Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ramblings of my Week

Aren't we all busy these days? My days have been fleeting ever so swiftly. I can't tell you one thing that has been the primary source but I just seem to be busy. Administratively we are busy at the church. We have fall socials for the life groups and a church-wide fall outing; a Thanksgiving Service to finalize; Christmas parties, banquet, program, décor; coordinate next year’s church calendar; prayer meetings, outreach, and a few special services. On top of all these things we have General Conference, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Last year our church gave several needy families Thanksgiving food boxes. In addition, each box had a beautiful Christmas wreath. This year I intend to launch a toy drive for our outreach children. Many of these children are at-risk children. Some of them have very definite financial needs in their families. I want these children to know CUPC loves them.

Redonia has been busy with her many responsibilities. She has been very excited about an English class she is taking. This class encompasses both reading and writing. Additionally, she has two large weddings including bridal and engagement pictures the next couple of months. She loves taking pics! Of course, Redonia assists with the graphics of the church. All the events and parties means lots of graphics. She and Deadra have a couple of websites to build, too. These girls KNOW how to work! Today Redonia fell apart on us. I guess it’s ok to have an “I’m not a rubber band moment”. Tonight, she was happy as a little lark at dinner. Our dinner times are fun times. Well, they are still lonely without Mr. T. but fun anyway.

Trent and Calah are most busy, too! These kids amaze me. Calah is taking music lessons every week. Then both are a vital part of the CUPC music team. Well, Redonia, too! They are all busy tonight practicing. I love the effort they make. Trent and Calah work hard for our youth, too. Of course from day today they work at the church and school. You name it and Trent does it – maintenance, lead services, coordinate many things, Youth Pastor, Sunday School teacher, drummer, flunky, etc. Calah has learned to multi-task and help, too. I have worried about her with all the upcoming events. My kids have been raised this life of stretch, pull, and stretch some more. Calah doesn’t complain and just keeps right on going. In fact she contributes much to ideas and planning.

During the storm I had to cook every meal since we had no restaurants for several days. My family got hummmm, spoiled. I love cooking but find myself too busy to do so most days. Since the storm I’ve committed to cooking more. Redonia and Kent love it. Tonight we had a yummy meal of Seasoned Grilled Pork Steaks, Hash brown Casserole, Green bean Casserole, Rolls, and Iced Tea. I’m not much of a casserole person. Tonight it just sounded good! Kent and Redonia really loved it. It’s fun to cook for people who enjoy what you prepare.

Oh, today I’ve been really busy learning to use my new Blackberry Curve. It’s an awesome tool/toy. I’m not super technical so Deadra and Redonia had to help me out a little or maybe it was a lot. I love its features. Deadra had an IPhone and switched. She convinced me that I NEEDED one, too. Since my phone was messed up it didn’t take a lot of effort to talk me into it. I rarely get things for myself. I would rather give to Trent, Redonia, and Calah. The lady at AT&T laughed. My phone had a ‘Cingular’ logo on it. She said that phone hasn’t been manufactured in a really long time.

Ok, I know I haven’t blogged in a few days. Maybe all the ramblings of this post will catch me up. I have been thinking of a few powerful comments Kent shared in our Sunday Services maybe I’ll write about some of them soon. I hope each of you are having an awesome week!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Miss Mallorie Ilaine Blagg

Mallorie Ilaine Blagg

My youngest sister, Kristi, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl today at 3:48 pm. Gentry and Madeline are the proud older siblings. My brother-in-law, Mickey, has teased that he will be like the baby's grandpa. Gentry will be 10 next month and Madeline is 8.

Mallorie weighed 7 lbs 1 oz and is 19 inches long. She seems very healthly despite many complications during pregnancy. Kristi and Mickey are so thankful that Mallorie is healthy.

I'm sure I'll have lots of cute pics of my newest niece! I love all my babies....I have lots of them....even all my church babies~!!! I will be a GREATTTTT Nana. I love the babies but UNFORTUNATELY they all love Kent MOST...even the church kids. Madeline rushed me out of the room so Uncle Kent could go in to see the baby. My feelings were hurt! (teasing)

Pics will be posted in m-o-m-e-n-t-s...they are uploading NOW! Gotta love hospitals with wireless.

PS Did I say Mallorie's so ADORABLE!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Powerful Object Lesson

Cylinda Nickel works with the missionary kids of the UPCI. I know she has a 'position' but more importantly is the love and care she exhibits. During Timo's illness I had opportunity to 'meet' Cylinda. Now I frequent her blog.

Tonight I read one of the most incredible posts. Cylinda's daughter, Emma, disobeyed several times. Later Cylinda found an "I'm sorry note" from Emma. While I was more impressed with young Emma's apology note I was captivated with Cylinda's feelings towards the note.

Most adults struggle with condemnation after 'messing up'. We struggle forgiving ourselves. Cylinda likened how she felt when finding Emma's note to how God surely must feel when we make things right with Him. Wow!! I know Emma did not feel condemnation from Cylinda. Likewise, we do not feel condemnation from God. Of course, we ALL know this but just seeing the object lesson was MOST astounding to me. I intentionally did not adequately cover the details. You must read them in Cylinda's words.

Never again do I want to allow Satan's condemnation nor allow my human spirit to create those horrible feelings of condemation. Often we ask God to create a clean heart or renew a right spirit in us only to continue to feel separated or awkward because of the guilt or condemnation we tolerate.

Thanks, Cylinda, for being transparent and helping us all!! Please do read Cylinda's post...

A Borrowed Article

The following article is from a blog that I enjoy reading. Michael S. Hyatt is President & CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. I found the article on modesty as well as his writings of how he had to turn off a tv program to be interesting.

Whatever Happened to Modesty?

I watched MTVs VMA awards last night. Some of my daughters’ friends are in the band Paramore, and they were nominated for an award. And—to be honest—I wanted to see how Britney Spears would do, since we are publishing her mom’s book next week.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen MTV, but I was flabbergasted. I could not believe the sensuality and decadence I witnessed. Gail and I finally had to turn it off. We just couldn’t take it any more.
As I thought about my experience later, it made me sad. I am the father of five daughters. So perhaps I’m just a little overly sensitive. But I was shocked at the complete absence of modesty, the ridicule of virginity, and the latent misogyny displayed by Russell Brand and many of the artists themselves.

One of the few redeeming moments in the evening was when Jordin Sparks, referring to Brand’s contempt for chastity, said, 'I just have one thing to say about promise rings: It’s not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut."

Touché. It must have struck a nerve, because the next time Brand appeared, he apologized for his comments. Sort of.

Regardless, it got me to thinking, Where are these girls fathers? Has anyone ever taught them the concept of modesty? Or have all the men in their lives simply exploited them as sex objects
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a prude. But I do think some basic guidelines are in order. These are not rules about skirt length or the amount of cleavage you can show. I’m just not a very good legalist; they are simply guidelines.

I gave these to my girls when they were growing up. Frankly, they haven’t been perfect in following them. Modern culture exerts a powerful influence. Nevertheless, I wanted them to have something that would transcend current fashion and guide their attire once they were older and, perhaps, a little wiser.

Here they are: "Four Guidelines for Modesty":
If you have trouble getting into it or out of it, it is probably not modest.
If you have to be careful when you sit down or bend over, it is probably not modest.
If people look at any part of your body before looking at your face, it is probably not modest.
If you can see your most private body parts or an outline of those parts under the fabric, it is probably not modest.

If you think these guidelines are helpful, you might want to pass them along to the young women you know. Evidently, not many are getting the message elsewhere.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wisdom, He is mindful of me!

Yesterday Kent and I had several people pray for us. As I listened to different people pray they all prayed the exact same thing....for God to give wisdom. In addition I had a very wise person call me.

About 5 pm, I was talking to a dear lady from our church in the parking lot. I was holding my cell phone and the phone rang. I went to silence the call since I was in conversation. When I looked at the Caller ID it stated "Smith Cell Her". Bursting from my lips was I must take this call this person has a word from God for me. Where did that come from? First off my Mother-in-law rarely calls me. She isn't a phone person, in fact she is a person of very few words. I quickly left the person I was conversing with and answered the phone. MaMaw is a very much to the point person and said, "Tracie WHAT is going on?" I then said "I don't know but you tell me why you are calling."

MaMaw proceeded to tell me that she just wanted me to know she loved me and was praying for me and God was going to help and give me wisdom. She asked again in that mothering voice which she rarely uses with me what was going on. I told her a little about some concerns of mine. She stopped me and said "Tracie, God is going to give you wisdom." I then asked, "Who have you talked to?" She said no one. I asked had anyone talked with PaPaw. She said no. I asked have my children talked to you. She said no. Of course Redonia was at college and Trent and Calah had been with us. I asked has Kent talked to you or anyone. Finally in frustration, "Tracie, I have not spoken to anyone but all day long I have tried to communicate with you." She said, "I sent you a personal email to let you know but it bounced back." Interesting because we do 'family email talk' you know all the siblings, in-laws and married grands. We got 2 or 3 emails from her yesterday so why would the personal one bounce back. I do know we had email trouble on Monday but I got emails and sent them all day Tuesday (yesterday)....strange. She said she knew she needed to call me.

I never cease to be amazed at how this works. The skeptic could say "Oh I read on your blog that you were with them Sunday." Yes that is true but even when I told my mother in law of my concerns. She was in shock because she didn't realize we were dealing with anything Sunday.

Early yesterday Kent felt the need for increased prayer. He decided to send an email inviting the church family to meet us for prayer Saturday. He then asked me to call and invite the Fergusons, Trent & Calah, and Glenda Martin to our home. His purpose was we have all been self centered due to the storm and have missed church. These people are our worship/music leaders, plan our services, etc. Kent wanted us to pray together that tonight's service and the weekend would be anointed. My parents live next door. I'm not sure if they happened by or if Kent invited them over but they joined the prayer. During the prayer Kent asked these people to lay hands on us and pray. I heard the men each begin to pray for God to give us wisdom.

After everyone left I began to think that the wives classes @ TBC, growing up in a pastor's home, being an assistant pastor's wife, nor 17.5 years of pastoring still has not trained me for somethings. I began to do my nightly devotion. I have a few places Ienjoy for devotionals. Following is something I found:

The Pastor's wife is the only woman I know who is asked to work full time without pay on her husband's job, in a role no one has yet defined. Ruthe White

I Am the Preacher's Wife
I am the woman who proudly sits in the shadows as her husband stands in the light. I am the one who knows her husband is a gift from God, and so I give him back to my Lord through his full-time service.

Often times, I am so lonely for him because I share him with others.
But I am also pleased that he gives of himself so unselfishly. I am the one who encourages the preacher when others sometimes fail to. I am the one who listens to his dreams for the church
and helps him look into the future and see his dreams become a reality.

And when others wonder if he really cares, I am the one who sees him on his knees, shedding tears for the future of the Lord's church.

I went to bed slept all night - amazing! This morning during my my routine devotion time I went to a devotional site that simply posts a word and a scripture for each day. Following is today's devotion:

Proverbs 21:30 (New International Version)
30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.

Proverbs 21:30 (Amplified Bible)
30There is no [human] wisdom or understanding or counsel [that can prevail] against the Lord.

Proverbs 21:30 (King James Version)
30There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

Today and everyday I pray that I will operate with His wisdom. I am thankful He was mindful of me yesterday. I know today He will be mindful of me, in fact I KNOW tomorrow He will be mindful of me.

To my fellow minister's wives blogging friends, He is mindful of us. I know each of you understand my post today. I love each of you and pray for you my dear friends.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's Fall!!

Today is the official first day of Fall. I absolutely love the Autumn season. I decorated our home a little bit early for Fall in honor of Grandparent's Day. However, Ike paid us a visit and things got a little misplaced. Tonight after cooking dinner I decided to clean the house. I dusted, swept, mopped, etc. Then I lit fall scented candles and oil through out the house. Aaahh the house seems so peaceful and ready for Fall.

Had my day not been long I would have prepared a fresh apple or applesauce cake. Maybe tomorrow evening I will prepare apple turnovers. Kent will love one with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Never mind he is diabetic!

Saturday I planted some beautiful golden mums in the large concrete pots at the church. Tonight I placed pumpkins and mums at my front door. I love the gold, orange, yellow, brown and red hues of Fall. There is nothing more warm than this season.

Following are a few things I enjoy in the Fall:

cooler weather
warm colors
muffins and hot chocolate
beef stew, sweet cornbread, & sweet tea
fresh apple cake with walnuts
cinnamon applesauce cake with rich and creamy cream cheese frosting
southern pecan pie
homemade candies
sweaters (when I lived in Alabama)
a clean house with fragrant candles
magazines preparing for Christmas!
annual Thanksgiving Service (various people speak. It's always awesome)
hot spiced apple cider
homemade soups and chowders
Starbucks or Panera Bread
leaves falling in the air
leaves turning colors
squirrels gathering acorns
shorter days

I'm sure I've left off some favorites. If you have time post a few of your Fall Favorites in my comments. For those of you who enjoy cooking, I'll try to post a few favorite recipes for Fall soon.
Happy Fall!!!!!

Awesome Day Sunday

Yesterday we enjoyed a great day at CUPC. It was evident everyone needed not only good church but needed one another. Misti Ferguson and I laughed before service because the foyer was literally a buzz. At one point there were probably 20 persons laughing and talking in the foyer. Normally our ushers try to escort people into the sanctuary so our visitors can be greeted adequately by our hospitality staff. Misti and I agreed what was happening was important. Though several are still without power we had a great crowd. Just as we enjoyed being with one another we also enjoyed being in the presence of the Lord. Our service was very good. God definitely met us there!

After lunch with the Summit's Kent and I made our way to the hospital to visit Marjorie Akers who is suffering from a stroke. We enjoyed visiting with Marjorie and her three daughters. Please keep this sweet lady in your prayers. I'm thankful that as we prayed she felt the sweet presence of God.

A good Sunday means a good nap. I enjoyed my nap more than usual. Our home was nice and cool and I was able to rest comfortably in my own bed. The storm helped me to be thankful for many small things!

Kent and I decided to surprise his parents last evening by visiting their church. MaMaw and Papaw have pastored the church in Hudson which is right out of Lufkin for a couple of years. Unfortunately this was our first time to be in service with them. Cynthia Koontz helps with their music. On Sunday nights when Brett and Dedee Cooley are not ministering otherwise they attend the Hudson church. Dedee plays the keyboard and sings. She and Sis. Koontz did an outstanding job of ushering us into the presence of the Lord. Bro. Cooley preached.

Bro. Cooley stated Paul talked about the present and the future but never mentioned the past. He spoke about how many have suffered abuse and problems but we can not allow ourselves be hindered by the past rather we should allow the past to form us and help us become stronger in the future. He told a story about a moth. Once someone decided to open the cocoon a little wider than the very small hole that moths escape. The moth did come out of the opening but was hindered greatly and did not survive. The body of the moth was very large and the wings were very small. In fact the moth was unable to use the wings to take flight. Later the person discovered that it is the tiny opening that appears to be such a struggle for the moth that helps to push the excess body fluids into the wings to further develop the wings and decrease the body size to one the wings can actually support.

I began to think about the moth and compare it to my life. I can pinpoint certain obstacles - death of my dad, infertility, sick children, etc and realize God has used these situations to help me mature and become stronger. Though these circumstances caused much pain or suffering I can not allow them to cripple me or cause bitterness. Past experiences causes many people to fail. Often negatives are carried into totally different situations and hinder our lives or our walk with God. Bitterness and hurt can destroy something totally unrelated to the original issue that created the pain or bitterness. People allow childhood hurts to create problems in their marriages, work environments, and friends. Because they have felt rejection they fear rejection again. Just as God forgives our sins from yesterday He can deliver us from our past responses to hurts.

Sunday I was awakened around 4:00 am and began to pray for someone. Again last night I was awakened and began to pray. God reminded me of Bro. Cooley's message. Today my prayer is that each of us will submit our yesterdays to God's mercy so our todays and tomorrows will be exactly what God plans for us. Often frustrations and insecurities we deal with today are totally unrelated to the areas they manifest themselves today.

I have witnessed people who did not have a good family life growing up spend much energy trying to create a totally different environment for their family. Often young adults decide they will have better careers than their parents. A child of an alcoholic will decide he will not raise his children with the selfish desires as the aolcoholic. While all this is good and admirable I also think we must use this same determination to not be so focused on the past when making today better. Often trying to overcome so forcefully keeps alive even the negatives brought about by the situations. Yes, we should use our past to be stronger or better but be careful to totally leave the past behind. Simply we must decide to be who God wants us to become today and not dwell on our hurts or our failures. I hope all this makes some sort of sense! It does in my head and I thank God I was able to hear Bro. Cooley's powerful message. I will certainly endeavor to help others by it.

After service I enjoyed visiting with Cynthia. Our children are best of friends and we always enjoy 'catching up'. Then we went with MaMaw, Papaw, Bro. & Sis. Cooley, Cherish, and Hunter to Cheddars. The Cooleys are so much fun. She is a very passionate person about many subjects. One of them is her Godly heritage. I share in this passion. She is an awesome wife and Mother. I enjoy watching her with Hunter and Cherish. MaMaw and Papaw are blessed to have the Cooleys frequent their church.

Kent and I are very proud of the work his parents are doing for God in Hudson. They have updated the buidling, added a fellowship hall and a nice parking lot. It is funny because they always fuss at Kent because he works too hard. Hummmmmmm excuse me they are in their 60's and still working very hard. Last night during the sermon Sis. Cooley practiced witht the children for an upcoming drama. Announcements were made about a big Fall Outreach event. While others are involved in the work and planning I also realize MaMaw and Papaw are very involved, too. I'm sure in the back of their minds plans are already in the works for a larger sanctuary.

I'm glad I was able to experience yet another AWESOME SUNDAY!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What a Day!

Before going to the condo we decided to go by the house ONE MORE time to check for power. We stayed a little while but it never came on. Finally we went to the condo and got everything unpacked. As soon as I sat down Redonia called to tell us the power came on!!!!

We decided to stay the night at the condo and clean the house up from the storm before moving back in. We had a family birthday party to attend, went back by the house to turn on the a/c, went to Starbucks and made our way back to the condo. Much to our surprise the a/c went out at the condo. So around 9:00 pm we moved home!

We are tired but so thankful to be home!!!! Church is tomorrow and I can't wait....

Yes! Got It!

Well, we were @ Piney Shores Condo on Lake Conroe bright an early this morning. After being told there was no power or water we felt we weren't being dealt with truthfully. We waited on the nice patio for someone else to come along. Soon the General Manager arrived at work. Kent asked him about the possibilities of getting a condo. He immediately said, "Abosolutely sir we have a few available that aren't storm damaged and that have power." He immediately went to the computer that the reservationist said was not working and got us registered in less than 5 minutes. He apologized that the Presidential Condos were damaged but was happy to at least give us accomodations. We were glad just to get a place to call our own!

We will have 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, kitchen, and a nice patio with grill. Redonia will probably enjoy having friends over for the fun and games. (putt putt, pool table, air hockey, boating, spa, etc.) We will not have internet but that sure isn't a requirement for a comfortable life.

Once the power is restored at home we will be happy to return to our home. Until we return to 11889 Elizabeth Ridge, we are thankful for a place to call home. Kent's parents purchased the time share for us and pay all the dues, etc each year. Thanks to them we will have a little get -a-way of our own.

We do have internet @ our home and office, I'll be checking/posting often I'm sure. I pray each of you have a blessed weekend. We are having one service tomorrow. I can hardly wait to have some 'good church'!!!! Much love and blessings to each of you, my dear blogging friends.

Friday, September 19, 2008


We still do not have power, water, or sewer...... I'm beginning to feel a little frustrated. We are still @ Trent's 'shelter'. Thankfully, he got power this morning. It has now been one week since we've been either 'piled up' with people at our home or now we're piled up on the kids.

I've worked really really hard and now I'm exhausted. First it was preparing for the storm, then the storm and now today we've worked since 7 am at the church. I've endeavored to not wear out my welcome at Calah's by keeping the house clean, cooking, and even had the towels washed and folded for her...thank you, Ginger Gilchriest!!! We've had long trips for groceries spent way too much on fuel for the noisey generator and on and on and on and on I could fuss!

Kent and I checked with Conroe, Spring, Willis, Shenandoah, and The Woodlands hotels and there is no vacancy. We got a call today from FEMA that we are elgible for housing assistance since we are still without the basics. We can go to San Antonio or Dallas for availability but what would that prove???? Our church is a little far for that commute. Trent says we are fine here but I feel like we are on top of them.

We attempted to get a condo at the time share tonight but that failed, too. We will be there when they open @ 8:00 am. I know Redonia must be tired of sleeping on the floor. She's been on the floor for one week. Pray the condo will work and we can have a nice 2 bedroom condo on the lake. They have lots of nice ammenities that can be a diversion for Redonia, too.

My sweet friend, Diane called again today and wanted to know what she could do to help. I told her just send me some power! lol Seriously, we are fine. Gas is still not available everywhere but we are ok. We really are!

Ok, I've vented.....Now I'll go to sleep and wake up feeling better. Then all this gobbley goop will be posted for the world to read! ha

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Giving after Ike

Parking Lot Praise

Last evening it was refreshing to feel the presence of God as we sat outside and enjoyed the unusual cool Texas air. Redonia, Calah, and Trent led us in a a few worship songs. I watched as people lifted their hands in worship. Several of us began to cry as the kids led the first song. I needed the time not only with God but with my 'family'. Several cars slowed to listen and watch as we enjoyed a brief service.

One of the families came with their tithing envelope. Being a good pastor, Kent decided to take an offering. I think it was our longest offering ever. People left their chairs and went to find their checkbooks and wallets. Calah left to go home for hers. Kent paused and waited for everyone to prepare. This amazed me. Yesterday families came by and either gave Calah or Kent their tithes. I know these families love their church and just want to make sure that as they take care of their families their church is taken care of, too.

Kent spoke briefly about God's protection to each of us. In closing the kids led us in worship again as we joined hands and thanked God for His blessings. We enjoyed our time together. I prepared a table with cookie trays and candy. Kent had an ice chest with chilled Got Thirst Water. We enjoyed sharing God's goodness with one another. Though we have faced difficulty the past few days the talk was not about problems we have faced but rather God's goodness. Redonia took pictures but has not shared them with me. Once she does I'll post for your enjoyment.

Carl McLauhlin called Kent this morning to say the truck with fuel and food will be here tonight. Kent requested that they take the supplies to Orange where our friends the Wheelers pastor. Orange was recently hit by Gustav and now Ike. They are having more difficulties than Conroe. We felt we could be apart of the blessing by preferring our brother. Thanks, also, to our friends Bro. & Sis. Randy Stanton, Bro. & Sis. Mark Green and others for calling and offering to help. What would we do without our friends? Just knowing we have friends concerned means so much.

Conroe is beginning to recover. We now have 5 families with power!!!! This gives the rest of us hope. Some of these have offered for Kent and me to stay with them, do laundry, etc. For now we are fine with Trent. We will find an available washing machine really soon.

Tomorrow the heat is supposed to return. The high will be near 90 for the next few days. Today's high is 80. The heat will make things a little more uncomfortable. The fuel lines aren't as long. I guess people filled up and now aren't needing it as badly. Our grocery stores are open but do not have meats or frozen foods. The stores are running on generators. I hope today we will see a change.

Thanks for keeping the coastal area is your prayers! We will recover!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blessed by Giving

Ok, I never REALLY told about the 11889 Elizabeth Ridge Shelter. For those of you who don't know that's my lovely almost 4000 square foot, 2 story home on 1.3 acres in a gated subdivision. It's the house that 'giving' built. Just as we were about to close on the house the Lord impressed Kent to give $10,000 to a visiting minister. Yes, this was our closing money. I must admit I felt a little frustrated with Kent's move but knew it must be right. At close we had more than double that amount for a down payment in fact if memory serves correctly we had almost triple our offering. Plus some dear saint gave me $7000 to buy window treatments, blinds, and decor for the home.

The shelter was not just a shelter for family and friends but was also the dining hall for family that stayed at my Mom's. I grilled hot dogs, prepared sloppy joes, cookies, candies, and whatever else anyone wanted. One would expect a shelter to serve food but if you recall one of the chief complaints from evacuees from Katrina was pets were not allowed. Apparently some of the residents of 'my shelter' felt the same way. They would not evacuate without their pets. Following is a list of animals that I sheltered: 2 tea cup poodles, 1 boxer, 2 labs, and 2 bunnies. There were a few children that may classify, too! lol

After I decided to close the shelter due to lack of services we discovered we had lost an animal - Skittles or M&M. It was one of Kyleigh's bunnies. At the point we discovered the loss Kyleigh really didn't care because she was running around the yard in search of displaced frogs. She is quite a 2 year old!

Last night I wanted to go by the abandoned shelter and check for 'ammenities'. Of course there was no power, water, or sewage. After coming out of the house I looked out across the front yard in disgust and saw what I thought was a dead animal. As I moved closer I realized it was not dead. It was Skittles! Kent and I caught the little bunny and decided to take it 30 minutes to Miss. Kyleigh.

On our way to deliver the bunny we found a much needed supply, fuel! We waited in line and was able to fill our tank. Again, we were giving and were blessed with more than we were giving...bunny vs. fuel...fuel any day!!! Upon arrival at my brother's home, we found a jumping bouncing two year old. She immediately started squealing, "Uncle Kent Uncle Kent". When Kent put the generator box down Kyleigh jumped in the box with her bunny. She was so happy. Kyleigh wanted me to see her bunny hatch and her lab, Chocey, named after chocolate milk. She ran around the yard squealing, "Uncle Kent, come here. Come see."

Today we will prepare for our Praise in the Parking Lot service. I know we will again be blessed. I hope each of you, my blogging friends, are blessed today! Remember blessings come in many ways. You may find it through a strange door or unusual circumstance. Don't be afraid to take a different path, give in a different way, or consider others. God really does know what we need and blesses us accordingly. You may be the hands God chooses to bless someone else! It really is more blessed to give than to receive. Today I pray I will be an encouragement to someone in dispair.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Miracles Still Happen...

Our church has a HUGE event planned for Saturday, September 27 in the MLK Park. It is advertised as Miracle in the Park. We have plans for give-aways, hot dogs, games, church, baptisms, miracles, and Holy Ghost. Kent has felt forced to cancel the event for budget purposes. These type events are always fully funded by our congregation. How can we expect that to happen when each of us are facing major obstacles due to Ike?

Today enroute to Conroe from Huntsville (closest bank open) my phone began to beep with text messages and voice mails. (Our phones are still not operational 100% of the time) One of the missed calls was from Pastor Carl McLaughlin. He left message for me to return his call. Bro. McLaughlin has burden to help with relief efforts from Ike. Kent has just spoken to Bro. McLaughlin again. He is sending a large trailer our way to assist the residents of Conroe. Additionally, our church will be giving away Got Thirst Water. I can't post the MAGNITUDE of the giveaway until afterwards for fear residents will read the blog and will will abort our plan by coming prematurely.

Kent is pumped and refreshed. It occured to him this can be our Miracle in the Parking Lot rather than Miracle in the Park as previously planned. When we thought we were aborting our outreach efforts for this month it appears we are only regrouping and touching our community on a different day with a different plan. Of course this will be funded by those outside our city. Carl and Veta, thank you both so much! If things continue here as they are now we may take you up on the offer to your evangelist quarters for a night away, too.

Fuel is a big problem in Conroe and Houston. We drove into inner Houston today. The FEW stations that are open have lines longer than you can imagine. Some stations opened but have already ran out of fuel. Others opened but ran out of diesel to keep their generators operational and have closed. It is very strange. The damage appears so minimal in contrast with the loss of services we are experiencing.

As stated in a previous blog I am 45 years old and have always lived coastal. I have never seen such minimal damage cause such havoc. Of course on the island and even closer there is damage. In fact we have damage but I've seen far worse with less affects. We have entire infrastructure power systems down. It seems trees planned to miss houses, churches, and buildings and hit power poles and lines. It is amazing to me! Today we did pass a brand new very nice apartment complex built beside I-45 in Conroe with a huge billboard that fell through one building. I pray noone was home. If so I KNOW there was injury or fatality. My sister-in-law, Courtney owns a florist in North Houston and the shop flooded and had major roof damage. Consequently she lost almost everything in her business.

If power is not restored soon we will face even bigger issues. People are without work and will soon run out of money, food, etc. I love Conroe and the citizens of Montgomery County. Please join Kent and me in prayer that in some way we can be a blessing of hope to the people we love so much.

Ike - Monday

Sunday night we slept decent @ Trent and Calah’s. We are sleeping on a smaller bed and ‘touching’ with no a/c isn’t cool, pardon the pun! This morning Kent walked the school buildings and found minimal roof leaks in the elementary building. After the walk through we distributed approximately 1000 bottles of Got Thirst Water. People were very thankful. Trent met a new family who wants their children to ride the van to church Sunday. Trent felt the family knows something about Pentecost. We found some desperate situations. Persons needing oxygen, ice for insulin, etc. We were able to share our ice but we are unable to help with oxygen. Tomorrow we plan to distribute more water.

Later we went by several of our church families homes. We found trees on some of the roofs. Of course no one has electricity. Though we are experiencing the same problems with Ike we couldn’t help but weep over the devastation our sweet people are facing. Many do not know when they will be allowed to return to work. Of course their incomes will be hindered. Kent has been working on the church budget, too.

This evening we grilled the last of our meat and enjoyed a good dinner with our children and Andrew Koontz. After dinner the kids cleaned the kitchen and Kent and I returned to College Station for fuel. Enroute I texted and called more of our church family that we have been unable to communicate with previously. We went to 3 gas stations before finding fuel. I went to Kroger for groceries. The shelves were bare. I decided to go to HEB. The situation wasn’t much better. I purchased food for a few days. Kent sat in the truck and guarded our fuel while I shopped. It took me a long time and Kent was frustrated. We decided to take a DQ break for a Peanut Buster Parfait for me and a Coffee House stop for Kent. After refreshments, we both felt better and drove the hour and half trip home.

During our return home I began to think about my desperate need for God and my desire for church. After discussing my feelings with Kent we decided to have a Parking Lot Worship Service Wednesday night. Tomorrow we will text our congregation informing them of our plans. We will ask each of them to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. Trent is going to prepare some praise and worship music for a pre-service. He’ll hook up a keyboard and a cordless mic to the generator. We’ll have cold bottle water and enjoy the presence of the Lord in our parking lot. Many are out of town but those who are able to come will certainly enjoy the sweet presence of God. We think the time together with our ‘family’ will be strengthening to each of us. I know God will meet us there!

We’ve been informed that 3 of the Entergy Power Plants in South Texas are down. One apparently became operational today but immediately failed. The projections are it will be a few more days before the plant performs again. Of course this isn’t the only problem hindering electricity. Many power poles and lines are down. Additionally, many transformers blew during Ike.

A couple of gas stations opened in Conroe today. Kent waited in line and right when he got to the pump the police officer closed the station. The lines are several miles long and people are waiting more than an hour. A couple of grocery stores opened today but didn’t have bread or any frozen or refrigerated items. These businesses are operating on generators. People are becoming desperate for supplies. FEMA is distributing ice and water. Again the line is literally miles long.

Thanks to you my friends for praying and your kind words. Thanks to those of you who have offered for us to visit. For now we need to be here. If recovery gets long a night or two may be a blessing!

PS Redonia has taken some good pics and I'll post soon!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ike Issues

First off I'm MOST thankful that things aren't worse but can I be human and tell you that I've felt traumatized from Mr. Ike today. In the middle of the hot night another storm swept through. We had lots of lightening, thunder, rain and wind. It did cool things off a bit initially. I slept for about 2 hrs after the storm. I woke up and of course woke Kent up before daylight. I stumbled to the dark bathroom and endeavored to 'freshen' up and dress for the day. I crept out of the house so I wouldn't awake those sleeping in both my den and living room. I found a shovel and hoe and scraped both our sidewalk and Mom's from the mud and debris. Kent followed me with the blower. All the gillions of leaves and debris kept being tracked on my white carpet. I was about to go insane. We can’t vacuum so I’ve been sweeping the downstairs.

Around 8 am we ventured out. Since it's Sunday our first stop was to our dismal church. As Kent opened the door tears burst from my eyes. Of course immediately Kent's eyes were filled with tears. Where are all of our people? Where are all of my outreach kids? Today is a day with no music, sermon, offering, or outreach. How depressing is that for a Pentecostal preacher's wife? I wrote a two page note and taped it to the church doors just in case anyone ventured by. Our next stop was Lowe's. There we found 100's of people in similar circumstances. We were in pursuit of oil and gas for the generator. We did find oil but no gas was to be found in Conroe.

Driving around the city I felt such a weight. I couldn't help but keep crying. We are beginning to get low on food. We have lots of snacks but not food. I guess I didn't think it would be so bad since we are 90 miles from the coast. We have been surviving with no water, electricity, sewage, phones – land or cell, internet and lots of hot humid weather.

Our mayor, Webb Melder, is a personal friend of Kent's. When I heard him speak on KTRH radio as we drove I couldn't help but cry again. Webb told how the citizens of Conroe can expect to be without power for 2 - 3 weeks. He begged people returning to Houston to not exit the interstate in Conroe because we have no fuel, food, etc. Of course, I already knew these things but hearing Webb talk about it disheartened me. I told Kent we could not continue leaving with no water, sewage, electricity, etc.

Kent and I made a new plan of action. We told our house guests that we were closing shop. We asked Trent if we could move to his house rather than them staying with us. I went to Mom's and told her she had to do the same. Her immediately reply was, "I'm not leaving!" Kristi is about to deliver her 3rd child. Kristi and Mickey have water and sewage but no electricity. My brother, Scott, went and bought Mom a generator.

We ran out of fuel for the generator today. We had to drive about 1 hr 30 minutes to College Station to find fuel and a restaurant. It was funny because both my sisters and their families and my parents were in College Station at the same time. When Scott returned to his house, he found a blessing. His power had been restored! Scott worked hard to provide us a generator during the storm and then bought my parents one afterwards when Kent bought ours. I think Scott reaped a huge blessing!!! Scott is a MOST compassionate person. Thanks, Bub, I love you.

Tonight we hooked our generator to Trent and Calah’s house. They have water and sewage. Though we are hot things we will be better! My parents moved to Kristi's. The generator will help Kristi and her family to have a lamp and the refrigerator. We have a fan helping to keep us cool, it isn’t too unbearable. We have a couple of lamps, the refrigerator, the wireless modem for internet, and the Wii hooked to the generator. Atlas we can follow the news, check emails and even I’ve been able to make a couple of phone calls.

Tomorrow we plan to distribute some GOT THIRST WATER. Giving to others always helps my spirits. I need to get my mind off the mess Ike has left us with. Pray we can get back to normal soon. I know our budgets will all be wrecked. Our church people have experienced minimal damage. Roofs messed up by trees, downed power meters, messed up fences, destroyed boats, downed trees, etc are what our people are dealing with. My brother-in-law, Myron, pastors in Dickinson. He had four families suffer a total loss.

I know God is with each of us. Knowing you are praying encourages!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Please keep everyone in your pryaers! There's no telling how long until power, water, phones -land & cell, etc. is restored. I have only been on my front and back porches and can tell it's bad. Kent went and checked the church campus. He did not go into buildings but from the surface it appears all is well other than several trees are down. Trent and Calah have a couple of trees down, too.

We live in a gated subdivision. Our entrance has flag poles and trees down as well as the homes through out the subdivision. The wind is still very strong so I know the damage is not finished. Redonia and a few other family members have gone exploring. Of course, Redonia has at least one camera with her. I'll post some pictures later.

A 10 year old boy from a nearby community lost his life as his father was attempting to clear some limbs prior to the storm. A limb fell sapparently striking him on the boy on the head. I can't even imagaine what this family must be feeling. The trauma of the storm was great enough besides this tremendous lost. Keep this family in prayer.

We have a grill and I'm certain we will fair well food wise. We have too many snacks! What a temptation! I must admit not having water or sewage is the largest inconvenience.

We will begin clean up efforts once the rain stops. Kent has a chain saw and I'm sure it will be used not only at our home, subdivision, church, or Trent's home but at the homes of others. In times like these everyone becomes family.

Surving Ike

Ike definitely made his way to our house. Our yard is a mess. Thankfully, we haven't lost any large trees. One of my favorite trees that we planted a few years ago in our front yard is down. We have leaves and limbs covering the yard. We are blessed that thus far it isn't worse. I'm sure most of our church family has down trees, etc. One family called and they have trees in their house. We still have hurricane force winds and can not get out to help or access damage at our church campus.

We are without power, lights, and sewage. My brother brought a generator and we are able to run my refrigerator, deep freeze, and internet. Of course the house is hot and sticky! My parents live next door. All of our family except Micah and Chelsea are staying between the two houses. Additionally we have three friends and Kristi's in-laws. We have all slept on and off through out the night.

The power companies are reporting it will be weeks before many are restored power. Pray we regain sooner than 'weeks'. This storm is huge! We've had 9 inches of rain and it is still raining hard. The Houston metroplex is experiencing major fllooding both from storm surge and now rain. We are still having hurricane strength winds. I'm already tired of Ike!

Keep the citizens of Texas in your pryaers!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bracing for Ike

Here I sit in my fragrant living room awaiting and dreading Ike. We spent the morning at CUPC preparing the campus for the huge storm that apparently is headed our way. Upon leaving around noon Kent and I met our three children for lunch. Of course we laughed with them. When we are together laughter dominates our time. The kids are so much fun. Redonia still misses her brother oodles and oodles.

After lunch we made the dreaded hurricane stock up trip to the grocery store. Redonia never wants to grocery shop with us but today she decided to go. Between Redonia and her Dad my cart was over flowing and I had to use two carts to get our groceries and supplies to the car. The shelves were almost empty. In fact a couple of items that we planned to purchase was already depleted.

Upon arrival at home I decided to organize my pantry and a couple of cabinets. Kent organized the garage. It's amazing how doing these type chores help me feel better. Then I washed and folded clothes. Kent, Redonia, Lauren & I made a trip to Hastings to pick up some storm reading material. After returning I decided to do some baking. We now have homemade Lemon Cookies, Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Toffee Brickle Bark.

I dimmed the lights, lit some candles, lit the oil burner and decided to sit back and relax. My immediate thoughts were some of my friends at the Texas District Minister's Wives Retreat. I felt teary just thinking I am missing laughter, fun, and soul refreshment with people I love. Diane called today. I enjoyed visiting briefly with her. I did take a minute to email my friend, Sis. Elms. I regret I will miss hearing her speak tomorrow.

My plan for the next couple of days is prepare for holiday baking. Last year I bought about a dozen fabulous holiday cookbooks and magazines. I want to go through each of them and type recipes and save in my recipe documents stored on my laptop. I will also work on a couple of menus for holiday festivites.

Pray for the safety of not only my family and church family but the residents of the Houston metro area as we face Ike. Blessings....

Yikes Ike

Please pray for Texas as it's great citizens brace for Ike. As of this morning according to weather.com Conroe is in path to receive hurricane force winds and heavy rain. We are a couple hours from the coast where the eye is projected to come ashore . However, due to the size of the storm we may receive some nasty weather.

I have surrived several Texas hurricanes without any serious problems. I have horrible childhood memories, however, of hurricane Fredrick in Mobile, Alabama. Of course, in Mobile we lived on the coast. We sat out the storm in the church basement. Several times under the church and under Sunday School tables. Wow, what a scarey long night. The roof was ripped from the church parsonage. Many of our congregation were without power for weeks.

While I love the coast, I'm thankful to be inland today. Please be in prayer for each of us and most especially our neighbors to the south.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Bad Cup of Coffee

I dedicate the following post to Popsie. When he orders coffee he always says, “I’d like a cup of coffee if it’s fresh”. If it is not freshly brewed he promptly refuses it.

Coffee is served and brewed different ways. Some like it black, with cream, with sugar, or with artificial sweetener. Some may like coffee with flavorings or flavored cream. While people may not agree on how they 'like' their coffee most agree on what makes a bad cup of coffee. Bad coffee can be weak, bitter, stale, cold, or soured. No one likes to drink a bad cup of coffee. Nor do people enjoy being around bad tasting Christians.

Weak. When we are weak Christians, we have a lack of faith. Weakness often comes from a lack of knowledge of the word. The way to remedy our weakness is to add some grounds. Dig into God's Word and get grounded on its principles. Learn scriptural doctrine. Enrich yourself with a vibrant prayer life. Rely on God's strength and not your own.

Bitter. If bitterness isn't dealt with, it starts growing and destroying life. Bitterness doesn't leave a pleasant aroma. You can't do much with a bitter cup of coffee. No matter how much cream or sugar, or even how much whip cream you want to add, the bitter taste is still present. You have to empty the cup and start with a new fresh brewed pot of coffee. Isn't that like our Christian life? No matter how much we add to our Christian lives, no matter how many good deeds we do, how many church programs we become involved with; if we are bitter it hinders our Christian walk. We need to empty our bitterness and ourselves of self and allow God to fill our lives and take control.

Stale. The dictionary describes, stale as "tasteless or unpalatable from age". Do you ever get complacent about your walk with God? Lost that first love? It's easy to do, especially for those of us who has known the Lord for a long time. We become weary in well doing. We don’t intend to just sit as Christians and do nothing but we do. "Unpalatable" doesn't go far enough to describe us sometimes. We need to freshen up. Christians should not sit idle or become stale and tasteless.

Cold. Have you ever taken a drink of coffee that has become cold and you were expecting it to be warm or hot? If we are not careful we can grow cold as Christians. We get away from God, slow down in our Bible reading, our prayer life suffers, we become unfaithful to church and pretty soon we are cold. The common way to heat a cup of coffee is to add some hot coffee to the cup. In other words we go to the original source of the heat. As Christians we need to return to the Source often. When we get on our knees and talk to the Lord we draw closer to Him and get warmed up.

Sour. Have you ever tried a new flavoring in your coffee that just left a sour taste in your mouth? Or maybe you've put some cream or milk that had soured into your coffee. Adding something sour to a good cup of coffee destroys the coffee.When we allow ungodliness in our lives we become sour. We become ineffective in our Christian lives when we allow the things of the world.

I never want to fit in one of the categories of a bad cup of coffee. I want to be able to remain in the presence of the LORD. Spending time with the Lord brings a sweet aroma. In order to avoid being weak, bitter, stale, cold, or sour Christians we must dwell in the presence of God.

Another Happy Birthday

Today is very special for two distinct reasons. First, today is the anniversary date of a wonderful miracle God performed in our family. Second, today marks the arrival of Raymond “Trent” Smith. Having utilized various forms of fertility attempts including surgery and drugs to find none successful then giving birth to a bouncing 7 lb 15.5 oz boy was declared a definite medical miracle.

Kent and I have endeavored to delight ourselves in the Lord. He gave us the desires of our heart. We wanted two or three children and at least one boy and one girl. We know that God planned our children exactly like He knew was best. He fearfully and wonderfully made each of them. Redonia came to us by means of adoption and Trent by birth. However, each birthed in love. It is impossible to separate one from the other even when discussing one.

Trent has always been a very strong child. We knew from very early the call of God was upon him. From the time he was 3 years old he sat on the front seat at church alone and worshipped God. He received the Holy Ghost at the age of 5 at Texas District Crusader’s Camp. At age 7 he told us he felt the call to preach. We were sitting in the car at the intersection of Hwy 105 and Interstate 45. I WILL never forget it. As Trent talked about the call his little voice trembled. He said God called him to be a pastor. Just writing about it today brings tears to my eyes. For fear of misunderstanding let me quickly say he was not a perfect child. We had lots of opportunities for attitude adjustments. Many of them were over him being just a child yet bumping against the lid of adults. This is a principal John Maxwell teaches. Thankfully Kent and I learned the principal during Trent’s junior high years and were able to help guide him to possess his vessel with sanctification and honor. What a job!

Trent won the “Leadership Award” voted on by his teachers each year from 7th grade through 12th grade. One of Trent’s Bible College instructors, Rev. Ron Woffard, told us he felt Trent was very gifted in the area of leadership and purpose. In August Bro. Woffard affirmed some of this to our church. Kent felt it necessary when Trent was a boy to keep him like King Josiah was kept hidden. Young Josiah couldn't do what all the other boys were able to do. Likewise Kent knew Trent would be a king and young kings don't do what other boys do. While most kids would protest to stay the night with friends, go eat after every service with friends, etc Trent stayed near his dad and me. Does he have friends you may ask? Absolutely, in fact Trent is a very popular young man.

Little things mean a lot to me where my children are concerned. I enjoy planning birthday parties, filling stockings, writing notes on lunch napkins, etc. Calah enjoys the little things, too. Trent has married a wonderful wife that loves him. It is very evident that she adores Trent. Last night the five of us celebrated Trent’s birthday at PF Changs, one of his favorites. He LOVES the dinky doozie cookies from the Great American Cookie Company. I bought 6 cookies and arranged them on a plate. Trent ate one before the meal and one after we sang “Happy Birthday”. We found a ‘deal’ at Dillards and was able to buy a beautiful sports coat, pair of pants, and tie for his gift. I love giving gifts! I asked Kent to take the gift to have it wrapped while I went down the mall to pick up birthday cookies. You guessed it! He had the gift wrapped in juvenile birthday wrap of pink, yellow, blue and purple dinosaurs. We enjoyed a big family laugh. Tonight Calah is taking Trent on a very special birthday date. Thanks, Calah, for taking good care of our ‘bubba’. Side note: Calah giggles at all Trent’s nick names. (Baby Boy Bub, Bubby, Bubba, Bub, Little Man, to name a few) Of course we say them with such feeling and she teases Trent with the names, too.

Trent, I know you will venture by my blog today. Let me simply say you are a wonderful man. I love you more than you will ever know. Keep your passion for God. He will give you the desires of your heart. I hope today is one of your happiest birthdays. You will always remain my beautiful baby boy!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to you, Mom! Yesterday we surprised Mom with a beautiful "Victorian" style cake at our family's grandparent's day dinner. We had 32 of our family at our home for the special occassion. Mom loves to celebrate and I hope she enjoyed the surprise we planned for her.

Mom is not only a good Mom but an awesome Grammy, too! She loves to cook and spend time with her family. Mother loves her 'pretty' house. It is very Victorian and resembles a Victorian Tea Room. All the mess drives me totally insane! I'm a very traditonal straight lined person. Mom loves romantic style clothing, too. Aaahhhhh it's just to sweet for me! ha

Mother is faithful to God and church. Trust me she preaches to some of us often. Scott probably catches it most but....he calls her 100 times a day! lol

I tease her because she washed Micah's baby clothes, Kyleigh's clothes, and Madeline and Gentry's clothes. She never washed Redonia and Trent's. I KNOW I KNOW .... I was a stay at home Mom and I had time to do it myself. Well actually by the time Trent was one I went to work but that's okay, Mom! She has always been there for each of us children in different ways. My Dad passed away when Mom was only 35. Mom was left with 4 children. She did a fantastic job of finishing what she and dad begun together. Of course years and years later Mother remarried. We love Popsie!

Mom, I love you and hope this will be the BEST YEAR EVER!!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wonderful Day

I enjoyed a wonderful day! I went to bed around 2 AM and when the alarm went off @ 5AM I was already awake. I knew I need to rise early to ensure lunch was organized and the ovens were on time bake before leaving for the van route. We had a van and Suburban 'packed' with kids. The outreach kids enjoyed a puppet show, activities, and snack. The church and visiting grandchildren enjoyed a wonderful grandparent's celebration.

Our Music Department did a fantastic job this morning. They lead us in worship with a few older songs. We actually sang one song from the hymnal. The ensemble sang a medley which consisted of "O How I Love Jesus", "The Old Rugged Cross", and "Through It All". I think there was one more song but I can't remember it! I couldn't help but weep during these old powerful songs! We pastor a young church many may not have heard these songs before. Popsie, Redonia, and Gentry did a great job singing, too! Our Kidz Silent Praise Team was awesome!! The Kidz did a hip hop version of Amazing Grace. They jumped and spun around. The song ends abruptly. At the last 'sign' the team split and ran down both aisles! Lots of energy!!!

Our Grandparent's Treasures written for the Grands was 'over the top'. Kathleen Newton did an amazing job read each of them. One in particular needs to be published in the Texas District Magazine, the Herald, or Apostolic Man. I think I will work on it! The Grandparents did such a remarkable job that Kent was left with literally nothing to add to the service. He closed the service with our familes praying together. I loved as I watched Mom praying with my 13 year old neice, Hannah. Hannah had big tears. I KNOW across the sanctuary families united in prayer.

My family joined us for lunch at our home. We had a great time together. There was 32 persons seated at tables. Courtney helped me decorate all the tables in a fall theme with pumpkins, fall flowers, and scarecrows. Of course I was busy and did not take pictures. I will get some from Vicki and Redonia and post tomorrow.

After Mom left for church Vicki robbed a cute little table for 2 that Mom has adorned with a lacey cloth and lacey chair coverings. We ordered a beautiful Victorian birthday cake for Mom. We totally surprised her!!! Vicki decorated a corner of my living room Victorian just for Mom. She enjoyed all the birthday cards and especially the digital frame we gave her. We had the memory card loaded with pics of the family. She was so excited. Mom and Popsie got lots of Grandparent's Day cards, too. They really enjoyed their day with all the grands except two.

Not long after lunch was over and most of the family was gone I fell asleep on the sofa. I slept for a couple of hours. I woke up thankful that I had spent a couple of days preparing for our family. Everything was great and each of us had a great time together. I can't wait to post a pic of my Parents with the grandchildren. All 14 and soon to be 15 grands are blessed to have Grandparents who love them but most importantly love God.

I hope you enjoy a blessed week. You, my blogging friends are in my prayers!

Pretty Girls

Between Showers for Kristi, Redonia decided to to take pics of 3 of her cousins. Aren't they beautiful? The bad thing about Redonia being a photographer is I rarely get pics of her.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Busy Weekend in Store

I'm anticipating quite a busy weekend. I think I'm organized and ready to handle it. In the morning I will rise early and clean our downstairs. Redonia gets the upstairs! Kent has ReFuel, a men's prayer service. I will have to take him to the church since the youth borrowed one of our vehicles tonight. I have a quick errand to pick up a surprise. Then I'll come home and set up and decorate card tables in my living room and formal dining room. Around noon I have to leave for a luncheon honoring the soon arrival of my new little neice. After returning home I will begin preparing Sunday lunch. Tomorrow night CUPC is giving Kristi and Mickey a baby shower. I'm excited about one of the b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l gifts I bought Mallory or Monkey or Minnie or whomever she will be.

Sunday of course means get up early and pray for patience before going on the van route. Before leaving the house I'll have to set the ovens on time back and finish preparing for lunch. The menu will be ham, hashbrown casserole, green beans, corn, rolls, and dessert. Normally we eat out but this year I offered to cook for our family clan of 30 plus people in honor of Grandparent's Day. My parents normally cook for holidays or throw fits if we say we are making reservations for lunch on Mother's Day, Father's Day or Grandparent's Day. This year I thought I'd be nice since 7 of the 9 siblings will be here. (We have a blended family. My Dad passed away and the Patrick bunch lost their Mom to the same dreaded disease of cancer.)

Our church has a few special things for Grandparent's Day. The music department has planned some special songs. I'm thinking oldies! lol The Kidz Silent Praise Team will sign a remix of Amazing Grace. Popsie, my stepdad, Redonia and Gentry, my nephew are singing "I said I wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody". Gentry is really excited about singing with Popsie and Redonia. Our Grandparents were asked to write a "Treasure to Be Handed Down" to their grandchildren. They were asked to write about intangible things to leave the children. One of our ladies who has much charisma will read the "treasures". One of our decorators, Debra, is decorating the foyer with a treasure chest theme. She is collecting old things for the chest. Each Grandparent is receiving Treasures Chocolates nicely packaged by Debra. Kent will preach to the Grandparents. Additionally, we will have a $30 giftcard drawing for a blessed grandparent.

I plan to find time the next 24 hrs to write a tribute to my Mamaw & Papaw Ingram for the Treasures they left me. It will be a very easy task. They' left me the ability to serve others, give of my resources to the church, enjoy my home, love my family, be faithful to church even when I may have legitimate reasons to miss, love minister's and wives, and be true to my convictions. I scare myself at times for being so much like Mamaw. I LOVE sweets...gotta have them, chicken and rice, bread and jelly, and ham. I can't stand for my shoulders to get cold. My eyes tear in the sunlight, in fact I have macular degeneration like she did. I'm getting age spots on my skin, my hair is greying. I like to feel different textures of fabric. She liked to rub our 'ready made' dresses to check the quality of the fabric. I do that and I'm not even a seamstress. I find myself whistling and humming more and more. My Mamaw and Papaw where VERY special to me. When Mamaw's health began to fail I went to Alabama and brought her to Texas for a few months. I would not trade the world for the time we shared. From the time I was 18 and moved to Texas until the time MaMaw was in the nursing home only a few years ago I called her at least once each week. I have cards and letters she mailed me after I moved to Texas. I have a red FTD bowl style vase that was hers. From the time I was a little girl Mamaw kept a wall calendar and would write important dates on it. I have her last calendar. I have a few pictures of Mamaw and Papaw. More than these few simple inheritances, I have many values instilled in my heart.

I'm thankful for Redonia and Trent's Grandparents, too. My children have such a Godly heritage. Both sets of their grandparents are ministers. Both sets have sacrificed much in their lives for churches to be built. Now both sets are greatly blessed. My children never knew their Papaw Thomas. I can cry even now over this loss. Daddy would have been a great grandparent. However, I am MOST thankful that while Popsie, my stepdad, has never over stepped his bounds to replace my Dad in my life; he is a WONDERFUL grandparent to my children. My children love Popsie just as much as they love their Grammy, Mamaw and Papaw Smith. Thank you Popsie! To each of you Grandparents of Trent and Redonia, I honor you on this Grandparent's Day!

Though I maybe really busy the next couple of days, I want to say Happy Grandparent's Day to all of you Grandparents. Keep striving to leave a wealth of intangible gifts for your grandchildren. These are gifts that will last for a lifetime!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Prayer Requests

Please continue to pray for Landon. His condition is still very critical. Today he had an abcess drained and a couple of drainage tubes inserted. He is uncomfortable tonight. Help me believe Landon will rest tonight.

I KNOW God is in control and is able to heal Landon completely. Each time I speak to Sis. Guidroz she mentions she doesn't know what she would do without the prayer support of everyone. Ronna is very tired and I'm sure feeling much stress and worry for her 'baby'. Please keep her in your prayers, too.

I requested prayer last week for a 15 year old boy in our church. Zack is recovering from surgery to correct a detached retina. Yesterday Zack told his mom that he was losing eyesight in the other eye, too. Today he had a follow up appointment for his surgery. The Doctor discovered the other retina is detached now. Zack will have surgery next week, again. Zack was a premature baby and has had many difficulties in life. He does not grow properly. He has recently began a growth shot. The doctor mentioned today the shots must be causing the eye problems. The shots have been most successful. Zack has grown several inches the past few months. Kevin and Nikki Greer dedicated Zack to God and have taught him to serve God. I KNOW God is going to restore Zack's eye sight. Please help me pray for my buddy.

Of late I know of several major situations with our boys. I know the Devil would love to destroy our young men but he has no POWER where Jesus is allowed. Let's pray not only for the children in our families or churches but for those in our neighboring churches and friend's churches. I expect to start hearing of great reports that God is using our boys.....

I have a son and I definitely want a blood covering over Trent. I have nephews that I want to see victory in their lives. We have some dynamic boys in our church. I know God is working in many of their lives. I will join you in praying for your children, too!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Family

The following picture is of my ENTIRE family. My youngest sister, Kristi, is expecting. We anticipate the new arrival in a few weeks. The kids look like drowned rats! Though the picture isn't a very 'pretty' one it is one we will all remember. Everyone had a blast!

The next picture is all the grands except our soon to be "Mallory" or whomever Kristi decides to name her. Kristi is goofy and will not settle on a name until she sees the baby. She said what if she names her and she doesn't look like her name. Yes, I know she is a little strange....


Kent and I went to the hospital to visit Landon today. Bro. Guidroz had to leave just prior to our arrival. Sis. Guidroz posted about the roller coaster ride today. Her post left me feeling a little high. Things have deteriorated since the post. Apparently the incision has ruptured and even possibly the intestine. Landon is undergoing another test this afternoon to determine if he will need yet another surgery. The doctor very clearly informed Landon and the family of the negatives involved if another surgery is necessary. At this point Landon needs a miracle for recovery. I KNOW God is able.

We did have a good prayer meeting with Landon. As we finished he said very strongly "In Jesus name I accept the miracle". He was in good spirits today. He teased about the removal of almost 30 inches of his colon and possibly even needing more removed.

After our visit we took Sis. Guidroz to lunch. I know she is growing very weary. She has stayed the last two nights with Landon. Keep Bro. and Sis. Guidroz in your prayers, too. Ronna and Bob seem to be holding up pretty good but are very concerned for their son. For those of you who may not have seen Ronna in a few years she is just as sweet as ever and reminds me so much of Sis. Guidroz.

I will update once Sis. Guidroz calls me with the test results. Kent did inform Landon that people are joining us in prayer all over the world. What would we do without each other?

I love you all....

Monday, September 1, 2008

Our Day

Today we enjoyed a day on Lake Conroe. Carol and Tim Simoneaux have a great waterfront retirement home. They invited the 'Thomas Clan" today for a fun outdoor celebration. I enjoyed watching the kids play in the water. Trent was a water ski hero. Redonia taught my two year old neice, Kyleigh how to tube. I'm not sure Grammy thought it was a good idea! lol Micah and Trent had fun being goofy and showing off on the knee board and jet skis. Lauren and Redonia played on the jet skis and tubes most of the day. The younger set Timo, Gentry, Madeline, and Abbey rode anything that would slow down long enough. The girls had fun being thrown in the lake by their cousin, Trent.

Chelsea and I had fun grilling. We had lots of yummy food. We had sausage/pineapple kabobs, sausage on a stick, hot dogs, and even brisket. (Scott smoked the brisket!) Of course we had cakes, cookies, fruit, and 'milkshakes'. The milkshakes were supposed to be homemade ice cream. They were good regardless!

During all the water sports Courtney set up a high chair for Kyleigh at the water's edge. While I gave Kyleigh a perm she ejoyed playing with play dough and singing with her cousins. Her hair turned out so cute! I'll have to post a picture later.

Just before sunset Bro. Simoneaux took a big group out on his pontoon boat. Kent sat at the front of the boat and looked like the tourist guide! lol Micah and Courtney enjoyed the jet skis while the little kids were boating.

After hours of being in the water and sun, Mom decided a family picture was in order. Everyone of her children, grandchildren , and in-laws were present. What an accomplishment! She has two married grandchildren, three live in Africa, and another obstacle or two. Some of the little ones were wet with towels wrapped around them, Redonia and Lauren's hair was balled up on top of their heads and wet, Trent and Micah were drenched, and the rest of us hummmmm....Redonia is a graphics designer. Mom laughed and said Redonia could fix us all up! I'm not sure there is much to work with. At least Mom will have the photo as a remembrance of a great day together.

Tonight I thank God that we were able to spend the day 'complete'. We were almost short one. God has surely been faithful! I hope your day was spent enjoying family.

Please keep Landon in your prayers. He did have a blood transfusion today. It appears the bleeding has stopped. It is still not certain if he will need a third surgery. Bro. Guidroz will arrive in Houston early in the morning. Please keep the entire Guidroz family in your prayers.

Enjoy Your Day