Saturday, July 26, 2008

4 years and counting

Joshua and I celebrated 4 years of marriage this Thursday! Well, we didn't actually get to really celebrate on Thursday. I have a counseling group Thursday night, so we had planned to go out Friday night. And I had supervision on Saturday, so we have a weekend getaway planned for next weekend. Our schedules are a bit hectic these days, but it keeps it interesting.

These 4 years have been quite a ride, but we've both hung on tight, knowing God has big plans for us!Haha! And we've enjoyed growing closer together and growing individually, too, over the years. Neither one of us would be who we are today without the other and we are grateful to be able to share life together.

So Friday night Josh took me to a nice little Italian Restaurant. It was a place we had never been to, so that was fun. There was someone playing the piano lightly in the background and most of the tables were candlelit and set for two. (I didn't take any pictures, though)

Next weekend we have a reservation at a Bed and Breakfast place in Granbury. We are looking forward to trying out a b'n'b and exploring this little town on the lake. The celebrate gets to last a week instead of just a day!

Friday was also Joshua's last day at GHLA. Whew! This has been a big week! But I'll let him post more about his big work transition.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hill Country and Desert

This weekend we traveled out to Kerrville to visit Josh’s parents. Since he is going to start working for his dad’s architecture firm, we needed to do an official “employee-employer” meeting. The meeting went well and we enjoyed our time seeing his parents and brother and sister. We also took some time to drive around town looking at neighborhoods and for sale signs on houses. It’s going to be expensive to move to Kerrville. But if God wants us to buy a house, He will provide one because we are trusting and following His lead.

On Sunday we drove with the Seefeldts to Odessa. Our friend Clayton’s grandmother had passed away this past week and the funeral was Monday morning. We got to spend time with the Chisum family and see Clayton and Holly’s month old baby girl, Hannah. We were glad to be able to be there with the family to celebrate Mimi and the life she had led. Then Monday afternoon we drove back to Arlington. It was a long weekend of driving, but we were glad to be able to spend the weekend in this way.

Josh has one more week at GHLA. It’s a strange feeling to know he won’t be going to that office anymore and working on those projects. But he is excited about the new opportunities.

Friday, July 18, 2008


"When I fail in my duty, I readily acknowledge it, saying, 'I am used to do so ; I shall never do otherwise if I am left to myself.' If I fail not, then I give God thanks, acknowledging that the strength comes from Him." - Brother Lawrence, pg 22 in The Practice of the Presence of God.

Recently my group co-facilitator shared with the group that the woman who eventually invented Spanks (those shaping undergarments for women) was asked every night by her father while growing up, "What did you fail at today?" He did not think she was a failure, but rather understood that we are bound to fail at something every day and gave her the freedom to recognize it and move on, learning from mistakes.

For a recovering perfectionist like myself, this is a very powerful concept. I don't like failure and tend to dwell on even small ones. I don't like to be wrong, equating that will being wrong in who I am. It's kind of like I know that I'm not perfect, but I don't like to be reminded that I'm not. I don't just shrug it off and chalk it up to "better luck next time." I'm plagued by things I don't do well. I know, I need help! I'm working on it!

This is a big problem when it comes to my spiritual life, as well. I have a hard time embracing grace and passing it on to others and myself. Especially myself. That's one thing I loved about The Ragamuffin Gospel. Brennan Manning explained that those who know they are ragamuffins, prone to fail, prone to get dirty, but rejoicing in the King, they are the ones who can find joy in grace. They are the ones who really know how they stand before God.

There's freedom in admitting failure. It's humbling and sometimes humiliating. But it's easier than trying to live up to the perfectionistic standard. So I'm going to start looking for my failures each day. Hopefully I'll learn from them. And I'll also be learning to let them go. As Brother Lawrence said, what more should I expect? I know I can't do it all, so why expect it? I will enjoy God so much more when I recognize that all good things are from Him - even the good things it looks like I did.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Wedding

Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Strader
Friday night we went to the wedding of our friends Jeff & Cherie. Its was an outdoor wedding, which meant sweat, but it was a beautiful wedding. We enjoyed being there, celebrating with them this exciting time in their lives. We also enjoyed being with our church family and enjoying community.I think we look pretty nice, too. =) They had tables set up where we sat even during the ceremony. That way they didn't have to change the set-up before we could eat. I thought that was pretty smart. It made it a very casual, relaxed seating arrangement. Unfortunately we sat in the back near a fountain and couldn't hear the ceremony really well. But we knew the gist of the event, so it was all good! =)

No dancing but good cake. There was talk about jumping into the swimming pool, but as far as I know it didn't happen. Our pastor tried to get us in on a pact that if he went in we would all go in. We agreed but nothing happened before we left, so we were in the clear.

Congratulations to Jeff & Cherie and their future together!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Melody, I made the mistake....

You tried to warn me. You gave me all the facts. You informed me of your own personal testimony.

And yet I still fell to temptation.

We bought Blue Bell Mooo Tracks ice cream!

You were right! It's addicting and very very dangerous. Thanks for trying to save me. It is not your fault. I take full responsibility for my actions.

Besides, I figure that if you are going to go down, it might as well be good! =)

I Survived Kid's Camp!

Yes, folks, I had another round of Kid's camp at Connect Church. I hadn't planned on going, but they needed another girl leader and my schedule cleared up, so I went. This year we went down to College Station for camp in Aggieland! (That definitely influenced my decision to go!) We had a great time. Here is my small group:

This is a random gangster picture. We were on the Orange team for camp, hence the orange.
We walked everywhere during camp...and it was tiring. But the good side was that the kids were tired too and would actually go to sleep at night. So I didn't have to play the "get in your room now" game this year. Games were good at Water Day Rec, but no mud wrestling this year. I haven't decided if that's good or not yet.It was great to be back on the Aggie campus, but I didn't really get to stroll around digging up memories. We stayed in the Commons (which are now all co-ed by floor! talk about a change for a conservative campus!) We ate in Duncan hall (Corp dining hall - not my choice). We did get to go swimming one afternoon, which was nice. I didn't get to go see my old dorm or visit All Faith's were Josh proposed to me.

More importantly, however, the kids learned a lot (I hope). The theme was "The Way" in which we taught the kids about the Narrow and the broad way. We had a couple kids make decisions for salvation and several make valuable spiritual connections to their lives. An no injuries this year! Yay for kid's camp! And Yay for coming home to my own bed afterwards!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Josh's upcoming job transfer!

This is Josh. I have be too long absent from the blog world. Meanwhile, my wonderful wife Sarah has done a fantastic job keeping our readers up to date with our life and thoughts. Sarah has been bugging me for a while to start posting again. I desire to, but I am great at making excuses. But I'm ready to change that. So this is hopefully the first of many wonderfully written, thought provoking, and revealing blogs from the Josh side of Joshua and Sarah. (well Ill just start with posting, then perhaps work on the depth) . Sarah is on her way to Kid's Camp at A&M, so I am sitting in Starbucks using their wi-fi. Is there a better place to write a blog? Probably not. talk about suburban cliche. and yes I did drive our SUV here from 2 blocks away. Ill save my thoughts on all this for another blog.

So... There is news regarding my job world.

Since we moved here two and a half years ago, I have been employed by GHLA. It is a 10-12 person architectural firm in Arlington, that mainly designs senior living facilities (nursing homes and assisted living) and churches. It has been a great experience and I have learned a lot. My responsibility and knowledge has grown immensely from my first few naive months as architectural intern. One thing is for sure; I still have a lot to learn.

Well, my dad who is an architect in Kerrville, has desired for a while for me to work for him. We have been praying about this possibility for a while, and now God has allowed for a unique option for me to work for JSA (dad's firm) from here in Arlington. JSA is working on an addition to a hospital in Odessa with an Arlington firm called SBL (architects seem to have an affinity for alphabet names). I interviewed with them last week and everything is falling in to place for me to start work for JSA in a few weeks. I will be employed by JSA, but working out of SBL's office (which is located in "The Ballpark", or the Ranger's stadium.)
I am excited about this for several reasons. I will be able to work with my dad, and brother (although long distance) and I will be able to experience a larger firm's office environment, which I anticipate will be a great learning experience. And I will still be here in Arlington, so no long commute!
There are still details to be worked out, but that will happen. Change is fun and can make you a little anxious, but like Sarah said in the previous post. God is in control, and not us, so we can rest in that if we learn to just trust Him.

Hopefully you will hear from me more soon. Have a fabulous day!


Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I've been thinking a lot this morning on my walk and thought it would be good to get these thoughts down and share them with whoever reads our blog. I've been dealing a lot with control lately and recognizing that I don't have it. Okay, that's kind of a lame thing to say because I know with my head that I don't control much of anything. And yet there is still that part of me that thinks I do, or at least acts like I do. But more and more each day, since apparently I need to learn this lesson a little better, I am having to give it up.

And the truth of it is that I want to because more than having control over things I want God's glory to be shown in every aspect of my life. I know that sounds like such a Christian Churchy thing to say. But know that it comes out of much struggle with questions, confusion, disappointment, and the over-all goal of my life. I want so much to bring Him praise with my life that I will gladly surrender everything to Him. No matter what.

I have to do this again and again. I really have to take each area of my life, each new thing that comes up in our lives, and surrender it. Sometimes I'm a little slow at it.

There are so many things in my life that I can't control. I can't control when loved ones will find salvation. I can't control where we are moving or when we will go overseas. I don't even know when we will own a house. I know I won't be able to control my future children - or if we will even have children. I don't have a lot of control over having a career and what that will look like. I don't even control the extent of my own life. Listening to a sermon from Francis Chan this morning I was reminded that I don't even know how long I have here. Right now I can't even plan what I will do after graduation. And that's hard when you have worked 2 1/2 years on a Master's degree.

Francis talked about the importance of taking our little flames (think: this little light of mine...) and getting lost in the Eternal Flame of God, losing ourselves completely in Him.

We sing a song at church sometimes that speaks to this. Part of it says:
"And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise, from the inside out Lord my soul cries out"
That's what I want. More than knowing all the answers, or having what I think in this moment is important, I want to bring God praise with my life.

So that means I have to trust Him. I have to wait on Him. I know that He is good and that He holds all things in His hands and He holds all things together. It's still hard and I think He's okay with me saying that.