Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wrapping Paper Holder

I have a weird area in my bathroom. Can't figure out what it was originally meant it's been used as a dumping ground for dirty laundry, pictures in boxes, etc....junk!

While perusing Pinterest one day, I came across this idea for holding wrapping paper. And bada boom, bada hit me! That is what I can do to redeem that small weird area.

So, I asked Ben to make it for me. And he did!!!! :) I have some plans for the other wall and will post when I get it worked on in the next couple of days.

Pretty great, though, huh?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Half Off!

I don't normally do New Year's resolutions. I, like the rest of the world apparently, don't keep them so well. And since I hate to quit things or be completely disappointed in myself over a made up issue.....(there are so many other really important things over which I can be disappointed in myself)....that I have decided not to do them anymore.

That being said, God has been working on me over the last many months about one thing in particular....the amount of stuff we have in our home. I began to be convicted of this several months ago when I was researching a Latin program for one of my children to do in school. The preview lesson that could be observed online made this statement: "in Latin, the word for "stuff" is impedimentum". It struck me....impedimentum...impediment....obstacle. WOW!

When we were in debt (because of our stuff), we always thought that once all of it was paid off, we would own it and it wouldn't own us anymore. In one sense that was true. But in another sense, it is another lie that we let ourselves believe. Once we became debt free and actually did own our stuff, then we began to think about how we would ever replace our stuff if something ever happened to it. There was a small, but crucial, twist in our thinking that wasn't good. Metaphorically we began to wrap our arms around our stuff and keep it close.

So...back to realizing that our stuff is an impediment to our lives and really becoming a big part of making decisions....I am coming to the conclusion that things would be simpler if we parted with much of our stuff. And by "much", I am talking about half! I want to shed half of the things that we own and allow others to enjoy them as much as we have. This will be a process for us, but I am up to the challenge. I am starting with my own things to show myself that I can do it, and to show my family that they will NOT die by following my example. I am trying to not exclude any part of my things...including my platters and kitchen things! (anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE my kitchen things and platters, bowls, etc...)

Does this mean that we won't buy anything over the next year and add to the stuff?' doesn't. But I am going to try to be more mindful of what is purchased and think if it makes sense to have it or not.

I will keep posting with updates as I work on this. I feel that this will be much like an alcoholic who is determined to quit just after he has taken a drink....and then his determination begins to wane as the alcohol leaves his system.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


As Christmas approaches, and we have all of our family's things settled, I thought it was time to look outward and see what we could do to bless our neighbors. I love to bake, so making cinnamon rolls seemed like the thing to do. Today I made 8 dozen cinnamon rolls and Ben and I will take them around to our neighbors tonight or tomorrow. I pray for my neighbors, but I know that there is so much more that I could be doing to fill needs for my neighbors. I could get to know them better. I'd like to do much better at that in 2012. Here is the recipe.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Remembering December 20

14 years ago today, I was pregnant with the beautiful girl you see in the picture. I was two months away from my due date and life was good. That evening, after a Christmas party with people from our church, we drove to San Antonio to celebrate Christmas with my family. Our small family was singing Christmas carols and hymns and having a good time. After singing Silent Night, we got a little silent ourselves and then it happened.

In the pouring rain, we hit a puddle and hydroplaned. Our truck twisted and hit the concrete barrier dividing the highway. The truck rolled three times and we ended up with the passenger's side down, Ben suspended above me, and our daughter, Bailey, in the back behind me.

God quickly provided people to help us in our time of need. I was rushed to the hospital, separated from Ben and Bailey, to see the condition of the baby. The doctor listened to the heartbeat with the doppler and I heard nothing. Silence. Dead. Several minutes later the doctor said all was fine. I wasn't hearing correctly apparently. I heard nothing on the doppler! He then told me that he had turned the volume down in case there wasn't a heartbeat!

I felt very blessed! I soon was joined by Ben and Bailey at the hospital. Though we were all sore and a bit battered, we were fine. That baby has now become a beautiful young woman. She loves the Lord, loves her family, and has a great future ahead of her!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


So...years ago I had this all figured out. As the years have gone by, I have decided that I really don't know about it at all and am profoundly confused by the whole thing. I really can't wrap my mind around it.

Why do men like women? Why is there a need to get together? What is the attraction on their part?

It all seemed part of how things should go when I was younger. I never thought to question it or to wonder about it. But as I have gotten older, it makes less and less sense.

Just what I am pondering lately.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

God Speaks

Up to this point, God seems to have spoken to me first and then later, sometimes years later, HE speaks to Ben. I don't know why this is, but it has held true for most of our big adventures in life.

Years ago, I felt God tell me, in HIS still small voice, something. When I say "years", I mean like over 15 years ago! Though Ben and I have spoken about this on and off throughout the years to each other, and I have heard him mention the occasional, "Lisa seems to feel that.....", I heard him talk to someone the other day, with my own ears!, and he was speaking about it as though it is more and more in his thoughts!

I always smile when that happens. Not because what I think or seem to understand God to say is so perfect or desirable or even what I want to do. No, I smile because I know that a God that I can't see, touch, or define so well has spoken to both of our different different ways.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I LOVE Christmas! It is so exciting for me to think of things that will put a huge smile on my kids' faces.

We serve a God who likes to give good gifts to his children and I love to do that with my own children. I know it's something HE has put within me.

We have finished school and will spend many days doing fun things with the kids, getting things ready to give to others, and preparing for get togethers that we have been invited to.

It's a happy time around here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

God's Calling?

How do you know when God is calling you to something and when there is just something that you are thinking of yourself?

God doesn't always call you to what you want to do: think Jonah.

God doesn't always call you to what you don't want to do: think Joshua entering promised land.

This will be my quandry for awhile.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Beginnings of God Moving

God has called Ben into seminary. He now has completed 36 hours of a 62 hour degree plan. Pretty exciting for him to be over halfway done! We are so proud of him!!!

We tend to live our lives with our hands open....allowing God to have HIS way or taking as HE sees fit. Living this way has been freeing for us. We trust that where we are at the time is exactly where God wants us.

So with that in mind, we are beginning to wonder where God will have us go and what HE will have us do after Ben completes seminary.

There are so many options and we can't wait to hear from God on which option is what HE has for us! It's an exciting time, I think. I can feel God beginning to stir our hearts and there are a couple of ways HE seems to be leading us at this moment. Over the next year and a half, those options could change or one could really solidify in a big way. Either way, seeing God move is hands down, the most exciting thing there is!!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


What is happening to marriages? Over the last year, I have probably heard of more marital issues, separations, divorces, etc...than in all my years put together! I am saddened by all of this.

But when I think of it in light of the messages the world sends us, I am not surprised at all. In fact, I begin to be terribly surprised by each marriage I know that sticks it out!

The world tells us: have it your way, you deserve it, you are worth it, happiness is what life is all about, do what makes you happy, if it feels good do it, and on and on and on.

When those are the messages you are listening to, why then would you stay in a marriage when you are feeling sad, lonely, alone, unhappy, and put upon?

Marriage is hard. There are times of great peace, ease, fun, and happiness. Then there are times of difficulty, pain, work, and feeling as though you are in it by yourself. But marriage isn't about us, or our happiness, or our feelings. Marriage makes us better. Marriage softens our edges and rough spots. Marriage makes us give ourselves up for the betterment of someone else. When you decide to push through the hard parts, to make it to the softer parts, you win!

Winning is remarkably satisfying! Be a winner and push through the pain to gain the rewards of your hard work. You'll be eternally pleased....and so will the children who see how you are doing this thing called "marriage". They will have a better foundation under them when it's time for them to begin making decisions about life and love.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hopes and Dreams

Get my private pilot's license. Get my master's degree in Education Administration. Own horses. Work as a translator for the U.N.. Live in Spain forever. Travel. Own my own education supply store.

These are just some of the dreams I had in my younger years. Some of them even into marriage. My kids are always amazed when they find out either things I have done in my life (I am certified in scuba), or things I have wanted to do. I know it's because it's hard to imagine your mom as being unmarried, with dreams and hopes.

I still have some of those same dreams....though I know that in reality most of them won't happen. I have new dreams now too.

Being the best mom ever. Loving my husband like no wife has ever loved her husband. Walking so humbly with my God. Trying something new everyday. Having grandchildren. Baking and cooking new things often.

New dreams don't mean settled-for dreams. They change as the reality of my life changes. Oh! Deep down I still have pieces of my old self from my old some old dreams are still there...but I sure love the sound of my new dreams!

Monday, December 5, 2011


I have been blessed in life to have some really great people around me. Starting with my family growing up. We were a small family....two adults, two children. We were close. I was the youngest and the "funny" one. Good place to be in a family, in my opinion!

I've had some great friends. Friends who have been true blue, stand up, and wonderful. I don't keep up with most of them, but they have made an impression on me nonetheless.

I have amazing friends at the moment. I have one in particular who calls me each and every Monday and we hold each other accountable. The questions we ask each other have really helped me! I smile when I see her!!

I love that God has provided gals who are fun, funny, great to be with, and love Jesus! They love me, care enough to speak truth to me, lift me up. In general, they make my life better!

The greatest person God has given me is my husband, Ben. He is my greatest gift and certainly one that I don't with all the gifts, people or not, that God has given.

I pray that I am a friend to others as they are to me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Life

My kids are gone to my mother's house helping her decorate and bake Christmas cookies. My husband is napping. My laundry is folded. My dishes are done. I have potpourri simmering on the stove. My house is decorated. And I am sitting here in the quiet, watching a sappy Christmas movie (the best kind), and grinning from ear to ear.

My life has had it's ups and downs. Mostly ups really....but a few downs have come my way. I have always felt very protected....from my family, my friends, and most of all God! As I look over my life, I can see where that protection has saved my life (literally in a couple of cases...and spiritually in most).

I don't have everything I want in life. I am not rich. I have stains on my carpet. And sometimes I pull out a fork and find that my dishwasher hasn't gotten all the food off. I smell my milk before I drink any (every time) because I have had rotten milk. I throw tons of food away because we don't get to it before green or white fuzz grows on it. I am addicted to diet cokes and will search my couch and seats of my van to find the money to get a route 44 diet coke from sonic. I love to eat and overdo it frequently. I am about three sizes bigger than I'd prefer to be. I am nut about traditions. I think you can never go overboard with giving presents. I love giving to anyone I know in need. I have a husband who loves to give to anyone he knows in need. I have one child who throws the biggest tantrums I have ever seen. I have trouble being consistent in life. I am moody and emotional.

But the most important thing is that I am loved.

So I sit here grinning from ear to ear. I have the most perfect imperfect life!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friend of Old

I have been thinking about someone I used to know. We were such good friends. Did most everything together. We made each other laugh. We were there for each other when we cried. She and I shared so many memories with each other.

Several years ago, she became angry with me and wrote me a letter that our friendship was over. I was devastated. There was no talking to her.

So, tonight, I am thinking of her and hoping that she is well, having a great time, and enjoying this Christmas season.