Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another story for those just learning to read ...

(Warning. Rated PG for some suspense.)

I rode my horse today.
His name is Gallant.
I brushed his soft coat of fur.
I brushed his mane and tail.
He is a very handsome horse.
I put his bridle on.
I put his saddle on.
We did a few practice drills.
Gallant moved each of feet right when I told him to!
He behaved so well when I was not riding him!
I tied a rope onto his saddle horn.
Then I asked him to trot around in a circle.
He did one circle.
But then ...
... he ran away and pulled the rope out of my hands.
He ran over to the other horses.
I was angry.
I took a deep breath.
I went over to him and brought him back.
I took the rope off of his saddle horn.
I got on Gallant.
He did a good job walking.
He wanted to run.
I wanted him to walk.
When he tried to run, I made him turn around in circles.
He did not like that.
He jumped around a little bit.
But I stayed on.
He did better at walking after that.
I asked him to trot.
He did trot, but he still wanted to run.
When he tried to run, I made him turn circles again.
Again, he did not like that.
He jumped around a little bit more.
But I stayed on.
He did better at trotting after that.
I asked him to run slowly.
He wanted to run very quickly.
I tried to make him turn around in circles again.
But he did not.
He ran, and Ran, and RAN!
I was pulling on the reins very hard.
He ran under a very low branch.
I ducked, but it hit my head.
He ran under another very low branch.
I ducked again, but it hit my head, too.
He ran straight for the fence!
He is a very fast horse!
I was afraid!
I didn't know what to do!
He was running and jumping.
And then Gallant stopped very quickly.
I fell off right before we got to the fence.
I rolled on the ground two times.
And then my back hit the fence post.
I was angry again.
But I was not hurt badly.
I took Gallant back to the round pen.
I tied him up and let him calm down.
He calmed down for two hours.
While he was calming down, I rode another horse.
His name is Blaze.
Blaze is Gallant's boss.
Blaze and I rode down the road a long way.
Blaze walked when I asked him to walk.
He trotted when I asked him to trot.
He ran when I asked him to run.
But best of all, Blaze slowed down when I asked him to slow down.
I liked riding Blaze a lot.
When we got back, I brushed Blaze.
I told him that he did a very good job.
Then I took his tack off and turned him loose in the pasture.
I untied Gallant and took his tack off, too.
Then I turned him loose in the pasture.
Does anyone want to buy a horse?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Quiet waters vs. Living waters

I'm doing the Beth Moore study, "Beloved Disciple," about John. Granted, she can be a bit over the top at times and sometimes she makes a whole lot out of nothing. But she forces me to think and helps me thirst for answers and feel the need to drink in the scriptures for relief.

I got excited today thinking about her comparison of Psalm 23:2 ( ... he leads me beside quiet waters ...) with Revelation 7:17 ( ... he will lead them to springs of living water.). The imagery of the Shepherd is the same; leading his sheep, feeding them, protecting them, supplying their every need.

But I'm fascinated with the kind of water to which we are led: quiet waters vs. living waters. Now, Jesus is the Good Shepherd yesterday, today and forever. Why the different kinds of water? Aren't the sheep afraid of lively waters? The difference, I think, is this: Our Shepherd will only lead us to places we can handle. On this earth, we're going to need some quiet waters from which to drink. But hang on, because Heaven is a whole different story! It is alive! We'll get the good stuff there that we can't handle here!

One of Beth's points was that we tend to think that everyone will look alike and everything will be white, and everything will be completely and utterly monotonous. Why leave a life of excitement to go there? No, I think we're in for the ride of our lives. The way she puts it is that on earth, it's like riding the Teacups. But when we reach Heaven, it will be like going from the Teacups to the Rockin' Roller Coaster!

I'm so thankful that our Good Shepherd gives us exactly what we need, and that his timing is perfect! I can't wait to see with my own eyes what he has in store for us!

P. S. I love that Beth is from Arkansas. Her hilarious accent is impossible to camouflage no matter how hard she tries. It catapults me back to my growing up years in Searcy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Update on ZOE Conference

We have always loved the ZOE Conerence in Nashville, TN. This year was no exception! We heard from Randy Harris, Brian McLaren, Mike Cope and Dean Barham as well as other class presenters. They each did an outstanding job. It was Mom's first time to go, so it was fun to share all of that with her! We (Mom, John and I) stayed with my cousin, Elizabeth. It was so good to see her and her family! Thanks, Elizabeth, for letting us crash! We also met up with Pat and Deborah and their boys as well as Matt, a good friend from high school, for lunch one day.

We drove back to Searcy on Saturday night full to "overflowing," as that was the theme for this year. I think we can make it until next year now!

Here are the pictures I promised from our day at the farm and from Kalleigh's b-day lunch:

Okay, not from the farm or the party, but I had to snap this one of Johnathan and Uncle Kreg in their matching shirts!

Digging into her yummy cake!

Mamaw, the mastermind behind the Tinker Toys creation!

Kalleigh's cake that Mamaw made.

And my personal favorite of all the pictures I took that day!

There are several more pictures on Facebook, but these are the highlights.

While we were at the conference, John's mom kept the kids. I wasn't ready for how much I would miss them! I wasn't worried about how they would do with Momo, or how they would do without us. I just really missed them! Martha said they did just fine, as I expected they would. I am so thankful to her for keeping them! What a blessing!

So, we got home to Tyler Sunday evening. On the way, we had a tire blowout, so that was far from fun. But it couldn't have happened at a better place. We were just on the south side of Little Rock and in the right-hand lane when it happened. It was the back left tire that popped, so since we have front-wheel steering, it didn't throw the van out of control. We were able to exit immediately where there was an empty lot where we put the spare tire on. I called Mom and she looked up the closest Wal-Mart. It just happened to be the next exit. It just happened that the automotive service center was open - on Sunday after 4pm. It just happened that ours was the last job they were taking for the day. It just happened that the tire was actually repairable and we did not have to buy a new tire. Amazing! The whole ordeal set us back about three hours. Thankfully, we weren't rushing back for anything except bedtime! The kids made the most of the pit stop:

The Flat.

The Feast (okay, it was popcorn).

The Fun - Look Out, Little Rock!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

So much to say ... so little motivation ... I'll play the tag game instead!

I hadn't seen this one before. It's a Husband Tag! We all like to brag on our husbands, so here goes!

1. Who is your man? John
2. How long have you been together? 9 1/2 yrs
3. How long did you date? 2 1/2 yrs, although 2 yrs of that was long-distance!
4. How old is your man? just turned 33
5. Who eats more? Depends on what we're having. Chicken? John. Donuts? Me.
6. Who said "I love you" first? I did
7. Who is taller? John, by 4 inches
8. Who sings better? Like Harry Connick Jr? John. 40's style lounge singer? Me. Country? We can bring the house down together!
9. Who is smarter? Book smart? John. Common sense? Me.
10. Whose temper is worse? Mine
11. Who does the laundry? I do
12. Who takes out the garbage? John
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? John
14. Who pays the bills? John
15. Who is better with the computer? John
16. Who mows the lawn? Both; we take turns edging and mowing
17. Who cooks dinner? I do
18. Who drives when you are together? I do
19. Who pays when you go out? John
20. Who is most stubborn? Hmmm ... probably I am, but John might say otherwise!
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? John
22. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine
23. Who kissed who first? I kissed him
24. Who asked who out? He asked me out
25. Who proposed? John
26. Who is more sensitive? John, unless I'm pregnant ... then it's me. And, no I'm not.
27. Who has more friends? I do
28. Who has more siblings? John -- he's the youngest of 6
29. Who wears the pants in the family? We try to share them mostly. It's pretty tricky, but gets a lot of laughs!

I'll tag my cousins and my sister. Brag away!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Lectureship & Beyond

First off, thanks to those of you who have been praying for John in his part of Harding Lectureship. He taught three classes on Monday (his birthday!) on worship, and they were full and there was some good meaningful discussion! This evening he co-presents the keynote with Bruce McLarty as they lead everyone in a meaningful praise experience. Keep the prayers coming!

Jan Jones's celebration ceremony was just amazing. It was in the Admin building on Harding's campus, and it was PACKED, upstairs and down. Quite a tribute to her. Thanks to John for handling Kalleigh on his own at church Sunday morning, and to Dad for picking up Johnathan and me early that morning so that we could go.

I so missed being with my Ladies' Bible Class group on Tuesday! Thanks to an excellent back-up leader who filled my role, I knew you were in good hands!

As I eluded to earlier, John's birthday was Monday, and then Kalleigh's was yesterday! The kids and I spent most of the day yesterday out at the farm with Mamaw and Papaw. Papaw is doing just about as well as can be expected. Several of you have asked about him recently. I think the last time I gave an update, he had just had his first round of chemo and felt okay after it. He has now had at least 4 treatments, and from what the doctors can tell, the chemo is doing its job. Papaw can eat whatever he wants now--we didn't know if he would ever be able to be off the tube feeding again! He can get around pretty well now. In fact, yesterday, he saw a dead limb on the tree in front of the porch and was able to go get his saw and saw it right off! That's hard work for anyone! All of the surgery wounds on his abdomen are healed. We are all SO GRATEFUL.

Also while we were there, Mamaw made Kalleigh's first birthday cake! It was beautiful, of course, and I did take a picture of it, but you'll have to wait until I get home to post pictures from our trip, for I have forgotten my camera cord.

We've eated with Kreg and Keleigh a couple of times. Today for lunch, we met John's mother, Martha, and brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Laura, their son, Jake, and Kreg and Keleigh to celebrate Kalleigh's and John's birthdays. Later we'll meet up with Mom and maybe Mamaw and Papaw at Mazzio's.

Mom's been in Chicago on a recruiting trip this whole time we've been here, so I'm looking forward to seeing her in about an hour and a half!

Then tomorrow we head to the ZOE Conference in Nashville! I can't wait! The kids are staying with Martha--thank you so much!--and Mom's going with us. This will be Mom's first time to go to the ZC, and I just know she's going to love it! Plus we're staying with my cousin, Elizabeth, so that will be fun, too.

I'm sure I'll have a full report from tonight and after the ZC. So, until then, I miss you, friends, at home and look forward to being with you again!