Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm Back!

It takes me so long between each post that I should really just stop apologizing!  Maybe I should commit to a day of the week to blog....I'll have to think about that and see what I can come up with!  

I'm sitting here on the couch and it's the night of December 20th.  Christmas is 4 days away.  I wish I could say I was finished shopping, but the truth is, we have alot to do!  Thankfully Michael and I are both off this week and the week after that.  We will have some time on Monday and Tuesday to shop.  We are those people who wait until the last minute.  Next year I want to be one of those people who finishes Christmas shopping in November!  We'll see if that happens!  We have so much fun shopping for our nieces and nephews at Christmas!  This year my mom and dad are coming to San Antonio for Christmas.  We are so excited to host them in our new house!  We are going to take them to a Spurs game and try to do a few other "San Antonio" things while they are here.  We are looking forward to our time with them.

As far as a baby journey update...
I had an HSG test done a few weeks ago.  This is a test where they insert dye into the uterus and watch under x-ray.  They are checking to make sure there is no blockage.  They are able to see if the dye spills over into the fallopian tubes without any trouble.  This test was extremely painful, but we found out that everything on my insides looks good.  This was a huge relief!  Praise God!  The next step is to have my blood tested on the 3rd day of my next cycle and then again on the 21st day.  They are going to check my hormone levels to see if I have ovulated or not.  My cycles have been totally out of whack lately so this will be interesting!  We are still confident in our Lord and His timing.  We continue to seek Him as we take our next steps.         I will say that I have heard some interesting things through all of this...some of my favorites have been...
*  "When you stop thinking about it, you'll become pregnant."
*  "You need to drink some wine so you can relax and then...."
*  "I'll be a surrogate for you.  I love being pregnant, I just don't like it when the kids come out."      (I'm not kidding.)
*  "You're young.  Once you have kids you're whole life will change.  There's no rush."
*  "You can borrow mine for a while.  They drive me crazy."

Let's just say this journey is very interesting.  I'm sure those of you that experienced any infertility issues have heard some of the same things!  
I will try not to make every blog about this and I know one day I'll be posting pics of our precious child up on here!  

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!  I love this time of year and am reminded of grace and mercy upon our lives.  What a wonderful Savior!  

Thursday, November 6, 2008


To give you an update on the journey we are on...I had the plan from my doctor and was so excited that we had a "plan."  I was to do an ovulation predictor kit for 2 months and then if I wasn't pregnant in 2 months, I would have to get an HSG test done.  Month #1 I couldn't do the kit because I never had a cycle!  This obviously means I did not ever ovulate.  Month #2 I have 2 sticks left of a 20 day ovulation predictor and have not detected an LH surge yet...this means, I have not ovulated and it has been 18 days.  I will probably have the HSG test done soon.

The desire to be a mom presses on me.  It weighs me down at times and often brings tears to my eyes.  It stirs up weird emotions and brings out sin that has to be repented of constantly.  A new set of doubts and fears arise with every passing month.  If I'm totally honest, it has brought out jealousy in my heart and envy.  I have asked the Lord "Why" and I've even proclaimed, "It's not fair."  I am embarrassed of my thoughts and have really been praying God's Word... "we demolish strongholds and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  Lord, help me take captive these thoughts that are not of You.  

I was recently reading a post that I came upon because of a friend from Phi Lamb in college. Mandy's brother and sister-in-law lost their precious baby girl when she was only 3 months old.  Jennifer (mandy's sister-in-law) blogs and just recently did an update on the past 7 months and the healing the Lord has done in their hearts.  The Lord used her words to give me a new perspective.

The first thing she said that God has taught her is that her husband is her greatest earthly gift!  Wow!  The night I read her blog, I left a note on Michael's pillow (b/c I went to bed early!) that said "You, Michael, are the greatest earthly gift that I will ever have!"  I need to tell him that more often.  I love that!  The Lord has blessed me so much with a husband on this earth.  A relationship that is the greatest earthly blessing! 

I got in bed and opened my Bible to Ephesians 1.  Ok, Lord I'm hearing You!  Ephesians 1 is about our spiritual blessing!  We have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ!  Oh, Jesus, thank You for the cross.  Thank You that through You and in You I have very spiritual blessing.  
So, I am joyful and hopeful.  I am fully blessed right now, this day!!  Praise You Lord!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Michael's Favorite Things...

Thanks for tagging me Magen!  I've needed a blogging idea for a while now!  :)  So here we go...

My husband's favorite things in no particular order...

~Coming home to our new house every day!  (I'll put up new pics soon that actually have our stuff in the house!

~His guitars....he loves playing guitar and he's taught himself so much over the years.

~Cereal!  The man could eat cereal every meal of every day.  What kinds?  Any cereal that most kids between the ages of 4 and 12 get excited about!  Fruity pebbles, fruit loops, apple jacks, cinnamon life, corn pops.....

~Preaching/Teaching/Studying the Word:  He truly is a gifted communicator of the gospel.  I love hearing him preach, that's one of my favorite things!  He really "comes alive" when he's preaching and teaching.

~Football and all things that are ESPN!  He loves to watch and know about sports!  Spurs basketball, college football esp. Texas Tech....he just loves all of it!

~Spending time with and talking ministry with his closest guy friends, including his dad!

~His family!  He loves his family and would do anything for any of them!  He loves that Julie and Bill live in S.A. now with the kids.  He loves to visit Shelby and Ricky and the boys!  He has a blast with his niece and nephews and they loving call him Uncle Mike, which make them the only people to call him Mike!  He has an amazing relationship with his mom and dad.  He really enjoys spending time at their house on Sunday afternoons!

~Shhhh...don't tell this one!  :)  Shopping!  Yes, it's husband likes to go shopping more than I do!  ;)

~Dreaming of owning cool electronic equipment!  He frequently dreams of the next i this and i that.  He loves anything that Apple comes out with!  He loves to go to Best Buy to just "look."

~Running!  He's up to 14 miles in his training for the San Antonio Rock N' Roll Marathon and he weirdly "loves" running.  I didn't know those two words could ever go together!

~The Church at Vineyard Hills:  He loves being a part of what God is doing there!  

~Tickling my feet!  Unfortunately, this is one of his favorite things...too bad I am reeeaaalllly ticklish!  I guess that's what makes it fun?!

~He frequently tells me that he loves being on this journey with me.  He loves to go on dates and hang out, just me and him.  He loves surprising me in sweet ways.  He loves to lay on the couch with me and watch a movie. 

Ok, so there are my husband's favorite things!  I cannot figure out how to attach appropriate pictures because when I try to put a pic in to make this more fun to look at, they all go to the top and I can't change it!  Hmmmm... how do you get them right where you want them and then put text under them?  Any tips would be appreciated!  

Thanks for the tag Magen!  
I tag:
Ali Cooper for her husband Ben
Amy Cooper for her husband Nick
Melissa for her husband Tyson
Leah for her husband Lex
Mandy for her husband George
Carrie for her husband Chad

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Well, as of about 1:30 today, we are officially homeowners!  We are so excited!  Here are some pics of the house when it still had the seller's stuff in that might be weird!  I'll post some new pics after we move in and do some painting!  God has blessed us beyond measure and we are so thankful!  There are 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms...I won't put pics of everything...but these will give you an idea!  :)  

I also had my doctor's appointment this morning.  She wants me to do an ovulation predictor kit for the next 2 months and start taking prenatal vitamins.  If I am not pregnant in 2 months, I am going to have an HSG done which is a test where they have to run a line into my uterus.  They put dye in me and watch on xray what's going on inside.  Apparently the test is not pleasant!  We are praying and knowing that our God is so faithful and Sovereign!  So, here begins our journey to parenthood!  We approach it prayerfully and absolutely at peace, which I know is His grace poured out on us!  We covet your prayers!

Here's the house!  The picture of the front of the house also has our realtor in it...who did so much to help us!  The picture of the back yard with the deck has my amazing hubby in it!  :)  He is so excited to learn how to do things at the house!  :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beautiful Inheritance Part I

Here are some notes from the Beth Moore conference that I went to a few weeks ago.  I'm leaving out a lot of amazing detail...but I wanted to share this!  I'll do the rest in part II soon!  

Psalm 16:5-6
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup, you hold my lot.  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance."  

He redeems, not just to get us out of trouble, but to give us something inheritance!

His inheritance always involves 3 things:
1.  Presence- promise to His people of Himself (Genesis 26:23 and Joshua 1:9)
2. People- God's whole idea is relationship (Psalm 16:3, Revelation 7:9, Genesis 12:3, Genesis         22:17-18, Deuteronomy 4:20)
3. Property-  Psalm 16:5 "you have made my lot secure"

So, we have a promise as heirs of God...His presence, His people, and property in Heaven!

1.  I am an heir of God.  My life is not left to chance!
     God works as powerfully through the natural events that He does the miraculous ones!
     Fate has NO power over me!
2.  I am an heir of God.  I am inheriting a kingdom.
     Matthew 25:34
     What do we have now?  Right now we are tenants of the talents.
     Spiritually, we have been brought into the kingdom (Colossians 1:12)
     Heaven is a real-life kingdom!  (not just a bunch of ghost people floating around!)
3.  I am an heir of God.  He is my portion...and I am His.
     Psalm 16, Deuteronomy 10:8-9
     Tribe of Levi was set apart.  they did not have a lot- the Lord told them that He was their         portion
     The Lord tells them that He is the only inheritance that they need.
     1 Peter 2:4-5 We are the New Testament priesthood
     The Lord is our choice portion!
     The Levitical priests were spread out over the earth to be light.  As light in darkness, He is          my portion!  
    Deuteronomy 4:20, 32:9- He considers His own people His inheritance
    Ephesians 1:18 His glorious inheritance IN us, not for us!
    The Lord's treasured possession is His people!

There are 8 statements total...I'll blog a part II later this week!  

P.S.  My doctor's appt. is tomorrow and we're closing on our house tomorrow!  I'll update and post pics soon!  :)

Greet each day knowing that you are an heir of God!  You are His portion, His chosen portion!

Friday, August 29, 2008

"Don't Be Alarmed....

if Mason comes up to you with his ear in his hand."  

This is a statement that I heard at meet the teacher!  I bet this is a quote you have never heard before so I thought I'd share it!  A little boy in my room has a prosthetic ear.  When he gets hot and sweats sometimes the glue comes "unstuck" so his ear comes off.  I failed to inform the rest of my 1st grade team about this and the other day it happened at recess...when I was off recess duty!  I was doing some work in my classroom to look up and see little Mason putting something in his backpack.  I said, "hey bud, what are you doing?"  This is when he says, in a very matter of fact tone, "I'm only putting $9,000 in my backpack, my ear!"  Ok, so it's been a crazy week!  Starting school is hard work!  I was so used to the kids that left me at the end of last year who were almost 2nd graders...and now we have kids right out of kinder again!  It's an adjustment for sure!  I will say that yesterday I thought, "maybe teaching is not for me!"  Today was a much better day and I know that I am doing what I'm supposed to be doing.  There are a lot of things I have to just let go of...I can tend to get overwhelmed and I'm convinced that even if I stayed at school until midnight there would still be stuff to do.  Any teachers hearing me on that one?  

It's going to be a good year and I love getting to know the little (sometimes big) personalities of my 1st graders!  I love watching their growth as's amazing!  Hopefully I'll have more stories to blog about throughout the year!  

This is going to be a busy, but exciting month!  We are closing on a house on September 18th.  After having to walk away from the house we just loved....I didn't think we could ever find one we liked as much!  God totally blessed us with a house that we absolutely love and it's in a better location than the one before!  It's so humbling to me to know that He takes care of so many details....He is so faithful.  

The same day we close on the house, I will be going to my doctor's appointment.  I don't know if she will want to do tests yet.  I'm not sure what this appointment will involve.  I do know that I will talk to her about our desires to have a baby and explain the struggles we've had so far.  My current struggle is wondering if there's a "right" or "wrong" way to go about all of this as a believer.  I KNOW without a doubt that our Sovereign God has a plan and purpose for my life that He will bring to fruition...He has a plan and purpose for my child's life that is in His perfect timing. far do you go with doctors and science?  When do you take steps toward getting help or looking in to adoption.  These may seem like no brainers, but to me they are just things I've been thinking about lately.  I have felt alot of peace this month which I know is straight from Him!  I am thankful for it and I'm trying to give this up every day.  I would love words of wisdom from anyone who has experienced this or knows of someone who has.  In the meantime I am praying constantly that God gets the glory no matter what.  Michael and I pray for wisdom and leading and ask that you do the same for us!    I will definitely update after my doctors appointment.  

Ok, this post is super long!  I'm soooo glad this is a long weekend!!!!  Last weekend I heard Beth Moore at the Alamodome and it was incredible.  She taught about our inheritance!!!  I'll share more of that in another post!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

3 Years Ago Today...

...I married the love of my life!  I cherish the memories from our wedding day!  The past 3 years have been an amazing time of growth!  I am so thankful to be on this life journey with Michael!  He is my best friend and I love him with all of my heart!

Monday, August 11, 2008


change!  Michael and I are continuing to learn that the Lord has a plan for us and that He will bring that plan into fruition.  We have to live in faith, take some scary steps sometimes, and trust Him with our lives!  Sometimes this is easier said than done....right?

Last week we were supposed to close on our very first home!  We were so excited and I had already started to decorate the house in my mind!  :)  I'll spare you all of the crazy details, but we had to back out of this today.  The closing was moved to this week because they builders had not fixed anything from our inspection report.  It was like pulling teeth to try to get some of the things our inspector found fixed.  They would not provide a list of what they fixed.  They lied and told us the house was ready....without a functioning toilet downstairs, with no seals on the windows and doors, with no ladder to get into the attic, with a dishwasher that was loose in its place....and the list goes on and on.  Anyway, after being lied to and treated really poorly by the builders, Michael had to make the decision that he felt was best for us as a family.  I have to admit, I was not so supportive at first because of the emotional attachment part.....but I now realize that there must be something else for us.  So, we will continue to house hunt and pray for God's leading.

So, for my those of you wondering if we are moving soon....we are not buying the house!  I'll keep you updated as God does His thing!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Warning....this will be mushy!!!!!

Sunday, July 20th was my husband's birthday!  He turned 25...I know...youngen!!!  I always remind him that I was already sitting up on my own maybe even crawling when he was born!  :)  Anyway, I wanted to use this post to talk about my hubby!  I am so thankful that 25 years ago the Lord brought him into this world!  As I listen to his mom talk about how big of a surprise he was being 8 and 10 years behind his sisters, I just grin inside because we all know it was no surprise to the Lord.  What's even more amazing to me is that before he was even born the Lord knew he would be my life partner.  It reminds me of the sovereignty and goodness of the Lord!  I am going to attempt to express my gratefulness for Michael in words, knowing that words will never do him justice!  

I am thankful for my husband because:
~He is a student of the Word!  He loves the Word of God and he is studying it all the time!  He challenges me in so many ways!
~He is an amazing teacher/preacher!  He has such a gift and the Lord has really used him in my life and so many others!
~He is a leader.  I love that I can trust him and his leadership of our family.  
~He still opens the car door for me every single time we go somewhere!  :)
~He works hard as a teacher and coach!
~He is a man who stands by his convictions.
~He has been an encourager, supporter, and best friend.
~He is sensitive to the Lord's leading and is so obedient, even when it's hard.

These are only a few reasons, and I could really go on and on!  I love him so much and am so blessed by him.  Having him as my husband is a huge reminder of the grace of the Lord on my life!  I am so thankful for his 25 years of life that the Lord has used to mold him into who he is now.  I look forward to the next 25 and can't wait to see what God has in store for us!  Happy Birthday baby!  I love you so much!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Coming up with blog titles....

is really hard!  As I was trying to think of a creative title for my blog today I was reminded of a story I want to share!  When I was a freshman in high school I took a journalism class.  I thought maybe one day I could be a journalist because I really enjoy writing.  I went to a UIL competition that involved different journalistic (i think I just made that word up) categories.  One of the categories we had to compete in was headline writing.  We would read an editorial piece and then write a creative title for the article using a certain number of spaces.  Well...after this competition was over I received my scores.  Written next to my titles was the statement, "Melanie, you're writing is really great but, if you become a journalist have someone else write your titles!"

Things here in the hill country are going well!  Michael and I are still really enjoying our summer off together.  It is a huge benefit of teaching!  We had a great time in St. Louis at the wedding.  We were able to see alot of people that have known Michael since he was born so it was fun to hear stories!  The wedding was beautiful and very classy!  Here we are before the reception.  
 St. Louis is really pretty and we were able to see the arch, which is huge!!!  The Mississippi River is really high because 
of the flooding so we didn't get to take our river boat cruise!  :)  It was nice to get away and have a little vacation!

For the 4th, I left Michael in San Antonio and headed to Round Rock, TX just North of Aust
in to stay with Tracy!  She was my roommate during college and is one of my 
best friends!  Her sister Jamie and our friend Stephanie came from Dallas and we had a really fun girl's weekend!  We ate out, shopped at the outlet mall in Round Rock, swam, talked alot, and ate some more!  It was a blast! These girls are friends that I truly cherish and we had so much fun!

To those of you wondering....I didn't go to my doctor's appointment on July 3rd.  I rescheduled for September.  I have many reasons for doing this, but mainly just to give us more time!  Currently I am doing an ovulation predictor kit to see what it will tell me.  I will definitely let you all know how the appt. goes in September.  I am doing a Bible study right now that has been discussing the glory of God.  This week, I am reminded that the work the Lord is doing in our lives is for His glory!  With this baby situation, He will work it out in a way that allows Him to receive the greatest glory.  I cling to this hope and the truth of knowing that He is in control.  We desire for Him to receive glory!  

Currently we are distracted from all of that because we found a house that we love!  It is in a neighborhood that is more of a middle ground between our schools.  I will keep you posted and when it is more of a sure thing, I will post pictures!  We are ready to be homeowners!  We are going through the process right now, so if everything goes well, we will close the beginning of August.  
I hope this blog finds all of you doing well!  We would love to hear from you!  Life is good because God is good!  If any of you have any tips for blog title writing let me know!  :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where have I been?

Hey!  I am officially terrible at updating this thing!  For all of you that wait and wait and check to see if I've blogged....I am very sorry!  ;)  Michael and I are really enjoying our summer.  It is really nice to have a break from the school setting!  Michael is golfing and studying to take some tests for his CDL.  (that's a bus driver's license that he has to have as a coach!...and yes they have to parallel park that huge yellow bus!)  I am working part time at my mother-in-law's office at Mass Mutual.  I feel like a teenager in the office filing and putting together folders!  I've already been told by one older man, "You're married!  You look like you're 13!"  To that I think...really?...13?  Ouch!  I was at least hoping for 16 or 17.  I know though, I'll appreciate it later when I'm 40 and still look 30...that's what people tell me anyway!  I am also tutoring two kids this summer.  

Michael's sister Julie moved to San Antonio a few weeks ago with her husband and two kids.  We have spend almost every day with them!  We are being so spoiled to get so much time with our niece and nephew!

Michael and I are house hunting and we go back and forth deciding if we're ready to buy a house or not!  Does anyone else have trouble making big decisions like that too?!  We've realized that buying a home that is just being built would be better financially for us because we would have incentives from the builders and not have to put as much down.  Anyway...all this to say...any house buying advice that you may have to offer would be great!!!

Last week we went to Wichita Falls for Michael's granddad's funeral.  He passed away on Father's Day and was able to spend Father's Day in Heaven!  He was a Godly man and passed down so much to his children and his children's children.  I pray that I can impact generations for Christ the way He did.  On our way to WF we were able to stop for lunch in Stephenville and spend some time with our dear friends Amy and Nick!  I got to meet sweet baby Daniel who is adorable!  Thanks for meeting up with us Coopers!  We love you!

This week we are heading to St. Louis to go to a wedding.  It will be nice to get away and get to know this family that Michael loves better.  They are a family that he has known his entire life.  Since he moved so much, there aren't many like that in his this is really important to him.  I am really excited about the trip.  

I guess I can get this out in the open now.  I have been off of "the pill" for like 9 months now and am not pregnant.  I have a doctor's appt. on July 3rd to make sure everything is ok.  Please pray for us in this adventure.  We know that God's timing is perfect so we are holding on to that truth!  We are anxious so pray that He will be our peace and that we will not be anxious, but be prayerful!

In a nutshell...that's what's cracken with us right now!  We can't believe we have lived in San Antonio for 2 years!  We look back and are in awe of the things God has done and is continuing to do here!  We love it!  We definitely have our moments of missing Lubbock and our lives there...but we have really great memories!  It is fun living in a place that you feel you have been called to...and having a peace that this is right where we are supposed to be!  Until next time...I will update after the wedding and post some pics!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It is for Freedom!

Today I have thought a lot about freedom.  Today my little brother left his wife, his 2 year old little boy and his 2 month old baby girl to go to Iraq for 13 months.  That's right...13's a long time!  He is a specialist in the United States Army and I am so proud of him.  As I have thought about my brother going to do a job that most don't want to do...I have thought about how grateful I am that men and women are willing to sacrifice for my freedom that I have in the U.S.  My brother and many others are soldiers who are fighting on behalf of an entire country's protection and freedom.  He is sacrificing over a year with his wife and kids, they are sacrificing too....for me, for you, for this country.  Wow.  I am so proud that he is my brother.  I am so humbled by his sacrifice.  Freedom is costly.  Freedom comes at a high price.  There is a much greater battle going on.  We are not helpless!  We, as followers of Jesus, are called to go to battle for this world.  We are called to get on our knees on behalf of those we know are in bondage.  We are called to walk in the freedom that comes from our Hosanna!  It is matter what the cost...whatever the sacrifice.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set you free!" Galatians 5:1  Thank you Jesus for freedom.  Thank you for paying the price so that we can experience true freedom in you.  Thank you that we don't have to be burdened by a yoke of slavery anymore.  Praise you that you gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live in freedom from the chains of sin and the darkness of death.  Father, protect the men and women who sacrifice so much for our worldly freedom.  Father, give us the courage to go to battle for others and to share of this freedom we have been given in You!  I am so undeserving and unworthy.  Thank you for grace and mercy!  Thank you for Your Son.  
Today I have thought a lot about FREEDOM!    

Thanks little brother for what you are doing!  I'm so proud of you and I love you so much!  Thanks for helping me get back to the place where I am humbled and grateful for freedom!  

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


So, I haven't blogged lately.  What else is new!  This is harder than I thought it would be!  Anyway, just to give you an update from my last post that was asking for dad, who is an alcoholic, just lost his job.  I'm not sure what he is going to do now.  That is why I ask for prayer.  Pray for him and that he will come to a place of brokenness before the Lord.  Pray that he will be set free from these chains that are controlling everything in his life.  Pray for strength for my mom, who is still deciding to stand by him.  That's really all I can say about has been going on so long.  I think I might be getting numb and I honestly can't decide if that's a good thing or not.  I'll keep you posted on that situation.  
In spite of all that, we have had a really great May so far!  Some highlights for us have been:
  • The Spurs playoff game with Megan and Ronnie!  We had so much fun and Megan and I looked super cool with our binoculars!  
  • We were able to go to Houston to see our niece play T-Ball! (and see the Astro's player Lance Berkman whose daughter is on Grace's team)
  • My brother and his wife welcomed their second baby.  Claire Marie was born on May 10th.  
  • We went to Killeen to meet Claire and say good-bye to my brother who deploys the beginning of June.
  •  Signed up to run a marathon (Michael) and half-marathon (me) in November!  We start our training program in June.  This will be quite the challenge for me considering our first run resulted in two cars stopping on the shoulder of the road to bring water!...and one ended up taking us home!  :)
  • We get to count down the days to summer and now it's in the single-digits!  9 more to go!
God is good, faithful, unchanging, full of grace, and brings so much joy to our lives every day!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Please Pray

Please pray for my mom...for more of that strength I was telling you she had!  Pray for my dad.  He needs some help.  That's all I know to say right now....please pray!  Thank you so much!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Mom

With Mother's Day coming up on Sunday I have been thinking alot lately about my mom.  I am reminded of the woman she is and the woman she has helped me become...and the Lord continues to mold and shape both of us!  I wanted to write a post about my mom so others can know this lady that I know so well.  First of all, let me give you a little bit of history...that is a cool story of God's provision, healing power, faithfulness, and goodness.  My mom and dad tried to have children for 7 years...yes I said 7 years!  My mom was told that it would never happen for her.  Can you imagine?  Can you imagine trying for 7 years?  She even tried 3 fertility drugs that did not work.  After 7 years, the Lord gave my parents Alisha.  Alisha is my sister who was adopted when she was 5 days old.  What a precious gift to my mom and dad.  When Alisha was 10 months old...SURPRISE!!!  My mom was pregnant with me!  Three years brother.  Apparently the doctors were wrong and God had different plans!  :)  After my brother was born my mom suffered from a severe stroke.  She was in a coma and the doctors told my dad that if she lived she would be paralyzed or a vegetable.  Again, the Lord had different plans for her!  She survived!  According to dad, she went through grueling physical therapy.  She even had to relearn the alphabet!  As a result of the stroke my mom has had seizures and in the summer of 2002 she had a major brain surgery that did not prove to be "successful."  Not only has this all occurred in her life, but she was also diagnosed with colon cancer when I was in high school.  This is totally gone today and yet another miracle for her and our family!  All this history to just give you an idea of what my mom has been through.  Through all of her personal medical struggles, she has had so much strength.  Her faith in Jesus is so deep.  I can remember walking in the room to see my mom engulfed in the Word.  She would always remind me of His promises when I needed to hear them.  I am amazed when I think back to those precious times.  

After her brain surgery in 2002, which removed part of left temporal lobe, she has had a lot of difficulty interpreting what people say and giving a response to what they say.  Her communication is very difficult and often times childlike.  This has been a huge struggle in her life and ours.  She is different.  She is a different personality.  She cannot carry on a "typical" mother-daughter conversation.  I cherish memories I have with her before the surgery.  Even though she is different and it's hard to talk with her, she remembers scripture!  She loves Jesus.  She still lives for Him and continues to pray with the words she can muster.  She makes perfect sense to Him!  She still reminds me to pray and reminds me that often times that's all we can do.  She has stuck by a husband who is a recovering alcoholic.  When things were the worst with my dad, she was there, ready to forgive and move on.  She is a story of an overcomer, a story of strength, a story of a godly wife and mom, a story of the Lord's unchanging nature and His faithfulness.  I love my mom.  I look up to her and pray that I can have her faith.  I pray that I can have her "childlike" faith that she expresses even now!  I miss our long talks and I miss getting advice on life from my mom...but her example has been more than enough.  She is my hero and I love her for who she was and who she is now.  Tell your mom this mother's day how much she means to you!  

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

To Cook or Not To Cook!

I have to confess that this question is pretty daunting in my life!  It is the great debate for this wife!  Michael and I are eating out constantly.  Not only is this not the best thing for our's not the greatest thing for our bank account either! ....or is it?  I cannot figure out if spending tons of money on groceries or eating out is more cost efficient.  I know you are thinking..."of course, groceries."  Well, I have a husband who is veeerrrrryyyy picky!  If it were up to him we'd eat cereal every night which seems so cheap...but I cannot eat cereal for dinner every night.  I'm pretty much the opposite when it comes to food.  I'll eat anything and I love variety!  Anyway, I sat down last night with some cookbooks and recipe cards to make a shopping list of things I can cook in the next few weeks.  My list was so long...I'm sure that trip to the store would probably be $200 or more!  Geez...what is the answer to this dilemma?  We are really busy and we don't do leftovers well.  I'm really up for suggestions.  I want to cook, not just for Michael and I, but I need to be able to cook when we have a family!  Eating out for 2 may be ok, but when our family gets larger, this will be a very expensive habit.  I am asking for HELP!  If you have simple, fast recipes that you enjoy please share!!!  If you have money saving tips for grocery store adventures...please share!  Hopefully I will find an answer to my question:  to cook or not to cook?!  

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thanks to Megan...

Here's a recent pic of Michael and I after I had about 4 or 5 inches cut off of my hair!  

So at dinner last night Megan told me I should post because it's been a long time!  I decided to take her advice!  Life is good with the McCracken's!  We enjoyed having spring break to rest.  It's nice that both of us teach because we  get the same holidays together!  We slept in, relaxed, did a little (but not enough) cleaning out, and then we celebrated every night with our church family leading up to Easter Sunday.  I definitely think all professionals should have a spring break like teachers do!  I won't go so far to say that it's the reason I teach...but it sure makes the long hard days easier!  
Here is a fun first grade story!...The week before spring break I was teaching my reading groups and we were reading a story about a little girl who wanted to read.  She kept having to move rooms in the house because there was noise in each room.  The story didn't say what the noise was so the kids had to infer from the pictures.  She had to leave her room because her baby brother was screaming in the background, then the story shows her at the kitchen table.  In the background, her dad is using a blender.  I asked my reading group, "Why do you think she can't read in the kitchen?"  Without skipping a beat, with great confidence, a little girl spoke up and said, "because her dad's making a margarita!"  She later told us that margaritas are adult drinks that they drink when they are annoyed with their kids!  :)  Fun times teaching  first grade!  

Easter was wonderful.  Our church met at a movie theater and we had between 75 and 80 people attend. One lady gave her life to Christ that day!  It was a really fun celebration of our Savior who lives!  What a sweet gift it is to have life in Him!  
Sorry my thoughts have been random and jumbled, but I guess this is what happens when I have almost a months worth of "no blogging" in my mind!  In case you are puppy is behaving better with me now!  ;)  Until next will not be as long!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Last post...

As I was rereading my last post, I thought I should clarify one thing...I was not trying to in any way discount big ministries that have alot of people!  I realized that my wording may have suggested this.  It is really amazing that many ministries have tons and tons of people hungry to grow and to be discipled...and in many cases that is just what is happening!  I was simply revealing my heart's poor condition of being too comfortable and proud in big ministries.  God is using the small body of believers He has placed me in to teach me alot.  We pray for growth and for Him to bring more people!  Anyway, today was a great Sunday together with the body!  I hope you all had a good one too!  :)  

Friday, March 7, 2008

To Sit at Your Feet...

First of all, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post again.  I find myself intrigued by other people's blogs but never post my own!  Things here are going week until spring break...and that is GREAT NEWS!  :)  During spring break since it is the week before Easter, our church is holding what we are naming "Passion Week."  We are doing something each night of the week to prepare for the celebration on Easter Sunday.  We are really pumped because we haven't done anything like this before.  For those of you that I haven't talked to in a while, let me fill you in a little on the ministry we are a part of here...
Michael and I were called to move to San Antonio and minister at The Church at Vineyard Hills.  This is a church where his dad is the pastor.  We meet in a school cafeteria and have about 30 people on a Sunday.  We have "satellite groups" during the week for study and fellowship.  This place is different than any church I've ever been a part of and honestly, it was a huge step of faith for me because I'm comfortable in churches where there are thousands of people...that's just it though....COMFORTABLE.  Ever since we have been in San Antonio, the Lord has really opened my eyes and heart to reveal to me that I have spent my years as a follower of Christ being entirely too comfortable.  In the past I have prided myself in being a part of big name ministries where there are a ton of'm revealing alot about my heart's condition here!  The Lord has begun to really break down my pride and search my heart.  He has revealed to me that it's not about numbers, but lives changed by the power of the gospel.  He has called me out of my pride and out of my "everything is so great in my life" a humble, broken spirit.  He has reminded me of the importance of discipleship and investing in the lives of others for His glory.  I have come to a place in my walk where I am so hungry to just know Jesus more intimately.  There is a song that I love that really speaks my heart right now and so I'll share the lyrics with you...
"The more I seek You, the more I find You."
The more I find You, the more I love You.
I want to sit at Your feet, drink from the cup in Your hand,
lay back against You and breathe, feel Your heartbeat.
This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand,
I melt in Your peace, it's overwhelming."

All of this to say, God is at work in a huge way in this heart and life.  He is so good and I am so thankful for the grace that allows the process of sanctification in my life.  He is at work in San Antonio and at work at the Church at Vineyard Hills.  He is bringing people to know Himself and calling them into fellowship eternally with Himself.  He is making disciples and using us, people, in spite of who we are.  God is so good and His grace amazes me!  I want to know Him more, I want to sit at His feet!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Life lessons from my puppy!?

Today was a good day.  Kids were out of school for President's Day and my principle let us just have a "work day."  This means teachers get to work in their was nice to have the time to prepare for the week.  Anyway, it was a nice break from having the usual 19 inquisitive 6-7 year olds on a Monday!  Michael had to go to work at his school and then after a full day of meetings he had to attend a Gifted and Talented training!  (right up the coach's alley!)  Anyway, following his GT meeting, he then went to meet with the other men leaders of our church to discuss some upcoming events.  All of this to say...I was home alone with our almost one year old mini-beagle, Mattie.  The interesting thing about Mattie is that when Michael is home she is a perfect angel of a dog.  She lays around and chews on things and even will curl up in your lap and fall asleep.  When Michael is not home....Mattie is INSANE!!  She will not listen to me and she is so bad!  She likes to get flip flops in her mouth and run around the apartment.  She barks, she howls, she runs really fast...and I can't catch her.  I am the passive parent who has not been stern enough with our now...she takes advantage of me!  Will this be how my kids are with me?  Do I need to be more stern with my dog and later with my kids?  Am I really a total pushover?  All of these questions because of a dog!  It really makes me wonder what parenting one day will be like!  

So for now, until I have kids to gush about and ask questions about...I will use my puppy!  :)  One of my spiritual gifts is mercy...Michael and I balance each other well...which is a cool thing about marriage...I guess I just wonder how God will mold me and shape me in the years to come so that I can be a merciful, loving, and effective parent...not a "pushover" who gets taken advantage of.  Your thoughts are welcome!  

Saturday, February 16, 2008


So, today I randomly decided to start blogging. I know, I know...I'm one of the last people on earth to get on this band wagon! So, here it is... the McCracken blog...I will try to keep you all posted on the exciting adventure of our lives! Welcome to it...until next time!