Saturday, February 28, 2009

After 2 years...

Today was a big day for my basketball team. After two years, we finally won a game! We played hard, and came out 12-9 victors! Yes, 12-9. :)

Congrats to Taquan, Devin, Eric, Cameron, Jesse, Davevontay, Mariah, Joshua, and Germaine!

Devin- the playmaker

Eric-the big man/beast :)

Davevontay-the hustler

Germaine-the all-around guy

Joshua-the heart

I wish I had pics of Cameron (rebound king), Taquan (the super star), Jesse (the defender), and Mariah (our secret weapon), but I will take a team picture soon!

Oh yeah, and Jesse says we won because of our new lucky charm...the blue dolphin (why? i have no idea!):

God bless you all!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What I've learned since Moving to Chicago

So, since it has been almost 18 months since I moved to Chicago, I decided to write a post about what I've learned since moving to Chicago....It's a lot, so don't be surprised if this is part one of a mini-series :)

1. Snow is probably the worst thing on earth. I hate it.

2. Poverty is neither a black nor a white thing.

3. Saying hi to strangers is not weird, actually its expected!

4. 13 hours away from my family is too far!

5. God is PROVIDER

6. I've learned what direction east, north, west, and south really is! :) I can get around in a big city, now that is something I NEVER thought I'd be able to do!

7. Christ can be found in the angry, crying, fist-balled, snot-nosed child more readily at times than the angelic, smiling child

8. I can get by on very little income and think the greatest blessings are in the smallest acts of kindness

9. It is in the trials that I find myself closest to God

10. I know now that I want to settle down somewhere WARM!

11. Ministry is the hardest job in the world yet the most fulfilling

12. The true meaning of sabbath

13. Living in community is really hard

14. Racism is still very real today

15. I will never forgive myself for not being there when my dog died

16. My brother is still the coolest guy I know, even when he is a big dork!

17.You can learn so much from a child: innocence, joy, forgiveness...true examples of how we must enter the kingdom of Christ

18. Chips should be added as their own separate food group. Hot flammins should be the number one chip in America by now.

19. Coaching basketball is my favorite thing on earth to do.

20. I can get around without a car if needed! Public transportation is a GREAT thing

21. When you commit to full-time ministry, the Devil hates it and tries everything he can to destroy you and your passion.

22. Nieces really are one of the most wonderful gifts of all!

23. There are a few things that you must have to survive a chicago winter some of these include, a shovel, a pair of waterproof, warm boots, big fluffy warm gloves (none of those mittens u wear in Arkansas will do), and salt. Lots and lots of salt. :)

24. I am more addicted to coffee than I ever realized before!

25. I've learned how to stop a fight without getting hit

26. Diversity is wonderful and should be celebrated at all costs

27. I am desperately in need of Christ's strength at all times, I am so weak without him!

28. Laughter is vital to a person's health! I need laughter!!!!

29. I know what it's like now to walk into a place and be the minority & how daunting it can be.

30. I will never regret coming here, living in this community, learning and growing with Christ, but I really doubt that Chicago is the place I will settle down in! Yet, I have learned that God will call us to where we are needed most, not where we necessarily dream to be. And, I hope I always put his will over mine, for where his will is, I want mine to be there too!

God bless you all!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Anyone ever have a hard time with this whole "trusting God" thing? I am. Its funny, though, because I have ABSOLUTELY no reason not to trust Him. He shows Himself faithful every time I need it. Yet I fall back into the same pattern so often. Sometimes when everything around you looks so bleak, its hard to trust. Sometimes when I feel so defeated, I have to remind myself why I am here and that the devil is a liar!

What does it really mean to just "give it to God?" How do you do it? People say that cliche thing all the time...just give it to God and everything will be okay. And yeah, I pray I surrender to you Jesus, I pray and say ok God i'm giving you this situation...yet what does that really mean? Any ideas?

Pray for me! School brings even more stress and with basketball on Saturdays, I have little time to rest anymore. Even when I do rest, my mind is still pray for me. That I will find more outlets to relieve my frustration and for more ways in which I can rest. Pray that I will seek rest in God and be poured into.

God bless you all!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


"Leadership is action, not position."

What a wonderful, true quote. A quote that reminds me that no matter your title, we can all be leaders. Leaders in our job place, leaders in our community, leaders in our family, leaders everywhere and anywhere.

God bless you all.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Relentless Faith

A few weeks ago Jeremy told me about a podcast by Pastor Creflo Dollar. I was listening to his podcast this morning, a message called Relentless Faith.

Here is the gist of the message:

Can God trust you to be faithful?

We all know that God is faithful, the same today, tomorrow, and forever. But, can God really trust us to be faithful?

All the devil wants to do is get you to quit. I know this all too well. Lately, I've wanted to quit. I just want to leave this ministry and go find a really good paying job. Sometimes, I want to quit and say these kids aren't ever going to change.

Yet God calls us to faithfulness. A life of faith requires faithfulness. Scripture says a faithful man who can find? Faithful means dependable, trustworthy, true, steadfast, solid, loyal, reliable, sturdy, trusting, the same, tried and true.

Can God trust you to do what you were last told you to do? Especially in times of trouble...faithful even in the midst of struggles?

A faithful man shall abound in blessings. Its hard not to be blessed when you're faithful.

Don't quit. When times get hard, when everything seems to be going wrong, when those that you are pouring into fall down, don't quit.

I want to be not just a person of faith, but a faithful person.

Can God trust you to be faithful? One of the things Pastor Dollar said was, "everyone seems to be out of the closet except Christians." Meaning so many Christians hide their faith. So many quit when times get rough.

God calls us to faithfulness. Honestly, thats the only thing we can really give God...faithfulness.

"It is by the test of your faith that develops perseverance. Perseverance's must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything....blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:2-4, 12.

Don't quit. Be faithful.

God bless you all!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Basketball-Playing and Coaching

Last night my team, the Big Ticket, played in their 5th game. We are 4-1 after last night. Every game we've won has been by a margin of at least 30 points. I told my friend, Robin, (who comes to my games to watch) last night that I think my blood runs orange. :) I just love playin and coachin and watchin basketball that much. I did, though, jam my finger last night so it's pretty swollen and blue this morning...lets hope it goes down before the next game!

In other news, my kids had their first basketball game last weekend. We lost by 2 points in OVERTIME! I didn't go (I was skiing with Josh) but man do I wish I could have seen it! We play this weekend and I'm hoping that we get our first victory. The team we play this weekend scored 22 of his team's 24 points last weekend in their game. Lets hope I can get my kids to play defense! I soooo hope we win!

In other's Valentine's Day tomorrow. I hope that all of you do something wonderful for your significant others. I know it's just a silly hallmark created day, but I think the message behind it is pretty great-celebrate the one you love. Yes, of course, we should do it more often, but the least you can do is one day a year!

God bless you all!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Family Time

On Wednesday my cousin, Josh, flew up to Chicago from Florida. It was the first time I have seen him in 6 years. Thats right, 6 years.
He stayed for four days. It was great to see him. It was great to catch up, learn all about his life now and just feel like family again.

Thursday and Friday we went downtown. Saw the Navy Pier, Grant Park, and the Sears Tower. Walked the Magnificent Mile, ate lots and lots of food, and saw a Bogota, which I believe was his favorite thing of the whole time!

Saturday was by far my favorite day though. We went skiing in Lake Geneva, WI and had a blast! I skied the BLACK SLOPES and didn't fall. Yes, I definitely fell a lot, but Josh kept teaching me and encouraging me to try, try and try again. And, I went on the black slope twice and didn't fall either time! By the end, I felt like a pro. :)

He left tonight. I was sad to see him go and I hope that it isn't another 6 years before I see him again.

Here is a few pictures from our ski trip:

on the ski lift!

half the black slope half the blue slope

Josh wore out after a long day of skiing
God bless you all!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." -Mary Anne Radmacher

I love this quote.

As I have been studying for my first class, I have already learned a lot. One thing we did last week was talk about our strengths and weaknesses.

I think one of my biggest weaknesses can be that I do not always have the courage to believe in a person or system's ability to change. So often, I see kids fall into the same destructive patterns that their family members have done or that everyone around them is doing. It breaks my heart to see children with so much potential throw it all away. I often think courage has to be this huge step of faith or this "roar" that all can be solved.

Yet, I this quote reminds me that courage can be a quiet, persistent and consistent voice. A gentle reminder to never give up. A gentle reminder that God is a big God and that He can do anything.

And I am learning to look and celebrate the small victories instead of focusing only on the "big picture." There are small victories and small changes that my kids are doing daily, and yet I so often overlook them. I must celebrate these small changes. I must, when I feel as though I have failed, be courageous enough to say at the end of the day, I will try again tomorrow.

Like I have said before, sometimes faith is putting one foot in front of the other, walking intent on not tripping. I am seeking to have faith in people's ability to change and grow, and know that even if they do trip, God can pick them up, dust them off, and I will try again the next day.


Celebrate the small victories and changes you see in those around you. Have the courage to look back at the end of a hard day and say I will try again tomorrow.

God bless you all.