Thursday, February 28, 2008


When Rusty and I moved to North Carolina we decided to make quite a few life changes along the way. One of those changes was praying together everyday. I'm not saying we didn't pray together before. Sure, we prayed for the kids when they were sick, we prayed for friends and family (usually when asked first), we prayed before road trips and for crazy work weeks. What I'm saying is that we didn't pray to praise Him, we prayed for needs that arose in our lives. There is a HUGE difference! Now we pray every morning before we even get out of bed. We pray if we oversleep, we pray if it's 60 degrees in the house (because I forgot to turn on the heat!), we pray with head colds and we pray when we are angry (ever tried praying with someone you're ticked off at??? you usually don't stay mad very long...). There have been a handful of times that somehow, we missed it... On those days we have prayed by texting, prayed over the phone and prayed in an email. It's just that important to us now. We often talk about how our walk with the Lord seems so much closer now.... so much more like a best friend, not like the distant relative you talk with once every two months. It has been amazing! One of the things Rusty and I pray every morning, is that the Lord will bring us closer together, by bringing us closer to Him. I believe He has answered that prayer many times over what we could ever have expected! I feel empty on those days we missed praying, Rusty has said the same thing to me. This is one thing in our lives that we feel so strongly about and I believe it to be such an important part of marriage. Somedays I wonder how we ever made it this far without it..... I found this quote by Martin Luther King Jr. that I wholeheartedly believe in.... “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
Do you agree???

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mixed Emotions

I am sitting here with such random thoughts and such a rush of mixed emotions, I'm not sure what to even write... I guess I can start with what I am feeling and these crazy thoughts running through my head.

Megan leaves in the morning, and although I have handled it really well up to now.... today, I'm not doing so good with the handling. I am going to miss her terribly and our family will have a void that only she could fill. I am trying so hard to not feel sorry for myself and be happy for the down time she is going to get to enjoy. She has been so busy serving the last 5 months, now she can focus on recharging for the summer. Her heart is at Whisper Mountain and I love her and want nothing more than her happiness.

I am so stressed right now - it is driving me crazy. We need to sell the house in FL. I know the Lord knows this, and I know it's not our "right" to know the why's, how's and when's of it all, but I guess that doesn't make the wait any easier. We are starting a new series at Ridge this week called, "The Legend of Joe Jacobson". One of the key questions throughout this series is, "What would you do if you knew God was with you?" I have had to ask this question a lot this week. I know He is with me, but do I really trust that He will provide??? Tough question...

I am so blessed and yet, sometimes I feel so selfish. I have a beautiful house, healthy kids, great friends, an awesome church and a husband who never lets a day go by without telling me how much he loves me. But - I want more. I want the house to sell, I want parts of my old life back, I want to not have to worry about bills, I want to be able to meet my sister at Target and hug my nieces - I want, I want, I want..... What is the matter with me??? When am I satisfied??? On the other hand - somedays I wake up with such a heavy heart and not feeling at all deserving of this life He has chosen for me. Lord knows, I would have not walked willingly down the road I have been on this past year, but He knew right where this path would take me, and for that I am eternally grateful.

 Today when I got to work I found out that one of the students in  my class's mother passed away yesterday. Hope Gibson had Lupus and although I don't know much about it, she had a very difficult last week. She was diagnosed only 10 months ago and was 27 years old.  I spoke with her Thursday when she picked up McKenzie from school and she looked really swollen (I guess her kidneys were shutting down and they were planning on dialysis). I asked how she was feeling and like usual, she said, "I'm fine, just tired." She was always so positive. She went in for a kidney biopsy at 2:00 and just never regained consciousness. She leaves behind a 11 year old son, Jordan (who has autism), Mckenzie (she's 4) and her husband, Rick. If you can, please lift them up in prayer today and the rest of this week. They have a long road ahead. As of 1:00 today, Rick had still not found the courage to tell his children. It kinda puts it all in perspective doesn't it??

I promised the occasional ramblings, so here they are. Sorry.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Back from the High Country

This weekend was amazing... Rusty and I had a great time. I love being with him. Spending time together, without all the daily distractions, is something we have put a very high priority on this new year. It is indeed, the best decision we have made yet. We had a minor catastrophe the first night. This involved the rental company not leaving the keys to the cabin in the drop-box and us not having a place to stay when we arrived after midnight. So sleeping in the car was not part of the planned "romantic experience" but somehow it made the few days even more special. If nothing else, our small group got a huge laugh out of me running for my life (I swear it was a bear!) in the middle of the night after my failed potty attempt!

We went hiking to a waterfall, spent some time at a ski resort, but mostly just spent some quality time hanging out together. After all these years (almost 20!) I would rather spend time with him , than anyone else on this Earth. He makes me laugh and is so great at letting me know that next to his relationship with Christ, ours is the most important. Who could ask for more??

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Headed to the Mountains

Tonight after church, Rusty and I are headed to Fleetwood, NC for a little "us" time. No kids, no cell phones, no internet, no TV.... Just us. I have been looking so forward to this trip! Rusty woke up this morning with a classic quote from Hayley Stevanus, "No more sleeps!" For those of you a tad confused - our good friends, Dave and Christy, have a sweet little girl named Hayley. Whenever something exciting is going to happen, she counts down the days by "sleeps".
2 days=2 more "sleeps"
I really have no idea what our plans are or what Rusty may have up his sleeve, but I'm sure it can't get much better then 2 days with no kiddos (thanks Meg!) and time to be together.

A special thanks to the McCann's for allowing us the priviledge of using their beautiful cabin!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Gift

For Valentine's Day my wonderful and very creative husband gave me an awesome present! He designed a custom header for my blog. Since I have been blogging I have always something different, and I could never seem to find a template that "fit" me. He knows me so well! Let me know what you think....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Rusty

You know the question --- "If you were to be stranded on a deserted island, and could only take one thing, what would you take?" My answer most certainly is him! I love this man with my whole heart! Today is his birthday and if you get the chance - hop on over here and wish him a very Happy Day!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Load In

Most of you already know this, but, Ridge is a church that "loads in" and "loads out" each week we have service. This means we bring in everything we need to set up for the worship service, Waumba land (our preschool ministry-Waumba means creator in Swahili) UpStreet (our K-5th grade worship service) and our leader room (where the children of the volunteers that set all this up, hang out and have a great time!). We start at 10 in the morning at the church office, load the trucks and begin loading in all the equipment at 1:00 in the afternoon. We then set up all the environments, do sound checks, and make sure everything is ready for our 6:00pm start time. I have to tell you - it's a lot of work.... But, I also have to tell you - it is something I look forward to all week! I know, I know, a little crazy!! The group of people that make up Ridge Church are an amazing crew! Each and every week, there are about 25 people that make that Sunday afternoon sacrifice and show up faithfully to load in. We have been praying as a staff and as a church, for a place to call "our own". Chris and Adam have looked at facilities for months, all with the intention of moving our services to Sunday mornings. I know that moving to Sundays mornings will allow us to reach more people and allow for growth. Such a move would require starting at 4 or 5 in the morning each and every week. I know it will be hard to hear that alarm go off that early, but I'm sure load in will still be on the top of my list of favs! Here is a picture of our service tonight. We just started Louie Giglio's "Indescribable" series. If you haven't seen it yet, you need to check it out!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Well, we just finished the first month of our crazy "Weight Loss Challenge" and I am proud to say that I have finally made the 10 pound mark! Only about 12 more to go.... Yeah!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ok - I have to say that I was pretty sure that no one other than my sister, my husband, and maybe three other people actually read my blog. At lunch the other day, I found out that you can track information about how many people hit your site, and how they got there. I thought this had to be the coolest thing ever invented! I have had almost 2800 hits in the past 6 months that I have been writing these ridiculous and pretty random posts about our lives. I didn't know anyone was even interested in what we're doing.... I have to say, I am amazed! Although it doesn't tell me exactly who is hitting the site, it does tell me things like, the referring site (thanks honey! and thanks La'Rae!) and how many of you are returning visitors or first timers. It tells me things like if you used a Mac (gotta love the Mac!) what state you're from and how long you stayed on the site. Again, I am amazed and completely confused as to how it all actually works - but who cares.... it's awesome! I have a challenge - if you're brave enough! I would love for everyone who reads this blog to leave a comment... not every time (unless you want to, and then of course, comment away!) - just this once, so I can see who's part of our extended family and who we can count on to be praying for us while we are are this incredible journey. Also, if there is something you want to know about us - ask away - I'll do my best to answer if I can.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Circus is in Town!

Abby's favorite part! (of course!)
This was my favorite part!
The "Bello-bration" finale!
My four favorite people! Look at those smiles!
On Friday night we loaded the kids in the car and headed off to get some dinner. When we were finished, we drove to a train station near the restaurant and got the kids out of the car. After about a dozen, "Where are we?"'s, we told the kids that the city of Charlotte had just finished this new train station and that we thought it would be fun to take it into uptown and get dessert down there. They thought that sounded good, so on the train we went.... We rode for about 25 minutes and then got off at the arena. The kids still had no clue what was going on, but as soon as we rounded a corner, all you could see were circus trailers with the "Greatest Show on Earth" logos everywhere. Still, no clue that we were going.... Abby says, "Look, the circus is here!" and the other 2 chime in, "The circus is here, the circus is here!" Rusty then says, "Wouldn't it be cool if you had the best dad in the world, and he had tickets?" He pulls them out of his pocket and they all screamed! It was so sweet to see their faces! They were so excited! The show was amazing and of course the animals were the kids favorite part. We had a great time and as we were leaving Carter says to Rusty, "Dad, this really was the greatest show on Earth!" Pretty cool, huh??