dictionary.com defines faith as: 1. confidence in a person or thing; 2. belief that is not based on proof. Belief that is not based on proof - ouch. I'm one of those people who wants proof (not that knowing what the Lord has done for me isn't proof enough...). I want to see it to believe it. Anyway - I digress - so, what does the bible say about faith?

Hebrews 1:1-3 "1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for. 3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."

2 Cor. 5:7 says "We live by faith, not by sight."

Heb 1:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. "

I thought there was a verse that said something like, "To each one he gave a measure of faith." I can't find that verse. It may not exist, but thats the one I'm trying to find.

Okay - here is what I'm asking. 1. Have you ever been where I'm at before? 2. How do you get more faith? 3. What are your ideas on this subject? Please let me know what you think - I'm going to research too. :) Thanks!

5.29.2008

Pictures from the Springs

Just got back from the Springs - had an awesome time. NO, I'm not moving back anytime soon......not saying I wouldn't like to, though, I'm just saying.... :)

Thought I'd update you with some pictures from the trip! I didn't get to take pictures with everyone (Sarah B, Sara D, Brenda...) but, these are the ones I DID get to take. It was really awesome to see everyone - and to not be at work for a few days!!


Janna - my old boss from Compassion.


You see why I love her so much?


Christie and I shared a cube when I first started at Compassion...


Oh Randy......got the scoop?


Haley - I taught her everything I know about Training...


Bill - You'll never find a truer friend.


Robyn - Be thankful I didn't post the OTHER picture Robyn and I took...


Mi Amiga - Elaina


Tara aka T-Mac


Me and Yatron

All in all - it was an awesome trip. I didn't get to see everyone for as long as I'd like to have. I guess thats just the way it goes, huh? I really do miss everyone. Its hard, even being here for 9 months, I still feel like I don't know that many people. Anyway - wanted to post these here for your viewing pleasure!

Oh, and for those of you who still wonder.....my total weight loss after the trip - 34 pounds!!!!! I'm down two pant sizes and one shirt size!!! Can you believe it? Me saying "No" to pasta, cheese, BREAD, cheese, regular soda......the list goes on and on..... Anyway, yeah, thats where I'm at right now! ;)

5.20.2008

Jeremiah 3

I've been reading through Jeremiah. I came across this passage yesterday, and I don't know that I've ever read anything like this before. (DISCLAIMER: I am sure I have read something that has touched me like this before....its just been a long time...)I don't even think I need to write about it - it speaks clearly for itself. This is from Jeremiah 3, out of the New Living Translation: enjoy.

19 “I thought to myself,
‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’
I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land—
the finest possession in the world.
I looked forward to your calling me ‘Father,’
and I wanted you never to turn from me.
20 But you have been unfaithful to me, you people of Israel!
You have been like a faithless wife who leaves her husband.
I, the Lord, have spoken.”

21 Voices are heard high on the windswept mountains,
the weeping and pleading of Israel’s people.
For they have chosen crooked paths
and have forgotten the Lord their God.

22 “My wayward children,” says the Lord,
“come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.”

“Yes, we’re coming,” the people reply,
“for you are the Lord our God.

5.13.2008

The Sermon

Here is the message from church on Sunday - see previous post to see why I'm posting this.. :)

You can listen to it online from my church website:
Becky's Message
Right click on it and save to your computer. :)

or you can go to our website and download the message from the church website:
Desert Springs Church Sermons



It takes several minutes to download either way, but trust me its so worth it...

If you can't get it to work - I'll send you by CD, so let me know!!

5.12.2008

Faulty vision

Evidentally at my church there is a tradition that on Mothers Day the pastors wife, Becky, will give the message. Most of the people I've talked to there have told me, "Make sure you bring tissues on Mothers Day," 'Yeah, okay,' I thought...

Have you ever been at church and thought, "I don't know why everyone else showed up for church today because this message was just for ME!" Yeah, thats awesome and it happened Sunday. Since I've not been at the church a full year, I had never heard Becky speak, and let me tell you - I feel blessed that God is allowing me to be a part of this church. We are going through a series right now entitled, Heroes - Ordinary people with extraordinary abilities. (Yes, its sort of based on the TV show Heroes.......man I love this church!) Becky spoke about sin and us and how God views us and our sin. She brought in her laundry (stay with me here, this is good) and talked about how she and Pastor Brad have different ways to sort the laundry. One does the laundry by specific colors: Blues, Browns, Yellows, etc. and the other does it by lights and darks. She said the one thing that neither of them do is wash everything together in one load. The darks stay with the darks and the lights stay with the lights. Always. This is how God views us and our sin. Separate. When God sees me, he sees me as who he created me to be. My sin is still there, but its in another pile. What we do is we continually lump our sin and our lives together and say, this is who I am. I'm this terrible person who does these terrible things. Its not. I am redeemed. That moment where I told God that I needed him and asked Jesus into my heart, the dirty laundry in my life was separated. Do I still sin? Yes. Does God still view me as a sinner? No. He sees me through his Grace Goggles. Through those goggles, I'm righteous and holy. Romans 6:21 says "so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." She even mentioned that when God talks about our sin he always says, "Your sin has separated you from God," not "because you're such a sinner..." He keeps us separate from our sin. May our prayers this week be that God would allow us to see ourselves the way He sees us, and not through the faulty vision of our own eyes.

I'm going to post the message here once it goes online. It will be here sometime this week. I encourage you to check back and listen to it.

5.11.2008

Eeeks

This is a lesson to myself........before applying make up....


and after.......

ALWAYS GO WITH THE AFTER!!!!! ALWAYS!

:)

p.s. if I had photoshop I'd look even better!!!!!

5.03.2008

I'm coming to Colorado Springs...

So evidentaly my coming to Colorado Springs for 1 day last month and not telling people that I was coming wasn't the best idea...SO-RRYYY!! Okay, well, I'm letting you know - ahead of time - that I will be in the Springs on May 23-27. My friends daughter is graduating from high school that weekend, so I thought I'd take some extra time and stay a while. So for those of you who like to leave town when I'm in town (Sarah) or who like to schedule plans then not show up (Brenda) or who don't read this blog (Tara) or who do read this blog (You) - you have been dutifully warned. My only plans so far are that I'm going to be at Compassion on that Friday the 23rd around lunch time. Please let me know if you are planning on coming. I also want to have lunch at my favorite place, Tsing Tao....probably Sunday, Monday or Tuesday (or each of those days!!) ;)

Now, don't complain.....you can't say you didn't know...unless you're Tara, because she already told me she doesn't read this blog....but other than that - no excuses!!

4.29.2008

Yay or Nay

For those of you who don't know, I am not one who typically dresses up at all, let alone in skirts....yet for some inexplicable reason, my latest excursion to the store has left me with two of them. I do have to dress up where I work, and so I thought a few skirts might be nice. Plus, you never know when you'll be invited to a wedding...

I am putting the photos here so you can tell me if I should keep them, or not. (NOT would be the preferred vote here.) Also, those of you with weak stomachs...please look away now....don't say I didn't warn you...

#1 Ensemble 1




#1 Skirt Close up






#2 Ensemble 2



#3 Random Weird Video Clip
video

4.23.2008

Please Pray

Hey all - please pray for my Grandpa. He was diagnosed this weekend with cancer, and its spread throughout his body. I can't imagine how that would feel, I know I'd be scared out of my mind, but I'm asking that you would be praying for him. The doctor hasn't given him a timeframe, he said he could live a week or he could live a year. Please pray also for my mom and aunt and 2 uncles as they deal with this difficult situation. I know there is a way for God to be glorified in it - pray for that to happen too. Even 100% healing!

Please also be lifting up the daughter of a lady from my bible study - I wrote about her before, Anna. She is scheduled for a very radical, very invasive surgery next week to remove most of her shoulder due to cancer. She will be left with little to no use of the arm. We know God can heal her - he healed her last year completely. The surgery is scheduled for May 2, I believe. You can read about it on her website at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/annawilkerson.

Please be in prayer for both of these dear people!

4.17.2008

Swimming

I'm currently writing this while sitting in my bathing suit. Don't try to picture it......really don't. All day all I wanted to do was take a swim. A nice litte dip in the ol swimmin hole. I get home wtih thoughts of chlorine running through my head, and there she is - my 6 year old niece, Noelle. (I mean, yeah, I knew she'd be there - she lives here, but I wasn't thinking...) I can't "swim" with my niece. I can hold her and walk with her around the pool and let her jump in on me while I try to catch her. Thats not swimming, thats babysitting in water. I've been duped like this before, and it wasn't going to happen again. I'd just wait for her to go to bed, then I'd get in. 7:32 on the dot, I've got my swim suit, my towel and my brand new goggles - I'm all set. I go outside........ Now, remember - I live in Phoenix. It was supposed to be like 95 degrees here today. I go outside and its windy and chilly - and the pool is cold. I tried standing in the water knee deep to see if I could get used to it. Yeah right, so, now my feet are pruny, my legs are numb frmo the cold water, and I'm still sitting here in my bathing suit wondering if by some miracle the weather has changed and the water has warmed up in the 7 minutes its taken me to log on and write this blog. I'm smarter than that, right? I'll give it another 10 mintues. That should be good!

4.15.2008

I don't even know what to call this one...


I was getting ready to color my hair tonight, and decided to take a picture.....


4.13.2008

How can one person be such a gi-normous nerd?

I don't know. Maybe I was born like this. Maybe I learned it along the way. However I came by it - I have enough 'nerdity' to stretch around the world 3 and 3/4 times. Its true. Case in point: I was going through some pictures that I have on my computer and came across these. Mind you - I was alone, by myself when these first set of pictures were taken. And if that weren't pitiful enough, I was living in my parents basement at the time....




If you know what I'm dressed as.....I regret to tell you - you're a nerd too. Sorry...
Then there was the time I was just plain bored....

In case you're wondering - those are my pajama pants on the canines head.

I think that my all time favorite is this - I call it "Trapped Inside" I like to put it on as my parents desktop picture every now and again, just to freak them out:




The picture is big enough that you can set it as your desktop picture too - and have fun with it for years to come......