Archive for the ‘General’ Category

This guy!


2016
04.14

IMG_9484

I have known Justin Moore as many things over the years. He was a great guy when I met him, a best friend as I got to know him, an amazing boyfriend while I dated him, the greatest husband when I married him…and in the last almost four weeks I’ve gotten to know him as a daddy to our beautiful Hannah Joy. I know that what I’m going to say will seem biased because I’m his wife but I’m confident that anyone that knows Justin will know it’s true.

Justin has always been there for me. I’ve been amazed by all the things I’ve learned about him through the years and all the ways that he has grown as a person and in each of these roles. He has always taken care of me and put me first. He isn’t afraid to say what he thinks and protect those that he loves and cares for. He loves me so deeply and I see it every day in the ways that he serves me and sacrifices for me. He is a hands-on guy and always works as a team with me. He is confident and willing to try new things. He is a man of many talents and skills. If you ask him he would say he is a “jack of many trades but master of none.” I don’t remember the last time we had to call a handy man to fix something. I didn’t know that about him when I met him but I’ve seen his talents grow over the years. Words can’t express to you what this man means to me. As I sit here trying to type it out with my sleep-deprived, newly-a-mother mush brain, I’m disappointed by my ability to describe Justin and how much he means to me.

I thought I knew all there is to know about Justin in the 14 years I’ve known him. Boy was I wrong. On March 17-20th I got to know him in a whole new way. While I labored for many hours in the anticipation of Hannah’s arrival, he was all the categories I described above to me. He walked along side me every step of the way (which wasn’t a surprise). He showed confidence and care as well as sweetness and tenderness. He was my rock. There is no way I could have made it through the 60+ hours of labor without him. My favorite part was watching him become a daddy. I watch him in a whole new role. The first time he held her I never wanted to look away. How precious to see such an enormous love he had for little Hannah. Over the next hours and days I continued to see him embrace our little girl, change diapers, swaddle like a boss, get up throughout the night to help me and Hannah. He never wavered. He was so strong for us both and made it look simple when I know it wasn’t. He continues to step up and help with diapers, swaddling, changing clothes, taking care of me and bringing me anything I need. He is always there and when he gets home from work he can’t wait to scoop little Hannah up and cuddle with her. There is no question how much he loves me and Hannah. He is an amazing dad and I can’t wait to watch his love for her grow in the years to come and see just how much she will have him wrapped around her finger. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for her and I’m so grateful and unbelievably blessed to have him as my husband and the father of my beautiful girl. He says I’m the strong one but I think together we are strong! I love you Justin!

This is not the man I married…


2014
09.25

IMG_5823Ten years ago I was the happiest girl on earth, marrying Justin…my best friend. I thought I knew Justin at his fullest. I loved him then so much that my heart overflowed with joy. The kind that only comes from God. Little did I know how wrong I was. While I did marry my best friend and the best guy in the world…I didn’t realize how much I still would learn about Justin.

Over the years God has revealed more and more to me about this man I love so much. Some of my dad’s advice to Justin while they had “the talk” about him wanting to marry me was to not let people walk all over me (since I’m often too nice to stick up for myself). My dad can be super proud of the man he gave me to. Justin has stuck up for me more times than I can count and has taught me to be a stronger person along the way.

A few years into our marriage we were determined to better our future by embarking on a difficult journey to set ourselves up for financial freedom through Dave Ramsey’s teachings. That was definitely not easy and we wished we had done it sooner but we did it together and learned so much about each other. Through that we strengthened our love for each other and our goals became unified.

One of my favorite things that Justin and I do together is pray together. I love being able to see Justin’s heart and his relationship with our Father. We can join together in something so intimate which allows us to be more fully united in Christ together. Justin has always backed me up in difficult times and has prayed some of the most powerful prayers for me. Knowing that this guy is praying for me and loving me, makes me feel like I can do anything.

I used to get jealous and sometimes just plain aggravated with Justin when I would have a problem and he would silently listen to what I had to say and then offer these brilliant words of advice to help me, often making it seem so simple. One day God truly revealed to me that I shouldn’t be jealous or aggravated but truly grateful that Justin has such deep spiritual gifts called wisdom and discernment. He knows what to say, when to say it, even if it’s the tough thing to say. I am so blessed with his gift. I trust him completely to make the best decisions for our family.

Boy is he a handy guy too. Not only with technology but anything he wants to learn how to do, he figures it out. He researches. He isn’t afraid to try new things, and he is confident. These too are traits that I don’t share yet I am so grateful for.

Our latest journey together has been that of working to become healthier. I wanted to lose the excess weight I gained during a stressful time in my life and he jumped right on board with me. I can’t tell you how much of a blessing that was. To have someone alongside me to encourage and support me. And we both LOVE food. We have been able to lose the weight and learn to make better food and exercise choices.

This guy is definitely not the guy I married ten years ago. He is a much better version of the man I was already head over heels in love with. Each day I get to be with him, I am so thankful for.

Happy Anniversary Justin! I love you and can’t wait to see what I find out about you in the years to come.

Moscow, Russia Trip: Prayers


2012
04.24

group photo

I just returned from my fourth mission trip to Moscow, Russia. This was an incredible trip for me. I will hopefully write later on the actual events we attended. If I did that now, this entry would be way longer and I doubt anyone would read through it.

I was able to see my friends Jeremy and Deana come full swing from leaders in our NC church to mission trip leading to being the missionaries. It has been cool for me to see Jeremy realize the call God had placed on his heart on our last mission trip and then to see him and his family living that mission. Talk about total obedience. They had to leave the comforts of their home, their family and friends, and their country. They didn’t do this because it was easy by any means. They did this because they serve an awesome God that has plans for them and their love for the Russian people. I thank God that He put these people, these friends…no, these family members in my life. What an example!

I believe that God is always at work. I consider it extra special when He allows me to see just how He is working in my life and through me. Ten weeks ago I began a fitness competition at work. This involved getting regular sleep, drinking 64 oz. of water a day, working out 30 minutes a day (7 days a week), eating veggies and fruit, toning, etc. This year I decided I was going to work harder than I had in the past. I woke up an hour earlier in the mornings and worked out. I was doing all the things required of me for this competition. I will revisit this topic in a few minutes.

I visited my doctor for a yearly checkup and during this visit she recommended that I go to another specialist for a simple treatment. I was nervous to find a specialist that would be sincere and legitimate. I prayed and with Justin’s help we found one. I made an appointment.

When I arrived I immediately felt comfortable. The lady was explaining the procedure and told me I would have to come back in a couple weeks for a follow up visit. I told her I was going out of the country soon and wondered if that would interfere with the process. She paused, looked at me and said, “Are you going on a mission trip?” I told her I was and then our conversation immediately turned to God and my trip. I told her I was going to serve with our missionary friends in Russia. I also explained that we would be visiting a small church in Rzhev and told her about Misha and his family serving as a pastor there and how they live off very little a month but are so devoted to God’s call for the Russian people.

She continued to tell me about how she didn’t really grow up in a church but had a catholic background. She said she attended a church once and was pretty involved in it. Then she got a divorce and the church turned away from her. She was devastated and stopped going to church. Not too long ago a friend had invited her to church, my church (GCC). She loves it. At that moment I knew that God had heard my prayer of concern for finding the right specialist. I knew He was sending me a message that He was taking care of me.

As she continued to tell me about herself, I found out that she lives on a meager income with some assistance. She didn’t have a lot of money to spare but was so thankful for what God was doing in her life. She told me her daughter and grandkids have even started to attend the church. She felt renewed.

We talked on and on about GCC and God and at the close of our meeting I began to sift through my purse to get my money to pay her for the visit. She stopped, looked at me and said, “This is just between me and you now, but as we were talking I felt God telling me this. Would you be willing to take the money you would pay today for my services and give it to that Pastor in Rzhev?” I couldn’t believe it! I agreed right away. She told me she had been praying to God to give her a way that she could take what she had and help someone. She felt that this was what she had been praying for. I was amazed! Speechless! I had just met this lady. As God had planned it, Joy (the leader of the mission trip) had sent an email of a picture of Misha and his family and so I had it on my phone to show her who the money was going to go to. God knew what He was doing. He answered both of our prayers by bringing us together. We both sat for a moment with tears in our eyes. What an encounter with a servant of the Lord and my Lord Himself.

I went back a few weeks later before my trip, fully expecting to pay again and she said, “No honey, take this week’s money too.” I promised her I would hand deliver the money. I was able to tell Misha and his family the story of my encounter with this lady (of course with tears streaming down my face). To realize while in Rzhev that God was also working in Misha’s family’s life through this encounter just blew me away. I don’t know what will be done with this money but I know it has a divine purpose and came thousands of miles to further God’s kingdom.

Our team was made up of members from several churches. We hadn’t had the time to connect fully as a team as we had in the past. Justin and I being hundreds of miles away didn’t help matters. The day of the trip came and we anxiously awaited our reunion with the team and also meeting new faces. It was awesome and before long it felt like old times.

We made it to the London airport (one of the largest airports in the world) to find that our flight to Moscow had been cancelled. We were assured that we, as well as our luggage would make it on the next flight (in 4 hours). We asked for directions to the airline counter to get booked for the next flight. Four hours was plenty of time, right? Wrong! Each airport employee we would ask for directions sent us to a different spot. We were on one big wild goose chase. We went through security multiple times as we went in circles. We finally found the counter and stood in line for what seemed like hours. By the time we got tickets we were rushed to get through security…again. We also had to get our luggage switched to the new flight.

While Justin and I were at the Chicago O’Hare airport starting our trip, the folks there didn’t give us our part of the luggage tickets. By the time we realized it, it was too late to go back. We thought we wouldn’t need it. Fast forward to the London airport. They needed our luggage information to get our luggage. We didn’t have it. Getting on the flight knowing that we wouldn’t have our 3 bags at the other end was hard. At this point we had been up for 24+ hours. We didn’t have a change of clothes in our carry-ons either.

Joy’s bag was searched as we only had minutes to board our flight to Moscow. We split our team in thirds and all ended up running to board the bus that would bring us to our plane (so much for having plenty of time to make our flight). We made it though.

We finally landed in Moscow to more troubling news. None of our luggage made the flight. Luckily a nice airport employee went with Joy to find Jeremy who had been waiting for us. Jeremy could now translate for us. We filled out the necessary paperwork and finally left the airport.

We had made it to Moscow but we all had to improvise with what we had. I spent over 48 hours in the same clothes. They were comfy clothes for the plane ride, not the best for cold Russian weather. Nine of our fourteen bags arrived the next evening. Five were still missing (3 being mine and Justin’s).

Returning now to my fitness competition. It had been seven weeks since the competition started when I left for the trip. Our friend Heather was on the trip with us. She is smaller than me. She was one of the lucky ones to get her luggage first. She had a pair of jeans I could borrow. I was not confident they would fit but tried them anyway. To my surprise, they fit! I could now get out of my original clothes. God is so good. Not only did He give me an amazing friend that would give me a pair of her jeans (pjs too), but He was already at work seven weeks ahead of time knowing what was to come. I had lost just enough to be able to fit in those pants. That was no accident!

Looking back we know that God was at work. Faye (one of our team members) thanked God in one of our prayers for keeping us off our original flight. She said she just knew something was wrong with that plane and there was a reason we didn’t get on that plane. At the end of our trip we had a debriefing time and prayer. As I prayed I realized that we also didn’t get on our original flight so that we would be strengthened as a team. We all had to work together to make things work and shared everything we had with each other. I believe that starting our trip like that made the entire trip more successful.

God loves when we pray and have an open communication with Him. I find that the more I involve Him in my life, the more I see Him at work. I’m always watching. God also taught me on this trip to pray specifically. This is actually quite comical but I had to share. On the flights to Russia we were on planes with 3-seaters, meaning Justin and I had to sit with a stranger on those long flights. The last time we went to Russia we were fortunate to have 2-seaters. I prayed that on the longest flight back to America we would have 2-seaters. I also prayed that we would have screens on the back or our seats to make the time go faster (movies, games, etc.). I prayed that we would be able to sit closer to our friends so we could talk to them. God answered every one of my prayers. We boarded the flight and we had 2-seaters, monitors, and we weren’t far at all from our friends. The funny part is that my monitor was broken. It was there but I had no power and my overhead light was on (and I couldn’t turn it off). I guess I needed to be sure to pray for working monitors (haha). I think sometimes we pray for things on such a broad spectrum that we forget the rest. I had prayed for safe travels for us but forgot to pray for no cancelled flights. God knows exactly what we need but I think He would like to hear it from us.

God was with us throughout our trip. We were able to attend English clubs, two church services, two children’s homes, the Rzhev church, an elementary school, the University of Business and Finance, and Deana’s women’s group. We met so many people along the way (Justin calculated over 200 people). We were able to hopefully lift up Jeremy and Deana and their kids and give them encouragement to continue their work. It was neat for me to see how far Russia has come from my first trip to this last one. God isat work. There are a lot of people there and it won’t happen over night but He is there.

Wish List


2009
12.19

I have recently added a link on the right side of my site for my Amazon Wish List.  I am by no means expecting any of you to get me any of these things.  I did this more for myself so when/if someone does ask me what I want or I happen to have extra money (hahaha laugh with me) then I can remember some things I actually want.  I know you all know what I mean when someone asks you what you want and you go blank.  So…this is the best way I know how to keep a list going.

In other news it’s snowing outside. We have had such a great winter so far with hardly any snow. It’s only about an inch right now and the temperature is perfect.  It’s not miserable at all at like 33 degrees. I’ll take it! We even have actual packing snow so I made a small snowman hehe.  I enjoyed playing in the snow with Java in my pajamas, boots, and jacket/hat.  It wasn’t cold at all.

Looking for something?


2009
10.11

It occurred to me last Sunday as I listened to Dr. Bob speak about the Holy Spirit, that so many nonbelievers have a really hard time understanding the possibility of the Holy Spirit.  It really is a hard thing to grasp without knowing.  I’m sure there are many people that think Christians are crazy and make this stuff up to feel better about themselves while alive…to give themselves hope of “something else.”

While thinking about all this…it made me think about searching for something in general.  My mom always used to make fun of my sister Erin when she was looking for something because she would always yell, “Mom! I can’t find it” and my mom would yell back, “Have you picked anything up to look for it?” How can anyone expect to find something without a full out search.  Not everything is clearly on the surface to find.  In my experience, all the good stuff is found from digging deep.  Say you lose your wallet…you can’t just say, “where’s my wallet” and then stand still.  If you want to find it, you have to start looking…actively looking.  Things need to be moved…or you need to be moved to a different place to find it.  It is not going to just find you because you said “where’s my wallet.”

So, this being said…if you don’t know the amazing power of the Holy Spirit.  If you don’t truly understand the love of Jesus, perhaps it’s because you never “picked anything up to look for it.”  I encourage you to pray…even if you have never done so before…pray to God and ask Him to reveal the Holy Spirit to you.  And then don’t just stop there.  You should look for it.  Look for it everywhere.  Try to truly find it and you won’t miss it.  You will be pleasantly surprised.

I’ll leave you with one of my all time favorite verses (the one that brought me to know Jesus as my Savior)…

Matthew 7: 7-8

7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Have a Holy Spirit filled day 🙂

Quiet


2009
03.09

I haven’t had a whole lot to say lately…shocker huh? I have just been kinda quiet online.  I’m not sure why but I believe God is trying to teach me something.  I need to revisit being still and knowing God is God.

I did learn the other day while Justin was in Texas (by reading some of his old blog entries) that he was originally considering naming our black cat Java.  Interesting…wonder what Java would have been named if her name was already taken. We took her to the vet today for her rabies shot. She did so good.

Just wanted to let you know I’m still here…just being still 🙂

Squelching the Awesomeness of God


2008
10.19

I got to thinking today…how often do we squelch the awesomeness of God?  We take so much for granted that we don’t even see it at special, cool, amazing, etc.  Take the seasons for example.  How incredible is it that the entire earth knows just what to do at the right time to change the seasons every year? How do all the trees know just when to begin to start the leaf color changing process?  How does the wind know how to blow just the right way to make the scent of Fall rush in?  How does the sky know how to look amazingly pink at sunset (different from any other time of year)? We didn’t do that, we can’t do that.  If left to us we’d for sure screw something up.  It amazes me that in the Spring that one Bradford Pear tree can bloom at exactly the same time as another Bradford Pear tree miles down the road.  How do they know? How do they know to bloom exactly then?  It’s because God is amazing! How are we so strangely content to know that there is a blazing ball of fire in the “sky” we call the sun and a strange cheese-like ball in the “sky” at night?  When the moon disappears each cycle, we just assume it will be back.  Hello!!! That is awesome…That is the awesomeness of God.  He thought of everything.

He has given us this world to do things “our way” and yet at every corner we mess it up.  We destroy, we hurt, we kill. Isn’t it amazing to know that one day…if WE choose it (because God gives us that choice) we can live in Heaven, the place He has made for us and we cannot screw up? Sadly more people than not think they will get there just by being a “good person.”  When that day comes, when we all die (because we will) we are going somewhere and not based on our character but based on whether or not we believe that God sent Jesus (His ONLY Son) to die on a cross for our salvation.

For it is stated…in John 3:14-16 4Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[a]16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[b] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

So next time you see a tree with pretty Fall leaves or a Fall sunset don’t forget to acknowledge where it came from and think about where you are headed one day…which could even be today.

When do you choose to follow God?


2008
10.15

Don’t ask me how or why but things just seem to pop in my head from time to time.  Most of the time I forget them before I get to a computer or I’m just too lazy.  Tonight while sitting in Jason Miller’s Journey class I began thinking about the times when I choose to follow God the most. I guess I just automatically assume that I follow Him all day everyday…but when do I actually stop and take the time to listen to Him, worship Him, give thanks to Him, ask Him for direction?  I’m sure my answer is very similar to yours…it’s when I’m at the extremes of my emotions and life.  When I’m sad, afraid, worried, confused, angry, and happy.  But what about in the norm of everyday life?

Before I moved to Indiana I really felt like I had really began to grasp what true trust and worship and communication with God was.  I thought I would have no problems once I moved 11 hours away and left my comfort zone.  Silly me…I guess I forgot about Mr. Satan (who is always around).  I realize now and thought I realized then that I CONTINUALLY need God.

I have been failing lately to study God’s word like I should…to even take enough time out of my day to just be with Him.  It’s not like I’m busy at work yet.  It’s the world inside of me that is fighting me.  I walk by my Bible everyday and somehow manage to talk myself out of it (“oh I’ll read it later” or “my head hurts” or “I’m too tired”).  Sometimes I will read the Bible but my mind seems to wander or I don’t feel like I’m getting anything out of it.  I realize that I NEED God, He doesn’t need me so I need to pay Him that attention and if I’m going to live the Godly life He wants for me I need to listen more and learn more and spread more.  It’s hard because the world is ever present and Satan loves to knock us down but we all need to spend more time than we do studying God’s word.

I love my Jesus,  I hate this rut that I have been in and I ask that you pray for me and that you too will look at your life and the time you do or do not spend with God.  He is your Heavenly Father and one day you will come face to face with Him…we all will…don’t you want to know who He is?

So take this challenge like I am giving myself.  Don’t just go to Him in fear when something is going badly or wrong.  Don’t go to Him only in anger when something doesn’t go right.  Don’t just say a quick thank you for the happy things.  Do it all the time! Take the time.  What would we do if God was too busy for us?