Saturday, March 29, 2008


I have found it difficult to write about personal spiritual experiences. It always seems too hard to express in words. I have had some thoughts rolling around in my head and heart for a while now. So, I am going to attempt to put these thoughts into words.

When I look back at my growing up years, I think my greatest moments of worship were the "mountain top" moments. These moments actually happened in the mountains, around a campfire. Whether it be mission trip in Taos or Permian Basin Christian Camp in Guadalupe or Sacramento, these times singing around the campfire stick out in my mind. I can remember being so filled with the spirit and so revived. I loved the way the youth would express ourselves in worship. Whether it be clapping (gasp) or closing our eyes and lifting our voices to God, we were somewhat uninhibited in these times of worship.

I love my heritage of faith and worship. However, I would also say that in corporate worship, growing up, worship for me was inhibited. There were rules. No clapping. No hands raised. No kneeling. I can remember returning from camp or mission trip and feeling so confined in worship. Back to the old routine.

For the past two years, Wade and I have been working and worshiping with a church that is completely uninhibited in worship. Although our worship is acapella, we do have instrumental music played at times. Also, our worship leader does on occasion play the guitar. Clapping, raising our hands, kneeling, laying on of hands, etc. are common in our church home. I have loved and appreciated this freedom I have in worship.

One of the things that I was looking the most forward to at the conference in San Diego, was the praise and worship time. It was awesome. That first night we were there, I was overcome with the power of it all. It was the first time that I had ever worshipped with a full praise band. It was so neat to sing along with the songs that I sing everyday in the car as I listen to Christian radio. I remember feeling so free to sing as loud as I could because the music would cover up my voice.

I could not help but be in awe of the people surrounding me. There were over 3000 people. Many of these people were very active in their worship. From the first note, they had their hands held high, singing to our savior. It occured to me that this was normal for all of these people. As new as this experience was for me, this was not new for the majority of the people in the room. There were people from all denominations, from all over the country. It made me smile. I thanked God for bringing me to this place for this new experience.

God provided a moment for me. On the second night we were there, it came time for praise and worship. We all stood and the band began to play How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin. This has become one of my favorite worship songs to sing in church. Now, although raising hands in worship is commonplace at church, I have never quite felt comfortable. There have been a few moments that I have found myself lifting my hands in praise, but it is not "natural" for me. Standing there singing this beautiful song about my Father, to my Father, I found myself in one of those moments. There was no other place to go but "up". And then it happened. This one moment. At the end of the song, the worship leader began to sing How Great Thou Art, and the instruments stopped. All you could hear were 3000 voices singing to God. It was my heritage. Everyone was speaking my language. I felt God wrap his hands around me. I heard my voice. I heard His voice. It wasn't until the song was over that I realized that I was standing with both hands held high above me, my head lifted back, my eyes closed. Just me and God. He took me "back" to bring me closer to Him. He took me back to my roots of acapella worship, to lead me to being free enough to express myself as I speak to him.

As I have said before, I believe in the power of all worship to God. I believe that God is honored by instrumental praise. I also believe that my love language with God is acapella music. He will lead me to Him, no matter what. He will listen, no matter my voice.

God speaks. All I need to do is listen.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Sunday

Having boys we don't have to worry about Easter bonnets & dresses; but, their Nanna made sure they still looked good for church.

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Easter in Friona

On Friday (3-21-08) we went to Friona to suprise my Grandmother (Grambie) for her 80th birthday. So of coarse, we celebrated Easter while we were there.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Look what the Easter-bunny brought!!

Easter morning always starts by seeing what the Easter bunny brought.

Cason in his underwear, excited about getting underwear (Power Ranger Jungle Fury underwear!)

Cason got a Power Ranger coloring/activity book.

The Easter bunny must be a Tony Stewart fan!

Bryson got some Tony gear too!

Bryson got a pirates coloring/activity book.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Break

Darla, Brylie, & Lawson came to Odessa to hang out over "spring break".

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

San Diego is good to be home. I had an AMAZING trip. I am still trying to process all I heard and learned. I'm sure it will take several posts as I form these feelings and thoughts and try to put them out there.
I would love to share some pictures with you. However, I forgot to take my camera! But, never fear, that is what disposable cameras are for, right. Well, I purchased my overpriced ($15!!!) camera and commenced to take picture after picture of all our adventures.
Funny thing about those cameras. If you leave them in your purse as they go through x-ray at airport security, all of the pictures disappear! What a neat trick, huh! :-(
So, let me take you on a virtual tour for just a second. Picture with me...

-the beautiful Pacific Ocean
-palm trees
-the Hotel Del Coronado (The Del)
-In-n-Out Burger (yes, I ate a hamburger and fries...okay, half a hamburger and fries. It was delicious!)
-the street sign that read "Sassafrass"...just for you, Nicole :)
-Trisha standing in front of a Pepsi machine with a frown on her face. (the resort we stayed at only served Pepsi products. We had to leave and drive to the nearest store to stock up on Diet Coke)

Everything went off without a hitch (except for that whole Pepsi thing). However, when we arrived at the airport, we were informed that our flight had been cancelled. All flights into DFW were cancelled due to SNOW. What!?! No worries...Trisha called her daddy, who told us he had free tickets on Southwest we could use. His secretary had us booked on a flight within 15 mins. Instead of going through DFW, we went through Phoenix and Albuquerque. We did have to stop in both places and change planes, so our poor luggage did not arrive home until 12 hours after we did. Oh well.
It was a great trip and I can hardly wait to go again.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

...but I do know when I'll be back again. I am leaving in the morning to go to a Children's Ministry Conference in San Diego, Cal. I will return late Thursday night. My parents are here to help care for the boys while Wade works. The substitutes are in place to take care of my kids at school.
I don't know which excites me more...the exciting adventure of a trip to San Diego or the sweet time I will have with my sister/friend, Trisha.
We are not quite sure what we will do with ourselves without our children and responsibilities. However, I'm sure we will think of something. :-) I'm also sure that "something" will include wonderful conversation, a long nap on the plane, and alot of Diet Coke.
I do know that we will come back spiritually fed, ready to tackle a summer full of ministry opportunities, and ready to see our families.
Have a great week, my friends!