Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Today is Christmas Eve. Growing up it was the day we opened all our gifts, ate special foods, and anticipated hearing the reindeer paws on our roof before morning.
Now, at almost 50, I love remembering Christmas long ago, but I have found none sweeter than the one I am living right now.
I have learned that Christmas it is so much more about Jesus! Today, Rick's class was encouraging us to ponder about what life would be like without Him - if He had never been born. YUK! I can't! I don't want to think about it! But -- if I don't, I miss the blessing and the joy of His life - He did come - He changed the world forever! The lives of women, of children, of poor, of the sick, of the heavy-hearted, of the wounded, of the empty -- would never be the same!
Jesus has made a difference - and continues to change hearts as we allow Him to invade us, to transform us, and to radiate through us!
May we become totally obsessed with Him in '07!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Malaya story

Malaya spent the night Sunday night. We had planned to go see Happy Feet Monday afternoon. I was so excited about having some buttered popcorn. We were running errands before leaving town and she said, "Grammy, you know what I really want to do? I want to go the Decatur library and get my own library card." Wow - movie versus reading! Well, for this six and a half year old, reading won! Yea, Malaya! What every former grade teacher loves to hear!

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year! All our children are coming in today and spending a few days! YEA!
We will eat and eat and laugh and laugh and talk and talk and eat and eat! Eating in our family is a definite time of sweet sweet fellowship! I take great delight in cooking for 'my people'. There is very little that I do that is more therapeutic. Yesterday morning, in the kitchen, I chose to have some time with the Lord. My soul was thirsty and my body was longing for some time with Him.
Silence is rare for me - must be intentionally planned. It is the end of a fun, busy retreat season for me and I was needing some uninterupted time with Him.
Then, in the afternoon, I listened to tapes of Josh preaching. He is going through Luke too and he is an amazing teacher of the Word.
This year, my dad is not feeling well but they are coming anyway! I am so excited to see the generations around me spend some time together.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with spiritual blessings!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Three more pictures!

Rick was so surprised last Friday - we went to Houston - ok - I lied (along with the rest of my precious family) and told him I was doing a retreat for Josh's church. We stopped at Jonathan's to pick Josh up and - voila! All the kids were there! We wanted to celebrate Rick's 50th in a BIG way and - mission accomplished! Malaya wrote a tribute for Grampy (she is sharing it in the above pic) The guys all golfed on Friday; we all met in Galveston for dinner and Josh had reserved us hotel rooms on the beach! Malaya spent the night 'at our place' and Jed came over first thing Saturday morning (the pic on the left). The weekend concluded with a lunch at Tortuga's where a waiter made Jed a paper hat (the picture on the bottom left). We are blessed! Truth?????

Please note Rick's glow in all the pictures - yesterday and today - he had a great time!!! And we did too - lies and all! Ha!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Great Weekend!

Here are a few pics from Rick's surprise weekend! We had a BLAST! We love our family! I have three more pics to post - stay tuned tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, David

Eight years ago, I became a mother-in-law for the first time ever! David Shawn Bizaillion became part of our family - life for the Ross' has never been the same! We love him so much! Today we celebrate David's birth! He is 32. David is an amazing husband - my precious daughter trusts him; he is a joy to watch parent our delightful Malaya. David has been so patient with me as I continue to learn what it means to be a m-i-l. Thanks, David, for all the wisdom and kindness you bring to our family! We thank the Lord for you!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Catchin' up - again

Two weeks ago today, I had my first fund-raiser for Wise County Christian Counseling. It went unbelievably well!!!! We raised $12, 571 that night with monthly commitments totalling
$26, 480 for the next year. I spoke last week for the Decatur Women's Club and they voted to let WCCC be one of three recipients for their proceeds from the Christmas Tour of Homes. This has been an amazing journey so far! God has been so amazing - more than I could ever ask or imagine!!!!

A few highlights from the night:
The centerpieces that Sandra Shabay made - beautiful!
Darla Cole's brave testimony - totally powerful!
Robert Isham's words of validation and support
Runnin' on Faith's performance
Jenny's presence even though she couldn't eat or drink a thing we had!
Colby Maddox's $1 contribution
Rick Ross' unending support and encouragement

I could go on and on..
It was a blessed night! The Lord was in the house!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, Rick!

And not just any birthday - happy, happy 50th! I love being in love with a 50-year-old! Especially as I have been blessed to a front row seat for the last 30+ years of watching him transform more and more into the image of Jesus. Sweet anticipation fills my heart as I contemplate the future with him.
Yesterday was his actual 50th. I had saved the date for a year - no retreats or plans at all, just being with him to celebrate. We did end up, however, having to reschedule a retreat we do together in Lovington, NM. We had a blast traveling together and hangin' out with friends.
Rick, I wish you many, many more blessed years!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Catchin' up...

The last few weeks have been craziness for me. I am using this morning to catch up and writing this blog made the to-do list.
On September 15, my dad was careflighted to Tyler with all his systems shutting down - respitory and kidney failure, congestive heart failure, heart attack, the list could go on. It was a scary time as I drove to be with my mom. Josh and Kayci arrived shortly after I did (they will never know how wonderful it was to sit with me in that waiting room - but heart leaped when I saw Kayci's sweet smile and knew Josh was right behind her).
The second time Mom, Barbie, and I went in to see dad, he was very alert even though he had a breathing tube in - he couldn't talk but my dad has the gift of getting his message across with intense eyes and flamboyant gestures. He wanted to thank God and then he 'asked' my mother what had happened to him. Then he looked at me and pointed - he wanted me to pray! As we huddled over his bed, I voiced our praise to the Lord and our joy in the legacy of having a dad like Billie Jones, then he motioned to my sister - she, too, prayed over Daddy. What a blessing to have a dad so much in love with our Heavenly Father!
I am extremely grateful to be part of a nurturing community of faith. Jane Jones (Jeff's mom) beat me to hospital in Tyler with my favorite cookies in hand! We spend several nights with them in their lovely home! What wonderful new friends!
Dad went home for three days and is back in the hospital in Crockett with congestive heart failure but feels great and should go home early next week. Please pray!
We want to get them to Decatur asap!

**On Tuesday night, October 3, the Tommy Maddox Foundation is hosting a free dinner to introduce Wise County Christian Counseling - that's me! We have had a GREAT response so far. I pray the Lord will have His hands all over this ministry!

**I leave in a few hours to do a Ladies' Day tomorrow in Temple. I am so excited! Retreat season is here! Lots of travel in the weeks to come. I pray I will bring glory to His name and reflect Him in my words and interactions with my new friends.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, Josh!

Well, I have just a few more minutes to wish an extremely happy birthday to my oldest son - Joshua Louis Ross - better known as Josh, Joshy, or Boss - depending on who is calling him.
Today, Josh is 26. He was born in 1980, which still holds the record for the longest heat wave in Abilene, Texas.
I love to use birthdays to reflect on the treasures in my heart. With my firstborn son, there are many, many, many - so here are just a few:
*When he was little, he wanted to be exactly like his daddy -- wear a cap if Rick did, only wear zipper jeans because Rick did, sit like Rick, etc.
*He loved his Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw (my grandparents). They let him hammer real nails into a piece of wood. They let him work on all their doors. Paw-Paw chewed tobacco so Josh had a little spit can too! He still loves 'squirt cheese' and crackers - just like Maw-Maw always kept for him.
*Josh loved the Astros! That was a major bedtime issue for us! He learned his ABC's by their names.
*He loved football - could count by 6's and 7's before he could start to school.
*When he was in first grade, I got a call from his teacher - he had made an F on a spelling paper. When we questioned him, he said he felt so sorry for his friend that sat next to him who struggled in school! He didn't want him to feel alone! Compassion has always been in his heart!
*When we moved to Crockett, he was going into 2nd grade and Jonathan was going into Kinder. Jonathan had difficult time going to school. We thought maybe if Josh took him to class on the second day, he would do better. Josh had to peel his little brother's hand off his; so instead of having an unhappy Kinder son --- we now had a crying Kinder son and a crying 2nd grader. Toooooo sad!
*Beginning in about junior high, Josh turned into a major prankster! He got his teachers, principals, next-door neighbors, and even his father in on tricking me! Too many times to name here!
*He does a great Fresh Prince impersonation!
*His senior year, there was a tragic car wreck involving some fellow students. The student body was going assemble at night to draw strength from each other. Josh was called to speak and did an excellent job comforting his classmates with the Word of God.
*Josh has always had a heart for the lost. Several of his friends in Crockett and Mesquite were into the Lord Jesus.
*Watching him play football and lead his team, on and off the field, were a blessing to Rick and to me. (He and Jonathan still play flag football together - winning a game in Houston tonight.)
*He is a fabulous uncle to our precious Malaya - she adores him! (Can't wait to watch what he will do at night on our next vacation for Jed!)
*It is a blast to watch his tight bond with David, Jenny, Jonathan, and Jennifer!
*He brought Kayci into our family!
*Two years ago, when Rick and I began to catch on that things at Lake Cities were not going well, Josh rallied around us. He called us everyday. He cried with us and prayed over us. He spoke many, many words to refocus us.
*Today, Josh is known as a man of strength, tremendous wisdom, prayer, fasting, not only a gifted preacher, but a serving minister.
*Josh is a family man, planning time for us to all be together.
*He is not a middle child - he is our oldest son - a son that we are so proud to call our own.
**And he is going to be a daddy - a wonderful, wonderful daddy!

We love you, Josh, and are so proud of you! What a blessing you are to so many!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Grandbaby #3!!!!!

Josh and Kayci are pregnant!!!! YEA!!!!! May 5 is our date!!!! Can't wait!!! Malaya wants a girl!!! Josh and Kayci, we love you and we pray for a healthy, healthy baby. We know precious cute is a for-sure!!!!
More to come - just wanted to shout it from the rooftop for now!!!!!!!!
Side note: 3rd blog of the week!!!!!

Malaya Story

Sunday night, Malaya spent the night with me. After church, we ran by Wal-Mart for a "minute". After she had helped her Grampy at the self-checkout and we were walking back to the car, Malaya said something like: "Grammy, I just love that you live in Decatur now." (I totally agreed!!!) Then she said: "I love how you make new friends at church then come to Wal-Mart and get to visit with them!"
Want a social experience? Try coming to Wal-Mart in Decatur! There are no 'minute' trips though! But a total blast!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Favorite Things of Summer 2006

September 1 - Summer is (to borrow the words of Malaya) "done, done, done, done, done, done, done!"
It has been a total blast! My first official summer in Decatur has been rich in God's blessings! His handiwork surrounds me! I don't want to forget them so I am making a list of the best:
(these are not in order of importance but in order of happening)
*planting a flower bed out the back door (with a fountain and a bird feeder)
*opening of Wise County Christian Counseling, a ministry of the Tommy Maddox Foundation
*Jedidiah David Ross was born!
*watching Bammel Road be such a supportive church family for Jonathan and Jennifer
*finding out the trip to Houston is really not that long!
*having Malaya over to spend the night and play
*going to Southern Hills for Jed's baby blessing, worshipping with Jonathan leading, staying with the Wares
*watching Jed smile
*Josh preaching on a Wed. night in Decatur
*Rick preaching on a Wed. night in Crockett
*going to hear Jeremy Camp and Stephen Curtis Chapman in concert at Six Flags
*speaking at ACU - traveling with and sharing a room with my friend, Vicki; seeing lots of old
friends and making new ones
*spending a very relaxing evening at Joe T. Garcia's with Jenny, David and Malaya
*staying with Josh and Kayci; hearing Josh preach; watching their new church love them
* taking Malaya to the circus
*getting Malaya's picture made at the McHale's
*going to Boston (and surrounding areas) with Rick
*celebrating our 30th anniversary
*watching Jed grow and learn to roll over and echo 'ooohhhhh'
*watching Jonathan and Jennifer parent so easily
*Malaya starting first grade
*watching my car roll over to 100,000+ miles
*nurturing our yard wth Rick - buying some of my favorite plants to add color
*reading Luke over and over again and learning more about Jesus every time!
*getting ready for Fall

Isn't that just like God? Never leaves His people without something to look forward to!! I just LOVE that about Him!!!!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jenny!

On a Thursday, August 3, twenty-eight years ago, my identity changed forever! My heart has never been the same. I became a mother! I LOVE being a mother! I LOVE being Jenny's mother! She has been a joy and a blessing! I treasured her every move from the beginning. She had the sweetest, softest little cry but, boy, could it make us jump!
Some sweet memories:
1. She loved for us to read her books!
2. She loved her B and Papa!
3. She loved to wait up for her daddy when he worked late.
4. She was a fabulous snuggler.
5. She loved to work 100 piece puzzles.
6. She became a gifted reader.
7. She didn't enjoy her brother's baseball games but endured them anyway.
8. She collected Sweet Valley Twins, and later ... High.
9. She played Barbies constantly.
10. She nurtured her brothers sweetly.
11. She protected them fiercely (can you picture it???)
12. She was the 'queen' of a little league baseball team and looked beautiful on the float.
13. She tried to convince us there was a mouse under her bed - we didn't believe her - but later, when we moved - there was evidence little Jenny was right!
14. She dropped a ring down the sink - I became an immediate plumber to rescue it!
15. She played a great french horn.
16. She looked so cute marching at halftime - we were so proud!
17. She has always had a gifted singing voice - could melt her daddy's heart!
18. She fell in love with David Bizaillion - a blessing for us all!
19. She was a blast to plan a wedding with - I honestly don't remember one fuss! We had a ball!
20. She was a gorgeous bride!!!!!!
21. She has helped me move more times than is fair - thanks so much!!! You are the best packer! You know what I need before I do!
22. She is my favorite shopping buddy!
24. She has been a great - gifted - nurturing mother to our precious Malaya.
25. She was a great MOPS leader!
26. She is a teacher's dream for a room mom!
27. She is so beautiful singing on stage with KidStand!
28. She is a blessing to so many people! A blessing from the Lord to share His Light and Love!
Thanks, Jenny, for allowing Him to use you and draw others closer to Himself through your example of love and faithfulness.
I love you, my firstborn!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Going to ACU

I am leaving later today to head west. I am speaking for the Summer Workshop at ACU tomorrow morning. Topic: the Light of the Lord. I LOVE studying God's Light! I love that we, His people, have been given such a distinguising mark - a mark to spotlight His glory. The second session, we will be exploring 'masks' tht we wear that hide His Light in us. Masks like anger, bitterness, fear. Can't those ugly masks creep in and on our hearts so very quickly. Oh, Lord, may we see the work of Satan - the work that diminshes You. May we make the choice to step into You, closer and closer. May we choose, Father, not to allow our own pain to hide Your hand in our lives! Lord, may my presentation be clear and be words that will honor Your Name.
Vicki Straughan, a dear friend and former co-worker, is also speaking at the workshop and we will be traveling together. I pray for sweet conversation.
Anne Jones, a precious young mommy from Southern Hills, is going to sing a couple of songs in the sessions. I can't wait to work with her! I will pray her new minsitry.
Please pray for safe travel and for the Lord to be glorified through our time together.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Pictures of my cuties!!!!

Could life get better than this???? (I am so excited I have accomplished posting pictures! I may get better at blogging if I can show off my people!)
The first picture is of my delightful grandchildren having their first heart to heart. Malaya adores Jed and loves just staring at him! Looks like Jed enjoys her too! He is just over 2 weeks in this shot.
The second picture was taken last Sunday morning right before church. He is one month and three days. I had just dressed him for his introduction at Southern Hills. I love those dancing eyes and that HUGE smile!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Good Friends!

I have been surrounded as of late with the reminders of the precious gift of wonderful friends! On Sunday, July 2, Johnny and Debbie Garner (along with Jonathan and Jillian) came to Decatur to see us! What treasured memories we share with them from our Crockett days. Rick's first ministry was in Crockett, Texas, and the Garners were gifted encouragers to us. I loved laughing with them and getting the latest on people we love. Friendship with history - fun!
Then on Monday, we had invited several couples from church over to eat Rick delicious burgers and drink iced tea! We ate on our back porch and relaxed to the purr of our fountain. Friendship with future - exciting!
Our little grand-daughter was with us for both! What a ball for us to enjoy her with our friends! and to watch her make new buddies too!
Wednesday night we had Jonathan, Jennifer, and JED with us for church and to spend the night! It was a total blast showing off our new grandson to all our church friends! This is the first church we have ever been at that hasn't known our kids so we relish the moments to introduce the fam!! I slept with Jed that night - actually all I do is lay beside him and watch him sleep. I want to memorize him - I do not want to forget his squeaks and stretches.
Rick and I spent Thursday night with our small group of friends that meet weekly to study the Word and lift each other in prayer. The Lord is our Reason and our Focus.
Friday I spent watching my very bestest friend play good golf! I love hanging out with Rick!!!
I spent Saturday and Sunday in Abilene with Phil and Donna Ware (and Jon, Jen, and Jed). What precious new friends! So hospitable! So warm! I loved worhipping the Lord at Southern Hills. Phil spoke sweet words of blessing over Jed. He reminded us of his legacy of faith.
May we be committed to revealing You, Father, to the next generation!
Great community of faith! Old friends, new friends, family friends, faithful friends, partnering friends, mentoring friends! Thank you, Lord, for the gift of friendship!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!

I haven't written a blog since Jed was born! I cannot tell you how many times I have tried but I decided I would not write until I can figure out how to post pictures! It can't be that hard! People do it everyday! I have found the picture button; I can upload them; then, gone... I am lost after that - boohoo! So many, many precious pics for you to see that are lost in blogland somewhere! I have been to Houston twice since my last post. I have the cutest pictures!!!

This last weekend we went to celebrate Jed's daddy's birthday! Today is Jonathan's birthday. June 25, 1983 was the day our world forever changed with the appearance of a precious baby boy! So many memories as of late because Jed looks so much like him! They share the same gorgeous eyes, same long torso, same love of being held, especially while sleeping! (That 'job' is mine when I am in Houston!) Last Friday night, Jen and I had Jed on the bed talking to him and he just opened his mouth and waited - we all waited - with anticipation - he was ready to talk, I totally promise. All three of us knew he was ready to tell us something! We got it even if no sound came out yet. Yep, just like his daddy! Jonathan was an early talker! Jed will be too! I know it!!

Jonathan, it has been a joy and a blessing to be your mother! Let me just ramble with a few memories for a moment!
*you could climb before you could walk!
*you tried to shave TWICE before you were four (what happened to that love of the razor?????)
*you were always so funny when you were in trouble that I found myself constantly saying "my
face may be laughing but my heart is not"
*you nearly got killed on the many dares from Josh (and probably Jenny - she was just quieter)
-the time you jumped off the porch of the Savage's garage apartment
-the time you drank Worcestershire sauce blistering you lips
*you survived them 'cannonballing' you to the ceiling when they were babysitting you
*you could sing all the books of the Bible when you were 3
*you and Clint performed at the Grace St. talent show when you were 5
*when I would wave at you at your football games, you would just shake your head 'no'
but I knew you loved it - didn't you????
*watching you lead a community of believers in worship through song
*watching you coach Jennifer through childbirth with such steadiness; watching her find
strength in you
*hearing you tell the nurse you were bringing Jen in to be 'checked' again even though the contractions hadn't been at 3 min apart for ONE HOUR - great call!!!!!
*watching you 'beam' at the birth of your own son
*watching you love you wife!!!! (to see her precious blog and pics, go to

I could go on and on and have a lot of fun doing it! I really just want you to know that you have been a gift since the day you were born! The best part has been watching you mature into a man of God! I love thinking of His eyes on you and His face smiling to see a heart given to Him! May He bless you richly this next year and forever! I love you!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Jedidiah David Ross is here!!!!!

We pulled into Houston about 10 on Monday night - Jen had been sent home - the nurse said she was not quite ready. She showered a couple of times and timed contractions - serious contractions. Lyn (her mom) and I fretted silently downstairs - we wanted her at the hospital! Finally, about 12:45, Jonathan called the nurse on the phone to ask about when to bring her back. The nurse said when her contractions had been at 3 minutes for an hour! He asked if her could bring her anyway to double check. We all piled in cars - only to have Jen jump out in driveway - she couldn't sit down! Jonathan coached her through a couple of contractions and she climbed in the front seat. We followed in our car. We were delighted there was no traffic at 1 am and that Jonathan found the accelerator!
We got to the hospital at 1:18 and Jed was born in the triage room (an examination room) at 1:24!!!! Six minutes! Two nurses delivered him - or rather, watched him deliver himself! Jonathan said two pushes was all it took and it looked like Jed was on a slip and slide. Dr. Moore arrived shortly.
He is beautiful!!! I can't figure out how to post pictures yet but I have PLENTY! Laura, Jen's twin, went to get them delevoped for me and they gave her a box - almost $100 worth of pictures! and not one I don't want to post! He is a doll! Sleeps great! Eats great! and sneezes perfectly!!!
Jonathan and Jen had 20 people over to watch the Mavs Thursday night! (They came home on Wed. night) Clappers and all! Jed didn't even flinch! He must be well accustomed to his daddy cheering! His mommy and daddy decked him out in Mavs clothes to watch the game. Stay tuned for family shot! Jonthan calls him Dirk - my dad calls him Lightening! (because of his quick entry!)
Malaya held him 3 times yesterday and giggled the whole time!
We are grandparents of two precious, precious little ones! We are blessed!
Welcome to our family, Jedidiah!

Monday, June 05, 2006

It is time!

Got the call at lunch today! I was with my precious friend Suzy when Jonathan called to say Jen is having contractions! The whirlwind began! Suzy ran to Target and WalMart for me (Jonathan wants to bring Jed home in Mavs 'stuff'.) I ran to my office to cancel appointments. This is it! They are at the hospital. We are on our way to Houston! Please pray for a safe delivery. More later---

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Smelling a little change!!!

Well, this is it! Change is upon us! All wonderful - all exciting!

1. This morning, Malaya 'graduated' from Kindergarten! How precious she looked! Her hair was almost as bouncy as her sweet little personality! This former first grade teacher pronounces her fully ready for first grade (or maybe fourth - ha!). David and Jenny are super parents! We even got front row seats to the graduation because of Jenny's hard work for Ms. Rhodes!

2. Wednesday is my last day with ChristianWorks for Children (formerly Christian Services of the Southwest). It has been a great place to grow, to learn, and to spread my wings as a counselor. I have made life-long friends with some of my colleagues. I will be forever grateful to Beth Darrow and Cullen Johnson for hiring me!
Now, I am on a path to get to Wise County permanently! As of June 1, I will be employed with the Tommy Maddox Foundation. I will be in Grapevine two days a week and in Decatur two days a week until August 1 - then... Decatur full-time! We are opening Wise County Christian Counseling, a Ministry of the Tommy Maddox Foundation. God has His sweet fingerprints all over this one and it has been a joy to watch it unfold!

3. Josh and Kayci are on their way home from a blessed and much needed vacation. They will be setting up house in Houston. Kayci will still be employed by ACU and is scheduled to begin June 5; Josh preaches his first 'employed' sermon at Southwest Central on June 11.

4. Jed is coming ANYDAY!!! Jonathan and Jen went for a dr. visit this morning and he gave her a copy of her file - just in case. (Jonathan thinks he is going to Game 5 of the Mavs series with the Suns. Jed may begin to show his control with a grand entrance in his own precious sweet time to mess that one up! - only if he is anything like is daddy - ha!)

I told you change is everywhere! May be the Lord be praised and glorified through it all!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

O Dear Christian College We Love You...

Ten years ago this August, Rick and I drove our precious first-born to Abilene to begin her ACU days. We have loved going to Abilene for visits - seeing old friends and making lots of new ones.
Last Saturday, both our sons graduated from ACU to end their college days. We are done!!!!! Josh graduated with his Master's of Divinity! and Jonathan graduated with his Bachelor's!!! We are so excited as they both enter new phases of their lives!
FYI: Jonathan received a Servant-Leader Award! Way to go! (All three boys got awards when they graduated! How cool is that!?!?!?!?!)
I started to feel sad that our trips to Abilene had come to an end but then my sweet husband reminded we are committed to being there in July and in September! YEA! We aren't totally done! I LOVE ACU! - always the party!

Friday, April 14, 2006

'Good' Friday

Several years ago, through the encouragement of one of my children, I began to pay attention to what is called 'Holy Week'. I grew up thinking that Easter was about the bunny and eggs and a new dress and, finally, the day I could begin to wear white (until after Labor Day, of course). These are the traditions I passed on to my children - but through them I have learned that Resurrection Day is so much more. You see, this IS Passover week. This is the week that, so many years ago, Jesus went to the cross as our one and only Perfect Sacrificial Lamb. This is the day - oh, my, why do we call it 'Good'????? It is heartbreaking story to read through in the Word. To see Jesus tortured, to hear the screams and moans, to see the loneliness and despair in the eyes of the ones who loved Him. Mary...doesn't your heart just bleed for her?? To witness her God-child... I wonder if she remembered Simeon's words as he prophesied over her first-born: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel...And a sword will pierce your own soul too."
This is the day that Jesus, for the first time ever and the only time ever!, spent time isolated from God! - He was ALONE on that cross - alone with all our sin!!! I hate that picture. I hate it because I picture Satan laughing! What a grotesque scene!
This is a heavy scene - a heavy day! But Sunday, sweet Sunday is coming! The silence of death is broken through the empty tomb!
This year, with my granddaughter, we will still do eggs and the bunny and a new dress and white shoes -- but we will also relish in the thought of our freedom, of our salvation because God chose, on a Friday long ago to conquer sin - once and for all - through His Perfect Sacrificial Lamb, His Son, Jesus!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, Precious Malaya!

Six years ago today - I became known as Grammy - not just anybody's Grammy but Malaya's Grammy! This has been the most fun ever!
Malaya and I have had a special bond from the moment she was born! We find delight in the same things, laugh at the same things, watch the same kinds of movies, enjoy talking about the same things, and play the same kind of games! I love for her to spend the night with me and we just get to 'hang out' together.
Malaya, you are my special friend! I am so blessed to have you in my world! I love to hear you talk about God and Jesus. I treasure the times that you tell stories your mommy and daddy have read to you from God's Word. You made my heart leap for joy when you shared your favorite verse with me: Proverbs 17:17 -- "A friend loves at all times."
Malaya, I admire your decisiveness. May the Lord use and bless that skill as you take a firm, sure stand for Him! May your lips always profess Him as Lord!
Malaya, thank you for the joy I find with you!
David and Jenny, thank you both for sharing her with us!!!! We are blessed because you do!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Every muscle in my body is screaming!

Today we worked in the yard! Oh, it is lookin' good! I planted lots of color we bought at Lowe's yesterday, lots of bulbs from a dear older 'sister' who has already home with the Lord, and one lone plant I have saved and moved to several different houses of my precious Maw-Maw's (who is also already in heaven making signs for me to welcome me in!) That was my favorite planting of the day. I hope it makes it! It is rare 'tamed' violet that makes beautiful ground cover. I have never seen it except in her yard until yesterday - there were some at Lowe's. I couldn't resist buying several. But my favorite is still that 'one'. As I planted it, I looked up at Rick and quoted my 'Grammy' verse: (Psalm 78) 'We will tell the next generation...' We both laughed and smiled at the tenderness of that moment. He knows.

We leave all our plants to grow in our absence. Tomorrow, we are heading to New Mexico. Our kids will come Monday and I can't wait! We have never done the mountains before - I am beach-kind-of-girl. But I am so excited about hiking in the mountains! - with my precious, precious family!!!!!! YEA!!!!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Psalm 71

Today is my birthday and want to share a passage that I claim as mine for the next year and maybe beyond. Psalm 71 speaks my heart -- I will type through my tears - sometimes authenticity makes me cry. Just the unveiling of my heart, I guess. (I am choosing to leave out a few verses here and there.)

In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in Your righteousness; turn Your ear to me and save me. Be my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the evil and cruel men.

For You have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on You; You brought me forth from my mother's womb.
I will ever praise You.
I have become like a portent to many, but You my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with Your praise, declaring Your splendor all day long.

Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me. for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more. My mouth will tell of Your righteousness, of Your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim Your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim Your righteousness, Yours alone.

Since my youth, O God, You have taught me, and to this day I declare Your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come.

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things. Who, O God, is like You?

I will praise You with the harp for Your faithfulness, O my God;
Iwill sing praise to You with lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You --
I, whom You have redeemed.
My tongue will tell of Your righteous acts all day long.

Now aren't those some words to use to celebrate a 49th year of life!

Monday, March 06, 2006


This may feel kinda wierd to read because this is going to sound more like a diary than a blog. I have so much that I never want to forget about the last two weeks. (Keep it short, Bevie, keep it short!)
It was such a treasure in this mother's heart to be in Abilene with Jonathan as he finished up at Southern Hills. I love worshipping the Lord with my kids!!!! He is an amazing leader! Wed. night at his final HIP (High Imact Praise time), the praise team sang 2 songs he had written. INCREDIBLE!
Jennifer is looking so cute! Jedidiah is a much anticipated little baby! We saw the sonogram - we could actually see him wriggling as much as his daddy did! I can already tell he is a little doll!

It was also a treasure in my heart to get to spend time with Josh and Kayci. Rick and I stayed with them and were so appreciative of their sweet hospitality! Rick had to leave on Tuesday but I got to stay until Friday. I loved our late night chats and snacks! I LOVED walking across campus with Josh and watching an elder from Southwest Central in Houston tell Josh over and over how much they wanted him to come there to work with them! I LOVED Kayci asking every night what my favorite part of the day was!

Another treasure in my heart was coming home to lots of sweet, sweet notes that our Wed. night ladies' class wrote to me. The Lord and I shared a special time of reflection and precious sweetness as He reminded me that I am loved by Him and them!

I had another treasure when I picked up Malaya and we went out to eat and to see Curious George. She is such a wonderful buddy! She spent the night with me and we enjoyed lots of giggles!

Jonathan started at Bammel Road a week ago! Yesterday was his first Sunday. Cool: He got to pick up Mark Schultz at the airport Saturday.
Josh and Kayci made the decision to join the Southwest Central Church of Christ in ministry in June. Josh will be the pulpit minister for them! I'm so glad I got to meet some sweet folks from there.
Jenny has made a decision that I will be able to talk about tomorrow. I'm so proud of her! She is an extremely gifted young woman. I constantly learn from her! She and David are the best parents ever!!!!

I feel like I have put gift bows on the tops of these young heads and presented them to three churches with their mother's prayer of blessing. Serve the Lord's kingdom well, precious ones! He has gifted you each in abundance for His glory! I am blessed to have a front row seat to your lives! Your mother loves you and ... well, I do not have the verbal skills to tell you how proud I am! I love the Lord and I praise Him for putting His fingerprints all over you! Wear them well!

Last Thursday night, we went out to eat with our Bible study group. The girls gave me a precious gift. It is a necklace with a pendant that says 'Blessed'. I am soooooo blessed!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Blessings are coming!

Do you ever just know it - that you are about to step into a few days of sitting amongst God's handiwork? A time that you just know that you are going to bear witness to events that will leave you in thanksgiving for a lifetime?
Today we leave for Abilene. We will be staying with Josh and Kayci which is always a joy and very relaxing. We will worship with Jonathan and Jennifer tomorrow which is always a joy and refreshing. Jonathan will lead worship tomorrow at Southern Hills and will be traveling on to begin his full-time ministry with the Bammel Road Church of Christ in Houston. What a blessing Phil Ware and others at Southern Hills have been for Jon and Jen! Rick and I are very grateful they have had such an amazing launch pad for ministry!
Then, Monday, the lectures begin! I have all my classes chosen and am so excited over the possibities for spiritual bread! I have spend days pouring over the choices!
Wednesday and Thursday I am attending a Forgiveness workshop offered by ACU's Marriage and Family Dept.! Should be awesome! (It is being conducted by Dr. Everett Worthington.)
Wednesday night I am going to go with Jonathan back to Southern Hills for a night of praise. They will be doing at least a couple of songs he wrote! This mother can't wait!
An added bonus is that I get to do almost all this with Rick! He is definitely my favorite travelling companion! He will have to leave Tuesday - boohoo!
So I gotta go pack -- Blessings are coming!
Oh, Malaya -- when I get home Friday morning, I plan to pick you up from school -- let's go see Curious George, ok???? I miss you!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Young Mothers' Study Group

In 1998, 10 days after Jenny's wedding, I presented eight sessions at the Bible Teachers' Workshop at ACU. After one session a beautiful woman, Judy Beard, came up to meet me with her daughter, Kelly Jones. Judy was one of the shepherd's wives from Southside Church of Christ in Fort Worth. She was also one of the mentors for YMSG (Young Mothers' Study Group). They met once a month (mornings) in some of the older ladies' homes and had a speaker present a message centered on relationships, marriage, spiritual growth, and/or parenting. I presented my first lesson for them in the fall of '98 at Billie Goodrich's house. What a great group!
I continued going over once a year for 6 years until fall of '04 when they asked me to come once a month! My blessing - totally!!! And we switched it to night!
So many inter-weavings! Only God could have held the knitting needles on this intricate plan!

Scott and Tonia Beard (Judy's son and daughter-in-law) live in Trophy Club. Tonia joined a community Bible study at my house when we lived in Trophy Club. We became dear friends!
In Dec. '04, Kelly Jones (Judy's daughter) asked me to present a series of lessons at Decatur Church of Christ for a community project. I fell in love with the community. Jeff, Kelly, Corey, and Josh are now our special Wednesday-night-eat-out-friends! (Jeff was extremely instrumental in convincing Rick to give Decatur a 'look'.)
Donny and Marcy Edwards (Judy's youngest daughter and son-in-law) were on the search committee that invited Rick to submit his resume at Decatur. We love watching them parent their four boys!
And Wes and Judy Beard are some of the most special people in the world to me! I LOVE them both! Last weekend I did a retreat for Southside and drove an hour to and from the encampment Friday and an hour on Sat morning -- only to discover Sat afternoon that the encampment was only 35 minutes from my house! But all so I could spend the night and hang out with Judy Beard a little bit more! (We rarely have had a moment alone!) (Wes greeted us at the door at midnight and had a snack ready for us to munch so we could visit a bit more!)

And now... (drum roll, please), my son, Josh, with his precious wife, Kayci, will be in town this weekend to try out for the preaching job at Southside! Could it be????

YMSG is one of my most favorite nights of the whole month! I am blessed to be part of this little group of women who loves the Lord intimately and each other intensely!
Thank you Chris Sawyer for starting this group years ago! Thank you Judy, Pat, and Emily for continuing on! I love you more than I have the verbal skills to tell you!

More blogs coming on this wonderful group of sisters!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It's a boy!

Jonathan and Jennifer had a sonogram today and results were clear - we are having a BOY! YEA! Jennifer is due June 8 and we are counting down the days. When I was on the phone today with my dad, he was just cackling about his grandchild being a father. Dad said that it seems absolutely like yesterday that Jonathan was running around playing with his toy guns - now he is getting ready to be a 'papa'. (My dad's dad was known as Papa - that has always been our special family name for fathers.)
Jonathan and Jennifer will be excellent parents! I am so proud of both of them and their love for the Lord!
I can't wait to share life with this little one. I can't to hold him - to rock him - to laugh with him - to hear his sweet little giggle. I can't wait to hear him claim Jesus as Lord. I can't wait to...
This grandparenting thing is way too much fun!
Oh - Jedidiah is the chosen name - 'loved by the Lord' - I LOVE that name.
I need to go shopping!!!!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ms. Metzger finds the Lord!

I had something on my mind earlier this morning to blog about today - it has totally evaporated! So, in my dedication to blog more frequently (ha!), I am going to share some random thoughts that I don't want to forget.
Tonight, Rick is taking Malaya on a date! They are going out to eat and then to Blockbuster to choose a movie. How cool is that! He is so excited! She is a great date for a Friday night of fun!
I am doing a retreat tonight and tomorrow for Southside in Fort Worth. I pray the Lord will just be HUGE as we focus on God's Story Through the Lives of His Daughters. Tonight we will be glimpsing into the lives of the 5 women in the geneology of Jesus (and in the Word that is all we have - a small glimpse into each - no details - boohoo): Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Isn't it just the coolest thing ever -- that God carries His story on through us!
I am on my way to Wal-Mart to get Flat Stanley's pictures developed. Do you know the story - the little boy that gets smashed when the bulletin board falls on him. He loves to travel! He went with me last weekend to Salado to a ladies' retreat. We had a blast! He had his picture made with John Wayne's saddle. Will Malaya's kindergarten class know who John Wayne is????
Dad is scheduled to come home today! I know Mom is exhausted - spending 17 days in Tyler. Louis and Jane Jones (Jeff's parents) have been so wonderful to my parents. I love the fellowship of believers!
Drum roll, please! The best news ever! Most of you know I went to Germany in November for a mission trip. Messages circulated this last week: The manager of hotel came to the States to find out more about Jesus. She said her life has been forever changed because of the family love she witnessed. She was baptized last night into the Lord Jesus! YEA!!!!! How coool is that?!?!?!!?
Thank You, Father, for allowing us to cross paths with her at just the right time!!!! You are amazing like that! Thanks, Lord, for the story you will tell through her! - Your awesome story!

Friday, January 20, 2006

I am a blessed child!

Thank you so much for your sweet prayers, notes, calls, etc. following my Dad's surgery. He did great for the two days immediately following his surgery then the pain meds did a number on him and the oxygen level of his blood went way down. He has spent a week recovering from that trauma. Today has been his first good day. YEA!
I do feel so blessed to have a dad like mine. There is a proverb that I want to dedicate to him. Proverbs 20: 7 reads "The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him."
One of my most treasured memories growing up is listening to my parents whisper their prayers after the lights were out. Our only cooling was an attic fan so we all slept with our doors open. Late into the night I could hear my mom and my dad whisper my name to the Lord. I never want to forget that precious sound!
I am traveling tomorrow morning to Salado to do a retreat with the Crestview Church of Christ from Waco. I am so delighted! I was with them a few years ago and loved it! The topic is "Light the Fire" and it has been a total blast to write! Can't wait to present!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dad's Surgery

One of my new year's goals has been to blog more! It still is my goal even though I have been so crummy at it so far. BooHoo!
My dad is having major back surgery tomorrow morning. My sister and I will be with him and my mom tomorrow - I will stay for a few days.
Please pray for the doctor's hands and for Dad's recovery. Please pray for my mom - this has been so stressful for her.
Thank you, sweet friends!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

What a major blessing the last two weeks have been! I never want to forget them! Sounds of laughter everywhere; great food; sweet talks; tea parties; warm hugs; warm weather (I love it!); Mexican food in San Antonio! Oh, my! This list could get really long! Blessings! Blessings! Everywhere!
We spent from Wednesday - Friday in San Antonio with Josh and Kayci. They went for the Alamo Bowl game - the Cornhuskers won! Yea! We had a blast! Even traveling on 35 South - looking for other Big Red fans was an experience! (I wish so much we had a sign to share with other Christians like that. I wish we had a rush of excitement when we found fellow-travelers to heaven.) Thanks, J and K, for inviting us! I LOVED seeing the riverwalk during the Christmas holiday! I LOVED where we stayed and having time to spend with the Lord and writing my goals for '06. I want to be more intentional than ever in this new year.
I want to continue my study of Luke - I want to KNOW Jesus! I want to love people the way He would. I want to see people through His eyes. I want to introduce people to Him. I want to share in His compassion. I want to speak words - enthusiastic words - of hope, joy, and mercy.