Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Circle Maker

I mentioned a couple posts ago about the book we had started reading for our small groups, “The Circle Maker,” by Mark Batterson. It has absolutely revolutionized the way I look at prayer and my view of God. A bigger view of God means we pray bigger prayers and the prayers we pray ultimately become the script of our lives. Almost every miracle has a genealogy that can be traced back to a prayer. I can think of so many things over my 27 years, and before I was ever even born, that are a result of either my parents or my grandmother’s prayers. That just makes me want to get on my knees every day for Stella and intercede for her and her future.

When I started this book on September 4, I was coming out of a disappointing month and was letting my lack of understanding regarding my situations get the better of me. The night I began reading, the author challenged the reader to write down the things that you wanted God to do. So many times we just pray an empty prayer with whatever words/thoughts pop in our minds, and I was really motivated to start becoming intentional with my prayers. If not, how am I ever going to know if God answered something or if it was just mere coincidence? When Jesus healed the blind man, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Of course, Jesus knew what he needed, but he wants us to ask Him.

I wrote down four things that I would be “circling” in prayer. This “circling” is new terminology to me, but basically it just means praying through.

1.        We would be completely out of debt by the end of the year {aside from a mortgage}.
2.       I would be able to stay home with Stella by the end of the year {or possibly working part time, but I wanted more time with Stella than working}
3.       Our house would sell.
4.      Stella {just in general; her future, school plans, future spouse, etc}

I’m sharing these things knowing that in God’s sovereignty he may say “not now” or there may be other situations that arise that I can’t ever possibly forsee that I don’t even know to be praying for. But, I’m also sharing because I want God to get the glory when He does answer these.

We got a phone call this past Saturday about a pipeline coming down from somewhere North of Nebraska all the way down through South Texas – and it has to come right through the longest part of our property! The starting bid to purchase the easement from us is MORE than enough to get us completely debt free plus more! What an encouragement to keep praying! It allows us to look at the bigger picture and realize that the sell of our house may have postponed just to allow us to be able to get debt-free, which allows so many other things to be put into action.

On Sunday, we had a prayer walk at the new property our church has purchased for relocation plans. It’s right on the frontage of George Bush near Miles road. Our church has been in our current location since long before we started attending there 23 years ago. We hope to break ground in January, but it was so neat to be walking on the ground where our sanctuary and our children’s ministry will be – where Stella will grow up learning about God. Blake spent a couple days last week helping the church get the property cleaned up for the prayer walk and we are just so excited about our future and the future of Northplace Church. At the beginning of the prayer walk, everyone was given a rock that we wrote down things/people, etc that we were believing God to do or for salvation of that person. At the end of the prayer walk we placed all the rocks in a pile. That pile of rocks will be used to pour the concrete of the alter in the new church and it’s going to be such an amazing testimony when God answers those prayers.

{We let Stella write on a rock, too}

{Daddy helping Stella put her rock with the pile}

{My family}

{Someone was just a lil tuckered out}

Before heading to the prayer walk after service, Blake told me he had something to tell me and that he finally had direction and peace about our plans. I’ve always felt, since before I even imagined being pregnant with Stella, that I wanted to be home with our kids. After having Stella, it just didn’t seem feasible for me not to go back to work. We needed health insurance and there were other financial obligations such that we felt like it was in our best interest for me to go back to work for a while. The drive to work takes me nearly an hour and half to get to my office and so last September I was looking for a job closer to home. I got the job offer I wanted, though it would have been a significant pay cut. After putting my notice in at work, they came back with such a crazy counter-offer, that looking back it was SO God’s hand providing a way for us to achieve our financial goals more quickly than we could have otherwise. I know God takes us through a process to grow us, but having the hindsight now is so neat to see all these things coming together. So, after service on Sunday, Blake said that he knew that me staying home with Stella full-time after the end of the year was exactly what we needed to do and that it was time for us to just lean and trust on God and that He would provide {and I love how Blake added, “I always find a way to make things happen, don’t I?”}

Anyway – I know this was super long, but I just love sharing the awesome things that are happening!

Monday, September 24, 2012

September....thus far

I definitely need my hand slapped for what a bad blogger I have been lately, but honestly, there just really hasn’t been too much going on. Just the normal day to day living. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from taking lots of pics of my little Stella girl, so I’ll just share September so far through some pics!

{Stella giving daddy's horse kisses}

{She wasn't too sure about being on this BIG horse by herself}

{Stella liked it way more when daddy was on the horse with her}
{Celebrating cousin Allie's 2nd birthday}

{Princess Stella}

{She has a new found love for her rocking horse}

{Dinner date with the Aaron's at Urban Rio}

{Love my man}

{Love this girl!}

{Stella having a good ol' time at PawPaw's}

{This is how she lets Penny kiss her....special}

{Stella and Grits in the Cozy Coupe going for a lil ride}

{Eek! My new kitchen table - just looking for chairs now!}

{Sweetest face I've ever seen}

{She seriously loves rocks...that's all she wants to do at G-Mommy and G-Daddy's house}

{Showing her how to vacuum at early age ;)}

{She caught on pretty quick!}

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I came across some pictures from when Blake and I were dating. Most of these pictures were taken either when Blake was home on leave from the Navy or in San Marcos. But, they bring back great memories, so I thought I’d share!

{Christmas 2006}

Blake and I “officially” started dating around Christmas 2006 when he was home for a few weeks from Japan. He left to go back to Japan right before New Year’s, but was back less than a month later when we found out Greg {his dad} had to have open heart surgery. This allowed Blake to be home another month and we didn’t have to do the “long distance” thing.

[January 2007- Blake shaved his head in a mohawk for his dad's surgery}
Then, in February 2007 he went back to Japan {again} and  got out of the Navy May of that year. We spent EVERY weekend together as Blake would make the 4 hour drive down to San Marcos to visit me from Dallas as I was taking a crazy load of classes to finish up my degree in Healthcare Administration so that I could move back to Dallas in the fall and do my internship that was required for graduation.

We were engaged by December of that year and married in May 2008. I absolutely LOVE looking back at these pictures and that special time in our lives!

{Mesquite Rodeo}

{attending a wedding}

{hanging out on Matt's boat}

{Jami's wedding}

{in San Marcos - Aquarena Springs boat tour}

{hanging out in San Marcos}

{the day Blake bought a blue heeler puppy in Canton - Jules, i.e. the spawn of Satan}

{Blake's stepmom, Lori's, birthday}

{Blake home on leave}

{the night before my 22nd birthday}

{kisses for my birthday}

{more Blake home on leave - keeping us up late}

{fun on the lake}

{the dirt races}

{at my apartment in San Marcos}

{more home on leave}

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dove Season

Well, in keeping with tradition {who’s tradition? I’m not really sure} we went dove hunting over Labor Day weekend since it was  the opening of dove season on September 1st. I cannot shoot a moving target to save my life, so I was only out there for the thrill of the action…except it was more like the lack of action. I was really hoping to have some dove to be able to grill when we got back home with some jalapeno, bacon, and cheese – but we only shot one.

Blake had gone Saturday evening and there seemed to be more dove than on Monday morning, but I just like hanging with Blake, so I had fun! My dad, our pastor, and his two sons joined us. I felt so bad because there were seriously less than 15 dove that flew over us the entire couple hours we were out there, but I think everyone still had a good time!

Stella had stayed the night with my parents Sunday night so that I could get up at 6am {on my day off} and not worry about waking her up or having to have someone come over early and watch her. AND that meant I got to do a little horseback riding Sunday night, too! As soon as we left the field after hunting Monday morning, Blake and I went to Ballard Street Café and had some breakfast and then went and picked Stella up. Then, we had a relaxing rest of our Labor Day!

{One of my favorite views...from the top of a horse}

{taking aim}

{the hunters}

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stella + Terryl

Over Labor Day weekend, Stella and I got to visit with one of my friends from high school, Audrey, and her little cutie, Terryl! I’ve been able to see Terryl “grow up” through Instagram and Audrey’s blog since they live in Nevada {the state, not the city I live in!}, but it was so fun actually getting to meet him AND to be able to let Stella and Terryl play together.

Both kiddo’s LOVED Terryl’s ball pit and I’ve definitely decided this is a toy Stella HAS to have. The little girl does not do dolls or babies – she is all about balls and ropes! They played on Terryl’s little 4-wheeler and his wooden horses. Although at first I think they were a little wary of each other – they warmed up eventually and Stella had so much fun playing!

I hope to have more play dates with Terryl and Audrey when they visit again! Thanks Audrey and Terryl for playing with us!

{This is the most unflattering picture of me - but it's the only one I have of all 4 of us!}