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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Our Friends


"The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped." Proverbs 11:25 The Message


Hunter...3-years-old...energetic...friendly-to-a-fault...exuberant...full-of-life...personality-plus...lively...expressive...outgoing...cute...charismatic...Hunter.

We're at the pool. I am sitting in the shade feeding 4-month-old Palmer in the sweltering, hundred-degree, sweat-through-your-boots, Texas heat telling the other three kids, "GO SWIM!"(they are all sitting in my lap, too). There is another boy jumping in the water to his mom. Hunter sees. Hunter jumps. Hunter stays. (in her arms, wrapped around her neck) Hunter splashes. Hunter kisses. Hunter laughs. Hunter plays. Hunter makes friends.


Hyeong-Sook Lee and Jung-Woo Hong have become like family to us this summer. We spend many days each week playing with them. The Hong family is visiting College Station for one year while Ic-Pyo is a visiting professor here at Texas A&M University. They speak Korean and limited English. We speak no Korean, except what they've taught us and yet, it is like we have known each other forever. We have quickly developed a friendship as warm as an old quilt on a cold winter's day.

Hyeong-Sook loves my children. When I say love, I mean LOVE, people. She willingly and joyfully holds Palmer for hours at the pool...or the children's museum...or the park...or my house...you get the idea. She does this even when it's hot, very hot outside (as previously mentioned). She changes diapers and fixes bottles in all sorts of odd places. She consoles Hunter when I'm holding Palmer, she squelches squabbling and sibling rivalry in an instant and she feeds my grazing children like they were her own! And, I must say, feeds me, not just Fritos and Coke, that's usually all I have to eat at the pool...but makes me Korean food: California rolls, rice cakes, Korean pancakes and noodles (I won't even try to spell their names in Korean). She's even taught me that I like sushi...love sushi!

One of the most amazing things to me about our friendship is the excitement we feel over seeing each other. Pretty much from the day we met, our children scream each other's names hysterically, jump up and down and run in circles when they see each other. And see each other they do! Jung-Woo attends school with Julia and Alyssa, we attend the same church and our schedules are such that we play together several days a week after school. Not to mention the daily activities we did together during the summer...swimming, Vacation Bible School, library, swimming, children's museum, parks, and more swiming.

Also, let me clarify, she loves my children, but she really loves me too. She tells me daily that she loves to hold Palmer, help Hunter, talk with Alyssa and Julia, but her heart's true desire is to help me.

Truly, one feels blessed when she has a friend who asks her each day, "What can I do to help you?" Hyeong-Sook loves to hang out with me at Target...at the mall...at church...at Bible Study...at the grocery store...at the doctor's office...at home doing laundry...or cooking...or cleaning...or any other fun-for-kids adventure we can find.

Hyeong-Sook just loves to be with me...and I with her. Sometimes I feel our friendship was built on convenience. I needed a friend to help me with daily life and Hyeong-Sook needed an American friend to converse with. What began hesitantly, quickly blossomed into a close friendship...a sisterhood...very best girlfriend stuff...a place so inviting you can let your hair down and be yourself...a place you long to visit everyday because it's as comfortable as your favorite chair, a good book, worn-out slippers and a cup of coffee.

I have also been amazed at the way Hyeong-Sook needed a friend. The loneliness of being in a foreign country...virtually alone...for many months...and not being able to converse freely and deeply must be completely overwhelming. I rely on my girlfriends so much...talking, sharing, reasoning, processing...sometimes this is how I know what I am really thinking and feeling. I pray I never take that for granted.

Although Hyeong-Sook says she misses time with her sister and extended family the most, I can only pray the time we spend together can ease some of the heartache. I feel we've developed a certain closeness, by spending time together every day, doing everyday things. An intimacy shared from simply being in one another's presence. She is so special to me.

This is a friendship made in a minute to last a lifetime...a friendship made on the spot that will span oceans and continents...A friend divinely sent to me when I needed someone, someone to fit into my everyday life today, where I'm living at right now. Hyeong-Sook is truly that person.

Although there will soon be a time that many continents separate us, we know that we will be bonded together forever through the love of Christ..."neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:39). God recently gave me the incredible opportunity and privilege to pray with Hyeong-Sook as she made the decision to give her heart to Jesus. I am rejoicing with her that she has found True Life...Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me." (John 14:6). I pray this is the beginning of a lifelong personal, intimate relationship with her Lord and Savior.

Everyday I pray that I communicate more to her than the words I say. I hope that my heart is communicated to her...I love this most precious and beautiful person. What an incredible blessing she is...a very rare treasure...this friend.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Birthday Girl


See all the fun you guys are missing?!!

First Day of School



Okay Uncle Matt and Aunt Tracy...here they are...they're also for you others that are too far away and wander what lunch on the first day of school was like. Isn't our kindergartener cute? Isn't our first grader grown up? Enjoy the trip and may we provide you with the material for many more entertaining dinner conversations!

THIS IS NOW

Tadaaah!!! Here they are Julia 6, Alyssa 5, Hunter 3, Palmer 7 mos....Wait, I hear Julia, she's saying she's ALMOST 7...Mom emphasizes the almost. Sometimes I want to weight them down and keep them little. I really do love wiping (see previous post) and all things associated...sloppy kisses, excitement over the little things, humor that accompanies innocence, being called Mommy...I love this season!

Keep doing the picture dance!!! I did it...Hooray!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

THAT WAS THEN


Okay, so this picture is 6 or so months old...Palmer was less than a month old. But, for the record, I got a picture on my blog!!! So, let's do the picture dance...I did it...I did it... I did it...HOORAY!!!!!

Anyway, aren't they cute? I will post a recent picture very soon.

I did it...HOORAY!!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Look Who's Bloggin' Now


Why do I love blogging?

I love THAT word! Blog, blog, blog. I have a blog. Doesn't that sound cool? All of my really cool friends have one. By really cool, I mean younger. I can remember when there was no such word as blog. Blog was a nonsense word, a word you could only find in a Dr. Seuss book. Now, it's a real word, a real activity, a real thing.

I also don't just love the word blog; I just love words. I love to say them (an understatement some would say), to feel them rolling off my tongue, to hear them inside my head fighting to come to an understanding of sense, to see them on paper and to read them. Anyway, words are in my blood. Really...

My maternal grandfather, a master storyteller, loves humor. It comes across in every conversation, each letter, constant joking...He never forgets the punchline!

My grandmother, an autobiographical poet, truly, writing of her deepest experiences in rhythm, rhyme and prose.

My mother has every paper, speech and thought she has ever recorded organized and filed away...Where she can find it!

My father can hold an audience captive with his lively, descriptive, creative and entertaining language!

My aunts, uncles and cousins are masters; they write, preach, sing and any other craft involving words.

Because I love words so much, one might say they are God's gift to me. I have felt the tug of God on my heart to write. But because of what I do all day, as Stasi Eldredge,author of Captivating, said in a recent magazine article, I am in a season of "wiping" noses, bottoms, cabinets, floors, you name it, I wipe it hourly on a daily basis. I can easily be too busy in the day to day living of life to pursue the gifts that make me who I am. Last week I decided I needed to "practice" writing, God's gift to me...blogging.

After deciding to probably, hopefully, sometime to start a blog, Sunday's sermon was on vision.

The pastor gave an analogy of a farmer who planted his crops then got up day after day to sit on his porch and pray that God would give him a great harvest without doing any more work. Although it is God who ultimately sends sun, wind and rain necessary to produce a crop, the farmer is responsible for far more than only planting seed.

This blog is an attempt to keep on working the fields of my gifting, so to speak. Instead of letting these words roll around in my head and in my heart without ever actually being heard...I blog.

I don't want to be like the servant in Matthew 25 who had his talent(money) taken away by his master because he was afraid to invest it. I want a return on what God has given me!

I can now see that when the season of wiping is over, I may or may not remember who I am without wiping. I want to remember who I am and know who I am becoming. I am a person, called by God to use my gifts to bring glory to His name. I want to be found worthy of this calling I have received.

..."I want you to get out there and walk--better yet, run!--on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting on your hands..."
Ephesians 4:1, The Message
So, here's to happy writing...I mean, blogging!

Friday, September 01, 2006

I would love to speak to your group. Contact me for more information.
I would love to meet you if I'm in your area! Just leave a comment or send me an email.

2011:
February 24
The Journey: Love at Last Sight
Fellowship of the Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX

February 23
Community Bible Study
Backpacking Through Joshua
Conroe, TX


February 22
MOPS
First Baptist Church
Bryan, TX

February 17
The Journey: Love at Last Sight
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX

February 16
Community Bible Study
Backpacking Through Joshua
Conroe, TX

February 10
The Journey: Love at Last Sight
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX

February 9
Community Bible Study
Backpacking Through Joshua
Conroe, TX

February 3
Agent Leadership Committee Retreat
Keller Williams
Conroe, TX

February 3
The Journey: Love at Last Sight
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX

February 2
Community Bible Study
Backpacking Through Joshua
Conroe, TX

January 27
The Journey: Love at Last Sight
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX

January 26
Community Bible Study
Backpacking Through Joshua
Conroe, TX

January 19
Community Bible Study
Backpacking Through Joshua
Conroe, TX

January 12
Community Bible Study
Backpacking Through Joshua
Conroe, TX

January 5
Community Bible Study
Backpacking Through Joshua
Conroe, TX

2010
December 2


The Journey
Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX


November 18


The Journey
Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX


November 11


The Journey
Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX


November 4


The Journey
Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX


October 28


The Journey
Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX


October 21


The Journey
Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX


October 14
The Journey: Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted
Fellowship of The Woodlands
The Woodlands, TX

October 13
Hope for the Journey Blogtalk radio show with Yvonne Ortega
Listen to archived broadcast here

May 8
Faith Baptist Church Mother/Daughter Banquet
Lollipops and Gumdrops
Madisonville, TX

2009

April 17-19
Calvary Ladies' Retreat
Hope for My Now
Camp Tejas
Giddings, TX

June 5-6
Gateway Fellowship Ladies' Retreat
The Climb
Matthews Retreat Center
Lone Oak, TX

July 24-26
Yia Yia's of DFW Retreat
Make Us New Creations
Keller, TX




I would love to share my story with your group. I would be happy to tailor a message specifically for your group or need.

The following are messages and topics I am currently speaking on:

Hope for My Now
Lisa's story of how God took her from depression to destiny.

All Things New
Encouragement for today's woman dealing with all the demands of marriage, children and work. How God took a frayed and stressed marriage and turned it into a beautiful love story of redemption.

The Climb
Life is full of peaks and valleys. Learn how to enjoy the climb instead of always wishing for the mountaintop.

Meet Lisa Smith...Ordinary Girl




Lisa is an ordinary girl. Words like average and usual have been used to describe her. She can do many things good, very few great. She loves relating to everyday people as she lives her ordinary life full of laundry, carpools and vacuuming.

She has been married to Andrew for almost 13 years, most of them happy. Read about how God made her dream of a beautiful love story come true here. On good days she helps him run their real estate business and a couple of others on the side. On most days she can be found at the local elementary school, soccer practice or a baseball game with her four children ages 10, 8, 6 and 3. In her spare time she runs, writes and sometimes even reads a book. She vacations at the beach as much as possible and is constantly trying to get organized.

Lisa is someone just like you except she's encountered an extraordinary God. She shares from her heart how dreams can come true when an ordinary life intersects with an extraordinary God.

Read more of her story here.