Friday, June 29, 2007

Update Tummy Ache...

Hello All,
Just wanted to send out a quick post to let everyone know that I had an ultrasound done yesterday on my abdomen. My doctor's office called this morning to let me know that everything had come back all clear. YEAH!! While I am bafffled on the one hand, I am very thankful on the other. Thank you Lord that so many things that could have potentially been "serious" have been ruled out. I will go back to see the doctor in another week, so if I'm still having the pain/nausea I'm guessing we'll take a new course.
Thank you to everyone for your continued prayers.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Being Filled..

As most of you know, the Lord currently has me stuck smack-dab in what is one of the hottest places in America. I wonder if the weather forecasters ever get bored working in Phoenix. You know those little hooks that they say to keep you tuned in to their station...things like, "Is the hot weather going to hold? I'll have the forecast coming up in just a few minutes!" And you think "DUH!!" in your head, even as you "stay tuned" to hear the forecaster give you the predictable summer forecast of 10,000 degree weather. (sorry to sound so caustic...being baked at 112 degrees for two weeks running makes me a little cranky) I think the weathermen (or women..:) hold out for what is called the "monsoon" season - a wet couple of weeks/months where Phoenix finally starts to see some of the wet stuff actually hit the ground.
Until the rains come though, many previously filled streams in the Phoenix area simply dry up.
The tell-tale signs of a packed dirt cracking under the sun can be seen in washes around the Valley. They are more than a little depressing to behold - hollowed out pieces of earth empty and devoid of water. EMPTY.
The Lord has been speaking to me a lot lately about what it means to be filled up with Him. And how I can get that idea across to myself - not only spiritually, but emotionally as well. I could make this the Stacy-climbs-on-her-soapbox and declares the three spiritual truths to being filled, but I don't have a soapbox......and really, why a soapbox...when a five point sound system connected to a REALLY SNAZZY power-point presentation with loads of TOTALLY ROCKIN' clip art would work much better :)
So, no presentations. Instead, let me open up my heart to you for just a minute. I can tell you that the closer I get to HIM, the more I am able to recognize when I'm running on empty. When I'm feeling empty, I often start looking to other people to "fill me up". The end result? People, intentionally or not, often let me down. Ever been in a room filled to the brim with your friends and still felt alone..empty? I have.
Or, instead of people, I start looking to other things to fill me up. Things like stories in books, television programs, or shopping trips. The end result? If I'm using these things to try to fill myself (instead of just for enjoyment/relaxation), then it's like trying to fill a river with a dropper. The enjoyment is not enough to "fill" me.
Water - and imagery involving water, is everywhere in God's Book. I went to and looked up every reference to water. It occurs 460 times! Some of you will be familiar with the story in John 4 where Jesus refers to himself as living water. John 4:14 states - "But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (NKJV)" Those of us who have made the choice to be Christ-followers never have to worry about that part of our spirit going dry. We have everlasting springs up in us.
The type of empty I'm talking about comes from not drawing from that living water on a daily basis - allowing that living water to heal us, sustain us, and overflow from our lives into the lives of others around us.
So, if we are feeling dry, where do we start? With Him.
Psalm 107: 35 says "He turns a wilderness into pools of water, And dry land into watersprings. (NKJV)" God can make something out of nothing, or in this case, bring water where only emptiness existed before. We can turn to His word with the expectation that He will use it to speak to our thirsty hearts. God promises this -
Isa 55:10-12 "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hill shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
Wow! Isn't that awesome! Think of it this way. When you sit down to read the Word, the God of heaven and earth sits down beside you, with His arm wrapped around you, and uses the Holy Spirit to speak truth to your life - specifically your life, your circumstances, etc. And that water reaches down to your soul, begging you to dig your roots into Him and His word. As you do, God promises this - Jeremiah 17:8 "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. (NKJV)"
Another way to fill yourself up is to daily be in prayer. Talk with God like a child talks to their Daddy, delight yourself in all of His creation, praise Him for all he's done, and rest in His grace. Also, pour out your fears, cry your tears of dissapointment, and give him your angry words. Basically- give it ALL to Him. Psalm 68:19 says "Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. (NLT)" Choose to let go and climb up into His arms.
So, my encouragment? Don't run around on empty. Don't run from the grace, peace, joy and love this is available to fill you up and fill all of the empty places within you. I'd like to end with two things. One is a poem that I wrote many years ago, on a dark night when it was, strangely enough, actually pouring down rain in Phoenix. The second is Steven Curtis Chapman's song Dive. My prayer is that you will go deep with God - and come up soaking wet!

Falling freely
Pours over my face
My lips, my eyes
My nose, my chin
Bathing my shoulders
My arms, my hands, my fingertips
Drenching wet
The rain is the grace of my God
And I am getting wet

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More VBS Pics...

The Preschoolers Hear A Bible Story...

Lore-lin riding one of the "decorations" in the main auditorium

One of church members owns a local Chik-Fil-A restaurant. On the last night of VBS, he brought his cow costume down and dressed-up for the kids. Lore-lin is NOT to sure about this cow, though..

K-Bug LOVED seeing the cow, and gave him lots of hugs and high fives!
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Vacation Bible School - Wild RIde!

I'm just now getting my bearings after a wild n' wooly week of Vacation Bible School at Compass Church, where I was a "Crew Leader" for a wild bunch of elementary-age kiddos. In hind-sight, I would say that the commitment to be there each and every night was a LOT for our little family of tots and preschoolers, but my dear hubby was committed to be as flexible as a bendy-straw....and made it possible for our family to fufill the role. The theme for our Vacation Bible School was western. It was called "Avanlanche Ranch - A Wild Ride Through God's Word!" Each night, a different animal helped us to remember a different truth about God. Let me see if I can remember..
1. God is real - Buc The Horse
2. God is with us- Shadow The Dog
3. God is strong - Range The Buffalo
4. God is awesome - Skye The Eagle
5. God is in charge - Boss The Longhorn Cow

WA-HOO! I remembered them ALL! Anyway, the songs, stories, crafts, games, etc. for each night all centered around the showcased Bible point. One of the GREAT things about our VBS is that they included preschoolers, who did their own version of all of the activities the "bigger kids" were doing. So, my sweet K-Bug got to experience her very first Vacation Bible School. My "flexible"hubby came and took lots of great pictures of our girls on the final night of VBS. I wanted to share a few of them with you!

The Preschoolers were called "The Prairie Dogs" Here's K-Bug with their mascot!

The preschoolers joined all the other kids for an opening time of worship each night..

Here's K-Bug making a "sheriff star" craft project..

This was K-Bug's teacher, Miss Hannah. I know that she tirelessly loved on my daugter all week long! THANK YOU!
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Tummy Ache - Update

Hello All,

After a loong twelve days of nausea and stomach pain, I finally made my way to the doctor's office yesterday. He asked a long litnay of questions, and took two vials of blood to test for a whole gamut of ailments. He says it is probably one of three things:
1. Severe Heartburn (manifesting itself in my tummy/back...weird, huh?)
2. Gallbladder Issue
3. Ulcers
The GOOD news is that I just got a call back from the doctor's office about an hour ago, and ALL of my bloodwork came back clean! Thank you Lord! I know that the doctor was testing for some of what could have been more serious culprits behind my issues.
He is sending me for an ultrasound test as well, so I'll let everyone know what we find out there. Thanks to ALL of you as you have prayed for me and this health problem. God is so good, and I'm quite sure we'll get to the bottom of it yet.
Please continue to pray as I do still deal with this still mysterious nausea and stomach pains.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tummy Ache

Hey there... I've got all these blog posts just swimming around in my brain, waiting to be typed out (do you fellow bloggers notice that you start to view different events, funny happenings, or sayings as "Ooo...I've got to blog that." :) Anyway, today my blog will just be informing everyone that the longer posts will have to wait - due to my that rhymes if you read it just right in a sing-songy kind-of voice...
For the past few days I've had a nauseous stomach after the hour of 5:00 p.m. Now I know what you all are thinking, and just so you know I took a prego test which read very negative and I've had a very normal cycle this month already. Soooo.... what gives? Today is the first day that I've kind-of felt nauseous during the morning/daytime hours too. I was up from about 3:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. last night with just waves of sickey-feelings. Amazingly, I still have a normal appetite, and no imminent feelings of tossing my cookies... I just feel plain sea-sick. I will get through this weekend one way or the other (the other being that this is a stomach virus which chooses to pass of its own accord). If my tummy is still rebelling on Monday morning, I'll call my primary doc to try and get some relief.
I would please ask for prayers for my tummy issues. I'm due to work a full week of Vacation Bible School at church all next the evening hours.... please pray that I'm feeling fully back on my feet by then. Blessings!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Lore-lin!

Hooray, hooray, today is the day - Miss Lorelin turns two! (okay, so yesterday was the day, I'm a little delayed in getting out the post...:) You might be able to tell a little from her picture, but Lore-lin is a rather long-legged girl, coming in at the 99% percentile for her height at the last pediatrician's check-up. More than her height though, Lore-lin has grown up and into our hearts in SO many ways. Here's just a snapshot of our beautiful girl:
Favorite Book: Twinkle, Twinkle (Christian Mother Goose Version)
Favorite Food: Cold Cereal
Favorite Program: Little Einsteins
Favorite Toy: Anything that Sissy is playing with!
Favorite Comfort Item: Fuzzy striped blanket
Favorite Saying: "Wazzat?" (what's that?)
Lorelin IS: Very Snuggly
Lorelin IS NOT: In diapers anymore - It's Pull-Ups now as we PT
Lorelin Enjoys: Bubbles, balls, puzzles, swimming, and playing outside
Lorelin Does Not Enjoy: Trying new foods or meeting new people
Lorelin LOVES: To play with her family &
WE LOVE LORELIN!! Happy Birthday!
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Think Cool Thoughts...

Well, folks, here it is...summer in Phoenix. Today is actually supposed to be in the high 90's - everyone here is talking about how "cool" it is today (evidence that the heat really does warp our minds), but the rest of the summer will be in triple digits. It's like baking in a large oven set to BROIL...To be honest, I DREAD the summers here. I'm definitely a chilly-weather kind of girl. I will take a winter sweater and pants over shorts and tank-top anyday. The heat seems to sap my energy, and make my cranky. SO, in a spirit of postive thinking and being THANKFUL, I decided that I would focus on those things that I like, even love, about the summer season. :)
1. Sandals - all of those adorable sandals and cute flip-flops in twenty different colors! And what a great excuse to get a pedicure and show off your well-manicured tootsies!
2. Watermelon - I plain ol' love watermelon! And it's a summer fruit, to be sure. I have GREAT childhood memories of the watermelon festival that our little church used to host each summer.We had seed spitting and watermelon eating contests among other things - it was a BALL!
3. Sno-Cones - Another fond childhood memory - getting sno-cones after spending a day at the pool...a special treat! If there was a Sno-Cone shop near us (don't you think there would be more in Phoenix?) my kiddos and I would probably try a new flavor every week. My favorite as a kid was called "Tiger's Blood" (mmm, sounds yummy, right?) It was a cinnamon-cherry combo...
4. Swimming - Cooling off in the pool has always been a favorite past-time. With K-bug taking swim lessons for the first time this year, both of my girlies are both turning into regular little fishies who LOVE to be in the water!
5. Sun-Dresess - to go with the cute sandals and flip-flops of course. While I am NOT a big shorts-wearer, I love the comfort, ease, and cuteness factor of a sundress. Thanks to gifts from my family and friends, I was able to hit the racks at Old Navy and find two dresses that I love! (my Mom has asked me if I plan to wear them every day, and I could give some attention to other items in my wardrobe...but I digress...)
6. The Beach - I love the beach anytime of the year. But my entire family always gets the urge to migrate toward San Diego in the summer, and so, of course, we are headed back this August for another round of san, sun, and surf (and Sea World too...)
7. Fourth Of July - Really, truly, one of my favorite holidays on the calendar is fourth of July. I love remembering and celebrating our country's independence. I love that everyone wears red, white, and blue! I love the BBQs and all of the trimmings. But most of all, I love, FIREWORKS! As a matter of fact, it's hard to tell who gets more excited about seeing them - my kiddos or me.
8. Iced Tea - This is one of my favorite drinks anway, but nothing tastes quite so good when it's super-hot outside. I'm currently drinking a Herbal Rasberry-Blueberry blend. I'll try new flavors (most of them fruity) all summer long. Come over and have a glass with me!

I'm sure I could think of even more, but to be honest, I'm feeling better already. Happiness, even in the midst of a Phoenix summer, is a choice. Dear Lord, thank you for filling my cup of joy to overflowing and for blessing me with so much more than I deserve. May I refresh myself daily in You!

Now it's your turn! What do YOU love about the summer?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Operation Missionary: Kamie

Hello All! I just wanted to ask everyone to pray for my forever friend Kamie (on the far left-hand side of the picture above) as she gets ready for a six-month stint on the mission field in Guatemala. She will be leaving the first of July and will not return to the states until late December. Kamie and I have been friends since grade-school, and have enjoyed many adventures together. Now Kamie is going out on an adventure of her own. She will travel from place to place in Guatemala with a ministry team called Cocina del Amor, helping to coordinate in-coming ministry teams and working directly with the people however she is needed. Kamie will be leaving behind family, friends, her job, and MANY comforts of home (including electricity) to go out and serve God with all of her heart. My dear friend, I am so VERY proud of you, not just for serving, but for loving God enough to follow wherever He leads. I will miss you, and I will be praying for you. I am asking you, all of my bloggity friends, to be in prayer for her too!

P.S. My other forever friend, one Miss Lori, is on the far right-hand side of the pic. I wanted you to see both of them, as they are star players in a story that I will be posting soon! ;)

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Whole Truth

Have you ever had an experience where you are 1000% sure that you are being truthful about something, but there's no way to prove it? That was my experience today when I took a book back to the library. See, I got a call a few days ago stating that one of my library books was overdue by at least two weeks. I knew this couldn't be possible, as I had specifically taken all of the books back to the library at the same time and had a librarian physically re-check them. I DO remember thinking at the time that the librarian seemed very distracted and I wondered if she had really re-checked them all, but I had the girls with me, I was ready to go, etc...Now, I know that I don't exactly have a mind like a steel trap, BUT I KNOW with everything in me that I had that specific book in my possession that day, because I remember wanting to return it, when Kaelyn asked if she could take it home again.
I took the book back to the library today thinking surely they would understand that these occurred charges and the crazy idea that Stacy-is-a-bad-book-checker-and-we're-putting-it-on her-permanent-record were simply not due to any fault of my own. Hah! That would mean that the said library lady would have looked at me like she actually believed me, instead of like a criminal trying to make up a "dog ate my homework" story to get out of paying the PIDDLY $1.80 fine!!
I didn't care about my pocketbook, I just wanted her to believe me! "Are you sure that you didn't just leave the book at home that day?" she asked me in a rather sarcastic voice that implied that she didn't believe a word of what I had told her.
Now the Lord has been convicting me lately about kindness and about being Christlike in all social situations. So, what I said and I what I really wanted to say conflicted at this point. I chose to just let go. I truly didn't want to be unkind, so I said in a voice that I really hope was a lot less perturbed than I felt, "Yes, I am sure, but I will pay the fine. How much did you say it was again?"
This whole experience caused me to drift back to another experience where a look of disbelief DID cause me to say what was on my mind to a total stranger. My dear hubby and I had been married a little more than a year when the possibility arose (despite b/c) that we "might" be pregnant. Now, I didn't think this was the case, but you know how you always want to be sure.
{Keep in mind for this story - Most people tell me that I look younger than I actually am, but when I was married at age 20 there were many people who thought I was still a teen. }
I had never taken a pregnancy test before, so I didn't even really know exactly where I should start looking. I wandered around a Fry's grocery store for half an hour with no luck, and was absolutely too embarrassed to ask. I was on my way home when I decided to stop at a drug store for one last try. I did indeed find the pregnancy tests - under lock and key. A male teen worker had to bring the key to come and open everything up so he could stand there while I chose one. I'm sure I looked awkward, seeing as how I had no idea which one to pick. I grabbed one and quickly headed to the counter. It was there, as that clerk gave me the "once over"....I could see in her eyes that she thought that I was a teen sneaking in for a pregnancy test.For whatever reason, I felt something rise up in me, and in a flash of boldness, I said, "JUST SO YOU KNOW, I'M TWENTY YEARS OLD, I'M MARRIED AND I WAS A VIRGIN ON MY WEDDING NIGHT!" (still don't why I told her that about a Lot-O-Personal Info.)"Oh, well.." she stalled "You know, you just look so young..I just thought...."
I went home that night surprised at my sudden boldness - maybe I was tired, maybe a sudden rush of hormones overtook my brain (Hah! That still happens!) Whatever the case, I still remember that night as being one of the only times that I spoke to a stranger with such ZING...
Lord, fill me with kindness, even when librarians and store clerks don't believe me (and I have such an honest face!! :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just One Word...

My friend Tracy tagged me for this here are my answers. And as the rules state, answers can only be one word....being a prolificly wordy person myself, this taxed my chatterbox considerably....:)

Yourself: Fun-loving
Your Spouse: Funny
Your Hair: Short
Your Favorite Item: Pillow
Your Dream Last Night: Weird
Your Favorite Drink: Iced Tea (ok, so that's two words. sue me..)
Your Dream Car: Convertible
Dream Home: Beachouse
The Room You Are In: Bedroom
Your Fear: Aloneness
Where You Want to be in Ten Years: Speaker
Who You Hung Out With Last Night: Grandma
You're Not: Organized
One of Your Wish List Items: Open Spaces
The Last Thing You Did: Read
You Are Wearing: Sundress
Your Favorite Weather: Chilly
Your Favorite Book: Undecided (can't pick one...just love em all!)
Last Thing You Ate: Popsicle
Your Life: BUSY
Your Mood: Cheerful
Your Best Friend: Trustworthy
What Are You Thinking About Right Now: Sleep
Your Car: Van
What Are You Doing At The Moment: this
Relationship Status: married
What Is On Your TV: nothing
What Is The Weather Like: HOT
When Is The Last Time You Laughed: today

Whew! Now I can talk again! We highly extroverted people need to just get it out...AND IT TAKES MORE THAN ONE WORD PEOPLE!! We highly extroverted people also sometimes expend more energy then we realize...hence the reason my body feels as though someone encased it in bed is calling me....Good-night all!

A Wet N' Wild Weekend

It was wet n' wild weekend for the Smiths - so busy! My Meemaw and Uncle were down from Texas to visit for five days...but more about that later. We celebrated Miss Lorelin's second birthday with a beach-ball breakfast at the local "Splash Park" near our house. For those that don't know, a splash park is a small water-play area located in public parks throughout Phoenix. This particular splash-park is brand-new, and has only been open a few weeks.

Here's a picture of what it looks like with no water and no kiddos playing on it...

We had the party at 9:00 a.m. in the morning (come on people, this is Phoenix, and it gets HOT early!!!) and we made it a breakfast party. We served watermelon, donuts, and cold cereal (which I put in sand pails for that cute, crafty touch.....God must have given me the idea, because I am not normally one to just think this kind-of stuff up....)

All of the guests seemed to enjoy the breakfast (especially the birthday girl!). Being the consumate picky eater, Miss Lorelin likes cereal and watermelon just about best of all!

Here's a picture of Miss Lorelin and K-Bug playing in the Splash Park after it got going, and they got wet!

Now, to be honest, Miss Lorelin's actual b-day is still a little ways away, but I wanted to have her birthday party early while I was still in the " party mode" , having just had K-Bugs party at the end of April. Also, we have some good friends whose daughter was born just a few days after Lorelin, so her party is usually around the same time. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to ALL of our friends and family who came and helped to make the day so SUPER special for Miss Lorelin and for us, her family!

She keeps talking about her "birf-day potty" - Happy Birthday our sweet little one!
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