Saturday, August 29, 2009

Foto Friday 08.28.09 Destin For A Day

Even though Destin is only an hour away, we rarely make the trip.
I was reminded this Friday why we need to make more time for days like this!

Cracker Barrell for lunch, Build-A-Bear for Autumn (Thanks Gram & Pop), and running through water rockets for Easton!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hard To Come By

The older you get, the more you realize that good friends are hard to come by.

Here's a group of women who I consider some very good friends.

Some of these have gone through "life" with me ... ministry, marriages, bridesmaids, pregnancy, car wrecks, spoons, miscarriages, moving, Starbucks, internship .... I could go on and on ...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Foto Friday 08.21.09 Old Mexico

We love it. Our kids love it. Our students love it. What can we say?
We love Old Mexico!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Give Yourself Some Credit

I've been thinking lately what a terrible job i've been doing of winning people to Christ. Then the Lord started speaking to my heart.

(Disclaimer: This is not a blog to give you an "out" so that you never have to win people. This is just something that was spoken to my heart :)

I realized that maybe we should begin to give credit to the conversations in our life ...

Like last week where the guy outside Applebee's asked me where I was from. When I said Pensacola, he asked if I was military. I got the oppurtunity to say "No, my husband and I moved here to be youth pastors at a church right down the road".

Or the cashier at Wal-Mart who saw the craft supplies she was ringing up and asked if I was a teacher. I got the chance to explain to her that my husband & I are youth pastors. And that I was buying all the "blue" stuff because we were taking a bunch of students to camp, and blue was our team color. She thought that was awesome.

Or the times we go out for girls night ... and the waiters can't understand why we don't have to drink to have a good time. They're astounded to see a group of young women laughing, joking and having fun ... sans alcohol. Not everyone asks, but occasionally we get the chance to explain. Sometimes we get to plant a seed without saying anything at all.

Today we were out tubing at Bonita Bay. I couldn't help but remember the lady a few years ago who was out at Bonita Bay with her young daughter. My Autumn started playing with her. Then the lady came over and after she saw we were all nice people, she started opening up to us. She got info on our church. She rode the tube with us. You know, we never saw her or her daughter again ... but I can't help but thinking that through that conversation we made a small difference.

These things get me to thinking. You never know what "small" difference your "small" conversations mean in a persons life. You may not be winning a soul to Christ, but sometimes you're simply laying the foundation, or watering a seed someones already planted. And sometimes you are the one who gets to see that person won to Christ.

There's a perfect order to everything. So, the next time you talk with the checkout lady about church, or smile at the drive thru lady after she's been chewed out by her boss, or chat with the chic-fil-a guy about how he "recognizes you from somewhere" .... know that these conversations are making big differences. We need to step out and be more inviting of these convserations.

Who knows, maybe your conversation might one day lead to a conversion. But for now, start creditting yourself for the things you are doing .... Jesus was a great conversationalist!

10 Reasons I Love My Husband

10) He smells good. I don't mean he bathes, I mean he always wears good cologne. Well ... except when he goes all Matthew McConaughey and doesn't wear any deodorant ... that's different.

9) He takes me to Olive Garden regularly despite his "alleged" hatred towards it.

8) He gets along unbelievably well with my family (better than I do sometimes).

7) He grills the most amazing "chicken pods", deer sausage and fresh corn on the cob.

6) He lets me have Tuesday nights to myself every week ... Zumba class, then dinner with the girls!

5) He stops 90% of the time when we see someone whose car is broke down. Lil' old ladies love him.

4) He is awesome at graphic design. I think he should have a business on the side. I even keep a portfolio of all his stuff that gets put to print.

3) He is an amazing Daddy to our children. He raises them according to Ephesians 6:4.

2) If I were a teenager, I'd want him to be my Youth Pastor. He's real, relational and relevant.

1) He knows my flaws, imperfections, and downfalls ... yet loves me the same.

Foto Friday 08.14.09 Praying for Nanny

Sorry, no Foto Friday from last week.
My Nanny was in ICU, so we were at Sacred Heart Hospital with her.

Three days before she was put into ICU by emergency surgery, she was walking around Atlanta sightseeing with us.

It just goes to show you, things can change in an instant. Don't take for granted the ones you love. Don't let petty things seperate you from friends or family. Don't put things off for "tomorrow". You may only have today.

Just FYI: My grandmother has not come out of the hospital yet, but she is recovering well. Prayer is still much appreciated.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Foto Friday 08.07.09 ATL, Baby!

We were able to steal away a few days and visit with family in Atlanta this weekend.

It is summer ... so it's just a short trip ... but well worth it in so many ways!

Today we we went to the Aquarium (free tickets & parking via cousins fiance, Cody), visited the Coca-Cola Factory, walked Centennial Park, and drove Downtown ATL for a bit.

But the best part had to be spending the evening with family.
I met Colton for the first time today. He is absolutely a precious miracle.
Jenn & Donald are doing an amazing job at this parenting thing! She glows every time she talks about him. Seeing her & Colton together is a picture of authentic love!
My parents were able to come for the weekend, along with my Nanny - so that's always a treat.
We are staying at Uncle Robert & Aunt Vickys house. They are such givers! I love staying with them - They make their home feel like your home.
Lauren was able to come with us to the Aquarium today. Autumn thinks a LOT of Lauren. She's gonna make an amazing teacher this year, by the way! Cody was able to make it to dinner with us tonight. Autumn thinks he's pretty funny!

I couldn't pick just one photo for "Foto Friday", so I chose a couple of our day today. We need more days like today. Family time truly is some of the best time!

To see more pics you can go to

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Foto Friday 07.31.09 With Everything - 09 Interns

This weekend we had our '09 interns over for annual intern shin-dig.

We ate shrimp, rice, deer sausage, garlic bread and veggie skewers. A fruit tray with homeade dip was for dessert. (Thanks Jon Locke for trying it despite the cream cheese). I was proud that my fruit tray was devoured. It means they like to eat semi healthy.
The whole dinner was simply yummy!

We swam, played catch phrase and re-enacted some game from "whose line is it anyway".

Then the "talk" came. The theme for this summers internship has been "With Everything".

.... and I would tell you what that talk entailed, except that internship is so amazing
that you have to earn these "talks". Really, they are that good.

(Some time in the near future I will be posting my "Last Lecture" ...
and that's all I'm gonna say about that!)

The picture of the week is our '09 interns.
Crystal Andrews
Jon Andrews
Brandon Churukian
Julie Hagans
Timmy Jackson
Jon Locke
Mark Mahowald
Alex Malave
Kristina Mastro
Nathan Polite
Brent Stephens
Drake Stephens
Amy Wesley

Cory & I are privileged and honored to be a small part of their lives. We pray that we invest in them as much as they invest in us. We also owe great gratitude to our Assistants this year: Rebecca Wesley & Justin Churukian. They truly are our armor bearers.

..."With Everything"