Monday, October 29, 2007


I have so not felt like typing lately. I don't know why, but at the end of the day, I just want to veg and not use my brain. But, I have a lot to update. Soccer season came to an end. We are looking forward to NOT waking up at 6:45 on Saturday morning. It was a good season, and we enjoyed getting to meet lots of new people. Here are some pictures.

As you can see, David was not the best goalie!!! I don't think there was enough action, so he was creating his own by climbing on the outside of the goal. He loved to play the rest of the positions, though, anything that allowed him to chase and kick a ball. The third picture is of him and his new friend, Max, giving each other a high five when the other team scored for them!!! We are still working on the good sportsmanship aspect of playing ball. Earlier in the season, however, he did gather a group of about five kids from both teams and had everyone put their hands in the middle and yell teamwork while rasing their hands in the air. It's amazing what kids pick up because we never taught him those things.
After the games on Saturday, we had an end of the season party. It was a lot of fun. We went to a park with the church's ice cream truck and blew up the inflatable, had hotdogs and cupcakes and ice cream. It was fun for the kids and we were able to visit more with the parents. Here are some pictures from the party.

James did not play soccer - we don't know why because he kept asking after the season started, but he was a good sport most of the time and enjoyed cheering his brother's on and helping watch Sarah. David and two of the boys on his team had siblings on Jason's team, so they became good buddies. This is David sitting with Samuel and Christopher. Sarah had a chocolate cupcake at the party. It was a mess, but she is still adorable!!! The last picture is of Jason receiving his trophy from his amazing coaches, Dad and Eric. Brent enjoyed coaching Jason, and he and Eric made a good team. Eric knows soccer, and Brent knows kids. It worked quite well.
James is in gymnastics and is doing very well. He worked his way through Level One quickly. He says that Level 2 is much more difficult, but he is enjoying it, and it is very good for his strength! He is so strong.
Next I have a quick picture of David and Sarah dressed for Halloween. We went to a party this morning for a mom's group that I am trying to be more involved in so that I can meet people and so can the kids. We had a nice time.

One of the ladies in the group asked me if I would lead a Bible study for some of the women, so that starts in the morning here at our house. Please pray that I would communicate effectively and that relationships will grow. As far as I know, there are only three other ladies joining us in the morning, but I am excited and hopeful that it will grow to more!
We did a service project with our launch team and Life Journey Church on Sunday morning. It was exciting. We will send out an email with pictures and more information, but it was a great day! We cleared a very long alley that had been being used as a dump. There were city officials out to help us. They were so excited that there were churches that were willing to go into that part of town and make a difference. Some of the neighborhood people came out and helped. It was incredibly exciting!
I guess that is about it for now. God is faithful and though we are struggling at times because our launch team is not as big as we were hoping or because there is too much to do and not enough time or any number of other things, He is wonderful to encourage us exactly when we most need it!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fun Prizes and Something to Consider

So, earlier in the week, a friend of mine (and fellow church planter wife), Jan, called and asked me if I wanted to go with her to sit in the audience of Deal or No Deal in LA. Nothing was certain, but she had a friend who had a friend who worked on the set, and they were taping their Christmas show and were giving great prizes to all of the audience members. I checked with Brent, then said yes. As of 6:30 on Friday morning, the morning of the taping, we still were not sure that we had tickets, but decided to go ahead and drive down there. We could enjoy a fun day of talking and going to IKEA without children if we didn't get on. Either way, it would be a lot of fun! So we went down early yesterday morning, and we were able to get in!! We got all sorts of great stuff: A Roomba, a Nintendo DS and a couple games, a digital photo frame that plays MP3s, red carpet tickets to a premiere showing of a movie, $200.00 and a Howie Mandel bobble head!!! It was so cool!!! The show itself was interesting. I have never watched it all the way through, and I don't know what I thought of it. It is certainly just about gambling. I think I like it better when people win money for answering trivia questions - at least it takes some effort to win. I have seen one other taping in my life. I sat in the audience of a taping to Candid Camera just after I finished high school. It is amazing how many people they have to help them make the whole thing happen. I was telling Jan as we drove home that it would be so much easier to have Sunday morning services if we had all those people to make it happen!! The money that goes into the production of a show is incredible - it's kind of heartbreaking! There is so much money put into that when there is so little put into reaching people for Jesus, or feeding the hungry, or housing the homeless, or any other things like that. It makes a person stop and think about the importance we place on entertainment - kind of sad. There were so many other observations I made while there. I also felt so old. Those production assistants and camera men looked like they were no more than 20 years old. I'm sure they were older than that, but they were still so young! The entertainment industry is a crazy place - a completely different world than I live in. It was a fun day! I love Jan and so enjoy the time I spend with her. We were able to talk lots to and from LA, and it is so great to have someone who has been where I am and who can give advice and listen.

Since we arrived here, I have been contemplating getting a job. I continue to do some work for the Adoption Unit in Oklahoma, but I wondered if a job here would help me to meet more people. But, I have never done anything about it. I made a couple contacts through the social service department and completed my resume to turn in for teaching foster parents, but I have never done anything with that completed resume. I feel so busy already - helping Brent with church planting stuff, volunteering at school and through the family to family mentoring program, plus (and most importantly) being a mom. Whenever I have thought that I was going to take care of that resume, things have come up and I haven't gotten it done. I have kind of just felt like that was God holding me back, and probably it is. But tonight, on a whim, my neighbor placed a job offer before me. I don't know how totally serious he was, but he seemed pretty serious. He is a doctor, and they need a part time office manager. He said he thought I would be able to do a good job. I only talked to him briefly, but I told him I would only be interested in discussing it further if it was very part time and that I would have to talk to Brent about it. I mentioned it to Brent, and we are just going to pray about it. He said he would not be ready to hire for a month or so, so I have some time. If you think about it, pray for our decision. It would really have to be very flexible, and we did not talk about that a lot, so it may not work out, but it may be a great opportunity for me also. I really like these neighbors very much, and they are not Christians and we have prayed for opportunities to build relationships with unbelievers around us. This could be a perfect opportunity.

Tomorrow we have a practice service at church. It will be very, very small, but a friend of Eric's came into town tonight and will be leading worship. They drove up from LA. We enjoyed having them over for dinner this evening. Dave and Michelle are a part of Mosaic Church down in LA. I spent a lot of time visiting with Michelle tonight, and really enjoyed her. We are going to do our service and then walk through and talk about the things we need to order before our December 2nd preview service. Hopefully it will be fun and productive and also provide us with a great opportunity to do praise and worship for the first time with our Launch team. I am excited!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Thank God for Spilled Coke

I'm not even 100% sure I should type this and admit it to the whole world (okay, so it is actually just a couple close friends, but potentially anyone could read this), but I feel compelled because it just shows how great our God is.

It was an absolutely crazy week last week. We were preparing for our first Kaleo event, a carnival at American Kids, which is where our church will meet. Neither Brent nor I are great party planners. We really need someone to help with all the details. We are thankful to have Eric, but I don't think he is super detail oriented either. So, here you have three not so organized people trying to pull off an event that needed to be organized, knowing very few people in this city to call on for help. So, Monday night I lost my cell phone. I have yet to find it and have just about determined that I must have thrown it away with the Sonic trash when we finally got home Monday evening after driving around and hanging flyers. A few days later, I lost my purse. It has been recovered. It was actually in my room under pillows. I hadn't made my bed! But the worst thing is what happened on Saturday.

We took the boys to their soccer games; then came home to finish stuff up before heading to set up for the party. Brent and Eric left with the boys. Sarah was down for a short nap, and there was still some things that needed to be printed, so I began printing while letting Sarah rest. In the meantime, I received a phone call and talked for a few minutes while stuff finished printing. When I was done printing, I gathered everything, the papers, Sarah's diaper bag, jackets because it was overcast and may have gotten cold, and a Diet Coke. I locked up the house, closed the garage door and went to the van. I loaded everything up, and when I put my coke in the holder, I somehow set it down funny, and it splashed all over the radio and console area. I was irritated, but I grabbed the diaper bag, grabbed the wipies, and cleaned up the mess. I used the only two wipies that were in the diaper bag, so I decided I should run in and get some more.

So, I went inside to the kids bathroom where I keep the wipies. They weren't there, so I decided they must have been in Sarah's room. I flung the door open to look for them, and there, lying in her bed sound asleep, was my daughter. I had completely forgotten that she was at home. I almost drove off and left her. It was so far from my mind that she was at home, that I am just about sure I would have driven all the way to my destination before I realized she was not with Brent. I knew she was home, but my mind failed me. American Kids is a good 20 minute drive from our house, and I don't know any phone numbers for my neighbors, so she would have been home for 40 minutes by herself, or I would have had to call the police. It was a terrible, terrible feeling. I have never done anything like that. Stress is a terrible thing.

But God is so good and so caring. I can just picture his hand tipping that drink so that the series of events that followed would take place. I am so thankful that I have a God who loves me and who watches out for me and for my children (even in my moments of weakness). Almost forgetting my child makes the loss of my cell phone seem so completely insignificant, although it is still frustrating. I have got to learn to slow down and relax, even when things are crazy and there are deadlines and I am having to work outside of my strengths, but it is so hard. When I was at Pine Cove this summer, Sarah was sick, so she could not go to child care most of the week, so she sat in sessions with us. While she was pretty good, I was distracted and missed a lot of what the speaker said, but behind him, on the wall, was a large canvas, with the verse, "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. All week I thought about that and about how hard it is for me to be still. I am terrible at it. On the last day of camp, I talked about how much I needed to work on that. When we got back, initially, I did a little better, but as things have come up and there are deadlines, it has been hard to stop and be still.

Caroline Casselberry bought me a sign that has that verse on it, and I wake up to see it every morning, and yet it is still so hard. I need to figure out how to slow down and let God do His thing, even in times of deadlines! If not, I might miss amazing opportunities or do things that could potentially cause harm to someone (such as leaving a 2 year old home alone). The other thing is that I hate stress, and God would like to take that stress from me, if I would just stop long enough to give it to Him. He would also probably like for me stop and refocus without having to make a mess!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

I just feel so tired and busy right now. I had a nice couple of days at a Church Planter's Wives retreat in Texas. It was nice to meet so many people who have been where we are right now and to hear their stories. I also got to spend quality time with the wife of another planter here in Bakersfield. They planted four years ago and have a neat story and are reaching amazing people from very difficult backgrounds. I just had fun hanging out with her and getting to know her better.

I finished reading Raising Kids for True Greatness, and I still think it was a great read. It was not difficult to get through and was scripturally sound. I have recommended it to several people who I think could be encouraged or challenged by it. I have a strong desire to forget about success with my kids and just strive for True Greatness. We really do get focused on the wrong things at times. I want my kids to be the best they can be, but if that does not include loving God and loving others, it just does not matter, so I pray they will have a strong sense of that love and a desire to be a true servant for Christ. I pray that I can model that, particularly during such a stressful time in our lives, and I know I did not demonstrate it tonight. Even as we sat and did our prayer time together, I had to apologize for being so cranky, even though I was still feeling cranky inside. (I can't even identify why I feel so crabby today, which is frustrating for me. I even went to bed about 2 1/2 hours earlier than usual last night, so I can't blame lack of sleep.)

We have a crazy week in front of us, actually just a crazy rest of the month. We have a lot going on with the church plant, including a party this weekend, a rehearsal service the next weekend, and a serving event the last weekend. I am really looking forward to the serving event. We are going to go to an area of town that the city is trying to clean up because homes are not up to code and try to help with some houses. We are hoping that with this event we will actually be able to talk to the people and encourage them. It should be really great! We are working with another church, the one I mentioned above, on a Sunday morning for our "Inside Out" service. (We think that is what we will call them. Any thoughts?) We will be having these once a month, even after we have launched. We will gather on the fourth Sunday morning of each month and head out into the community to do good. We are trying to get it started before we even begin meeting regularly. I am excited for this opportunity because we were trying to find ways that we could serve people in practical ways while still being able to talk to them and hopefully make a spiritual impact. I think we will be able to do it through this project. We are definitely in need of prayers for our time management. There is too much to get done in too little time. I don't like being so busy and need to keep balance, so that is another prayer. We don't want to be so busy that we miss important things that are right in front of our faces, but there is so much to get done. I'm sure many of you can relate.