Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year

It's almost the end of 2008 -- a really great year for me and my family. We've probably had as many changes and new things happen to us as in any year in our family's 20 year history. That is, the 20 years since Johnny and I married and the Johnny & Jeanette Dickerson family was started. I started this morning writing in my journal and thinking about all that happened over the last year, all the blessings God poured out on us, and all that I've learned. It's good to recount God's blessings and where He's taken you over the past year. As we read in Scripture, the Hebrew people over & over again recounted their history with God. Even in the NT we can read of the Israelites talking about their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The end of the year is a good time to contemplate the past and anticipate the future. On one of the news programs this morning one of the reporters had gone out to the streets of New York and asked people if they made new years' resolutions and, if so, what they were for 2009. There's nothing wrong with making new resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. We should all have goals that keep us moving toward what we hope to accomplish. The only problem with resolutions is if we make the same ones year after year and never really follow up or even intend to follow through. You know, "In 2009, I resolve to eat healthy and exercise and lose weight." And then it lasts for about a week. (ok, a little confession is going on here....I REALLY am going to do that in '09, though...really) How about this... along with your normal new years' resolutions make some spiritual goals as well. Where do you hope to go, spiritually, in 2009? Then, how will you accomplish that goal. Perhaps you've never really been one to memorize Scripture and that would be a good goal for you in 2009. To make it happen, go buy one of those sets of index cards on the spiral thing and write your verses...one a week, one a month, whatever...and take it with you, put it somewhere noticeable. Ask someone to be your accountability partner and have them listen to you recite the verses you are learning. Maybe have a contest with someone and reward each other for memorizing verses...even if the reward is just a cup of coffee (which, BTW, would be a good reward for me!) or an encouraging note. Whatever your goal or resolution, make a plan on how you will succeed. I really am wanting a heathier 2009. I want it for me and for my family. (can you make resolutions for other people as well?) I want to work out more and sometimes lack motivation. A friend of mine have started running a lot and I've been reading about it on her blog. It's inspired me and I've been talking about it around the house. Johnny thought I needed a little motivation to get me moving so he entered us in a 5K in February. It's a relatively short run but when I started I couldn't even run hardly 1 mile without walking much less 3.1 miles. But, I'm getting there. I have a plan and a training schedule. Johnny says after that we'll sign up for a 10K and we talked to my brother (the 100 mile racing maniac) about it over Christmas. So, I have a goal and a plan and an accountability partner. That's all you need. You can do it!

So, what's your spiritual goal for 2009? I'm thinking about mine. I'm praying about it. And, I'm looking forward to accomplishing it.

I hope God pours out His richest blessings on you and yours in the coming year. To Him alone be the glory!

Serving the King,


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Finally feels like Christmas

I don't know if anyone is writing, much less reading, blogs lately. Who has time for that? For me, however, it's just starting to feel like Christmas. The college boy got home last night (yes, all the way from DBU) and today is the last day of school for the other two. I've got several jr. high boys over who, BTW, have been playing outside and are damp and stinky and just came in when I sat down at the computer -- Rock Band will start at any minute. We finally took some pictures for our annual photo Christmas card last night. Josh & Jess were quite silly but Jacob looks almost the same in every single picture. The shopping for the kids is finished and we'll have a family shopping day on Monday so the kids can buy some gifts. That is usually one of my favorite days -- shopping, eating, and maybe even time for a movie if all the presents get purchased. (yeah, there goes the Rock Band...)
Yesterday Johnny and I finished up our shopping and stopped for some lunch. I told him I honestly did not want to get any presents this year -- all I want for Christmas is family time. All five of us.
Hold tight those you love and spread a little holiday cheer.
Merry Christmas!
Serving the King,

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So This is Our Life

At least this is our life until late February. We got home after 9 pm again. I left today at 2:30 to pick Jacob & some of his teammates up to take them to their basketball game. His game was at 4:00. Then we sat thru the jr. high girls' game. Then, Jessica's game was next. All of our schools' teams won tonight. Jessica's game was especially exciting because they were down by nine points at the end of the first period. They came back to tie it up in the 4th period and it was a nail-biter til the end. Jessica hit 2 free throws at the end of the game...the winning points. Jacob's team won by a comfortable margin so his game was not quite as intense. Anyway, I'm just stopping by for just a brief moment...

Actually, I exhausted and I've got to go...

Basketball momma,


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Great Weekend

We had a great weekend. Friday night we went out to dinner with friends. On a Friday night...with friends...and no kids. It was nice. Saturday was the Sweet 16 birthday bash. Jessica really likes to go to the movies so we had one of our all-time favorites, "Remember the Titans," playing indoors and, after a while of hanging out, presents, and eating, we had movie watching outside. In the backyard. We hung a sheet on the brick wall in our backyard and a projection unit showing the movie. We also had lots of popcorn and blankets and a fire pit with all the stuff to make smores. We had 25 teenagers over and, I hope, they all had fun. We really like the kids at Jessica's new school and were glad to get to know some of them.

Today, after church, we went to eat lunch at our friends' house with our college son, their college son and some of the boys' DBU friends. That's always great. Before lunch, however, I was really challenged by Johnny's sermon. He has been doing a series called "Six Verbs to Live By." Today was the final verb and it was "Go." The text was from John 20:19-21. Just as the Father sent Jesus, He was sending His disciples. Our mandate, as believers, is to go. We don't necessarily have to go to foreign countries to reach the nations. The nations are here, in our country and in our cities. I really like to go...it has been fun to go to Burma, India, Venezuela and Mexico over the last couple of years. While I do hope to go overseas during 2009, I hope to be a part of some new mission and ministry opportunities to reach those in my own neighborhood and city that do not yet know.

Well, Jessica wants to use my laptop to get on iTunes. She got $140 worth of iTunes gift cards for her birthday. I'm trying to convince her to share just a few dollars with me....

Serving the King,


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Today's Topic: Food

I finally got my post-travel/Thanksgiving self back to the gym today. When I returned home and walked into my bathroom I noticed the smell of fast food and grease. I looked over and the door of my linen closet was open and the contents of the laundry basket were spilling over. Between decorating and washing all the stuff from the camping trip, I have been delinquent about doing the rest of the laundry this week. The smell was my clothes from working at the cafe last night. I got stuck at the fryer. I announced to anyone that would listen, "I am not working the fryer next week," only to be told about 30 minutes later that we would not be serving fried food next week. Likely story...

Ok, the real purpose of the blog today is to share a recipe from a cookbook that my friend, Mary, gave me. It's super easy, great for those nights when you've got events out of the house (like basketball games), and want to come home and have supper waiting. It's called "Crockery French Dip" and my daughter even asked for it in her lunch today -- for the second day in a row, mind you. Now that's deliciousness!

Ingredients: 3 lb. beef rump roast, 2 c. water, 1/2 c. soy sauce, 1 t. dried rosemary, 1 t. dried thyme, 1 t. garlic powder, 3 to 4 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, and hoagie rolls.

Here's all you do: Put the roast in your slow cooker, put everything else in on top of it (except the rolls, of course), cover and set for 5 to 6 hours. When it's time to eat, take out the bay leaf, remove the beef and shread it with forks. Strain the broth. Put the beef on the rolls and serve with the broth for dipping.

That's it!! Jessica and I particularly like it on sourdough bread (that's our fav) and Johnny ate his with a slice of delicious Boar's Head Cheddar Cheese.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Serving the King -- and you,


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Today I started getting ready for Christmas. Actually, last night I -- yes I, the person greatly afraid of heights -- got up in the attic to start getting the decor down. Today I shopped at the Garden Ridge. Oh my, did they have some fine things at the Garden Ridge...I picked up just a few! I also stopped at the Sam's Club to get some food for the p-a-r-t-y we're having for the sixteen year old this weekend. Ahhhhh, it's so good to get into the holiday spirit!

Between my 2 kids (the 2 remaining at home, that is) we have 5 basketball games this week. Because they don't play at the same location, Johnny and I are splitting up to see the games. The next few weeks will be super busy with the basketball. We even have a couple of games during the Christmas break from school, but it's cool. I am playing the part of super mom by cooking in the crock pot so we won't be at the drive thru at Wendy's tonight!

Well...I must go start cleaning and moving furniture and getting the decorations out...I am so excited....


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home from Camping

I just came over to my blog this morning and looked at my photo...the one just right of these words. I look like Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. I had that photo taken in the summer and I must have been out in the sun a little too much without the necessary sunscreen. Maybe I just have Christmas on my mind. Wait a minute....we must celebrate one more thing before we get to Christmas around the Dickerson house. I don't buy one Christmas gift or put too much thought into the rapidly approaching holiday season before Thanksgiving. That's how I roll. But, between Thanksgiving and Christmas is another joyous occasion and that is my darling Jessica's birthday. This year it's Sweet Sixteen! I remember the day she was born (and, oh yes, I will be telling the birth story tomorrow...it's tradition) like it was yesterday. We didn't know if she would be a girl baby or a boy baby until she made her grand appearance a little after one in the morning. The doctor reported her gender and I replied, "I got my girl." I have always said (from the time she was little) that she is a free spirit. She lives how she believes no matter what other people think. She works hard, is very competitive, and is giving. She is sensitive to other's feelings and likes to have fun. She's conservative spiritually and politically. She's up for trying new things and I don't think she's scared of anything, except maybe the dark. She likes to go to the movies and hang with her BFF, Lucy. She makes me happy and proud. So, tomorrow I will celebrate the 16th birthday of my precious daughter...

Then, I will be madly busy decorating and shopping and planning and shopping and cooking and shopping...

And, Serving the King,


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Amazing Things in Mexico

I just got back from Mexico late last night and am in a mad rush to get ready to go camping tomorrow night!! I went with a group of high school students from my daughter's private school for a mission trip. The students worked sooo hard. We stayed at a children's home where they have a dorm type building for visitors. Apparently, they have a lot of visitors coming to assist them with various projects. Our students painted 8 houses and dug a ditch for a water pipe. We also had a dinner one night for the children at the home that our kids served. The last afternoon we got to play with the kids from the home as it was a holiday. (even though some of the bigger kids went to school anyway) I, too, worked hard...in the kitchen. Our kids ate really good meals that we cooked and cleaned up after. We finished one meal, cleaned up, and started on the next, it seemed. The amazing part of the trip was the following: (1) how one couple has worked hard to provide a good living environment for so many kids, (2) how easy it is to hang out and play with kids even when there is a communication/language barrier, (3) how hard the students worked without complaining -- at all, I am not kidding. They got along beautifully...not one harsh or fussing word between them all week. Just selfless acts and teamwork. They also had a lot of fun hanging out together during the work and during the free time. I am truly blessed to have been with such a awesome group of teenagers. And, they were truly thankful and appreciative of our work to provide the meals.

The only part of the week that was really hard was trying to get back into Texas yesterday. I am so glad that we have border control and I have been out of the country a few times over the last few years but have never had so much trouble returning before. I am thankful for those men and women who make it their job to guard our borders. Let me just say, they take their jobs very seriously!

And with that, I must get back to packing and planning for our Thanksgiving camping trip. Johnny painted the Wildwood while I was gone and it looks almost brand new!

Serving the King,


Saturday, November 15, 2008

One More Trip to Go, then Thanksgiving Break

Johnny and I drove in from Houston around 2:00 Wednesday afternoon. It was a nice to get away with Johnny and to get some new info about what's going on in our convention. Thursday was 'catch up' day, including having lunch with the college boy. Friday I attended a conference about teaching ESL and got some good information. I am hoping to start that up as a new ministry of our church in 2009. I literally ran in the door Friday afternoon (thanks to horrible Friday afternoon traffic on 360 trying to get from Grapevine to Mansfield...should've known better) and back out again in 20 minutes. That's because we got to go to Bass Hall and see STOMP Friday night! We met some friends for dinner and then headed over to Fort Worth. Of all things, the place I planned for us to meet was closed (how does that happen?) so we headed over to another place close by. I think I made everyone a nervous wreck because it was taking SO long to get our food and I was anxious because I still had to stand in the 'will call' line to get our tickets. We made it in plenty of time, however, and the show was great! Johnny and I have seen STOMP before and I really wanted to take my kids because I was so mesmerized by it. It is phenominal how they can make a beat with anything...including paper lunch bags and plastic grocery bags!

Monday morning Jessica and I are heading to Mexico with the high school students from Jessica's school to do mission work for the week. I am looking forward to it but am physically and mentally exhausted from being gone so much lately. The next week we will be camping for the Thanksgiving break. I am so excited, I mean SO EXCITED, about going out in the Wildwood for 5 glorious days to enjoy the outdoors and my family. We will eat some good food, play games, wander around in the woods, and fill our time with relaxing.

I won't have internet in Mexico but I'll try to drop in before I go camping and let you know how the big Mexico mission trip went!

Serving the King,


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Multitudes are Waiting

Tonight I witnessed probably one of the most moving and meaningful services of my whole entire life. As a part of the annual meeting of the SBTC in Houston there was a commissioning service for 105 new career missionaries of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Some were singles, most were couples. Each person/couple gave a short testimony as to their call to missions and where they were going. Most just said where generally because of safety concerns. Person after person said they felt God calling them to the mission field while on a short term volunteer mission trip. One said it changed his life when he talked to a man in a foreign country that had never heard the name of Jesus. After the testimonies of the missionaries Dr. Rankin gave a challenge. He talked about missionaries who talk to people in remote areas, unreached people, who, when they are told the Gospel, say they have been waiting all their lives to hear. He said the multitudes are waiting to hear. He also said we were sending these new missionaries out to a world that is hostile to the Christian witness, a world in economic meltdown, yet they are going.

Yet, they are going. They are selling most of their worldly possessions, packing up the rest and moving to far away places where they may not know any of the language and there are sharp differences in the culture. They are moving away from their families and their friends and going to a place to be totally immersed in a life that is dedicated to the cause of Christ.

Typed words cannot express the magnitude of respect and appreciation I have for not only those I witnessed tonight but also the over 5,600 that are on the field.

We all are called. Some say yes, but all are called.

And to what is He calling you?

Serving the King,


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Finally Recovered (I hope!)

I slept 12 hours last night. I hope I am finally over the jet lag and stomach issue I've had since returning from India. On the other hand, I hope to never be the same again. Being stretched and out of my comfort zone for a week has given me new perspective. What we do for the cause of Christ is not dependent on what we think we can do. Can I get an amen?

I knew I would be speaking at the village, at the women's conference, and to the pastors' wives in India. On Wednesday, however, I saw the speaking schedule for the pastors' conference and guess whose name was on the agenda?? Can I tell you that just a little bit of panic spread over me as I saw "Mrs. Dickerson" listed on Friday night? On Wednesday I saw it, mind you, for Friday night. I'm not a preacher or a public speaker and I don't have a pocket full of sermons or lessons. I did take along an extra outline, however. I mentioned to Jimmy (who was on the original schedule to go right before me) what my topic might be. He said that, too, was his topic. I had this vague thought that it would all work out. Anyway, I woke up early Thursday morning, before my roommate, thinking about Elijah and Ahab on Mt. Carmel from 1 Kings 17, 18, and 19. I had an outline on my computer, I knew. I went into the bathroom (as not to disturb Beth) and wrote notes as fast as I could before my laptop battery died. (If you saw my last post you know that I was afraid to plug in the computer because I already fried my hair straightener.) The next part of the story is very important...

On Thursday morning we were picked up for our daily drive of 45 minutes to 1 hour to the conference center. On the drive over, I told Jimmy about my topic from 1 Kings 17-19 and he assured me he would not be preaching from that text. We arrived at the morning conference just as one of the preachers went up to preach. Do you know what happened? Really, you are not going to believe it -- HE PREACHED FROM 1 KINGS 17, 18, AND 19!! I think my heart stopped. I know I had a feeling of panic. The longer he preached, the worse it got. At one point, I leaned over and put my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands. One of my new friends reached over and put her hand on my back and I was on the verge of tears. Then, somehow, it seemed as though he was preaching right at me. You see, after Elijah had the great victory over the false prophets on Mt. Carmel, he went into hiding. He was scared and discouraged but God met him at his point of need and gave him encouragement and instruction.

On Wednesday, at the women's conference, one of my points was from Deuteronomy 8. As I was sitting there listening to the preacher, I thought about that text. In verse 3 it reads, "And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know..." At that moment I was starving and the only possible resource I had was for God to provide. So, as I sat there God formulated an outline and I jotted some notes. I didn't have my computer so I could use research materials -- all I had was God and His Word. ALL I HAD...

And it was enough. I don't know if what I said on Friday night at the pastors' conference made one bit of sense. My interpretter said I did a good job. Not that I was seeking her praise, but God proved something to me once again...

He's more than enough.

And I am His humble servant.

Serving the King,


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Taking it all for granted

I'm sitting here on my comfy couch, watching my English speaking television show, typing on my laptop. Johnny and Jacob are doing math at the kitchen table and Jess is upstairs studying for a test. I had lunch with the college son today at Freebirds -- delicious and it wasn't pizza or Indian food. I took my laptop to India but after I killed my straightener by simply plugging it in at the hotel in India I didn't DARE plug my laptop in. The windows are open and it's cool in the house. The season is changing and Fall is in the air.

I have a really comfortable life that I often take for granted. There's nothing like taking a trip to a country where thousands and thousands are living in poverty to make one awfully thankful for even the little things.

On Wednesday last week we had a women's conference at our hotel. Because of the language barrier and tight time schedule, there was little interaction between us and the women attending. We did have a sort of receiving line near the end of the day, however. Each woman came by and greeted us. Some knew a little English. Most could at least say, "Praise the Lord," (which they use as a greeting...it's that awesome?) or hello. For me, it was the best part of the day. I pray that the time of teaching was used by God and that He Himself spoke to the hearts of the women through the messages. But, grasping those women's hands, looking them in the eye, and even without words there was a bond of sisterhood. We are one in Christ. Though we live oceans apart, in vastly different cultures, in completely different circumstances, we serve and belong to the same God. One body, one church, one family.

During the conference I read the following verse from the Revelation. I imagine the day when we all stand before the throne of the Lamb of God, worshipping in a language that we all understand. Our differences won't matter. Our sorrows will be over, our difficulties gone.

And they sang a new song, saying,"Worthy are You to take the book, and to break its seals; for You were slain, and did purchase for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Revelation 5:9

Serving the King,


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Village Day in India

Sibyl and the Jets at Pizza Hut

We arrived in India at about 6 am on a Sunday. We were picked up a short time later to go to church. After church, we went to lunch with the medical team at Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut in India! It would've been really cool except we ended up calling and having pizza delivered to our hotel 3 more times that week...pizza 4 times in one week...ugh!

Monday we were on the road most of the day. If not for the hilarity we had in the van it would have been a long, long day. We made a stop at a children's home where we got to meet a pastor and his wife and the children they care for in their home. The next three stops were at water wells dug in different areas by AIM. The one in the picture below was dug by our church in honor of my son's senior class. Well, we didn't dig it ourselves, but purchased it.

Our last stop was a another village where the medical team was ministering for a couple of days. When we got there we played some frisbee with the children and then passed out some coloring sheets, colors, and dumdums...you know, the suckers. One Indian man said, "In India we say lollipop." It cracked me up, I don't know why. We also giggled a little at one older guy who put it in his mouth without taking off the paper. Later that evening everyone gathered for a time of worship. I was sooo tired and distracted by the lizard that was crawling on the wall behind my friends' heads. I spoke on attributes of God from Psalm 139. Soon after, we headed back and arrived at our hotel around 3 am.
And that was the first day...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I intend to write more about my trip to India but felt compelled to write a short note about this election day. I was up at 3:30 am praying for our nation on this important day. The interesting thing is Johnny said he was up around 1:00 am doing the same. This is an important day for the future of our country. Of course, I think my candidate is the right one -- you know, the one that agrees with me on moral issues and national security and taxes and the private sector being able to choose their own health care and not have the government messing with that. As I was praying and reading Scripture I was drawn to Joshua 5. Joshua was about to lead the Hebrew people into battle against Jericho when he saw a man standing there with a sword in his hand. Joshua called out, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" Oh yeah, the reply is great! Here it is, "No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord." Joshua fell on his face, he bowed low and asked, "What has my lord to say to his servant?" The captain of the host of the Lord said, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place hwere you are standing is holy." (from Joshua 5:13-15)

The captain was, in my most humble opinion, a Theophany, an appearance of the preincarnate Christ. Joshua had come face to face with the One in charge. As His answer indicates, He was not necessarily on Joshua's side, but He was on His own side. He is the Sovereign, He is the Creator, He is the Ruler. It is not ours to ask Him to join our side but our job is to join His side.

We can't always see from His perspective. He sees past, present and future equally and we can only see past and present and sometimes our judgment is clouded. Joshua had the right idea, though. He fell on his face in humility. All the prayers offered for this election day should be uttered every single day of our lives. We can't just pray when there's a crisis or a big event. We must continue to pray for our nation and our leaders every single day. (I wrote that for myself every bit as much as I wrote it for you.)

In 2000 you might remember we passed election day and still did not know whom our next president would be. We got all the way to Saturday and still did not know. I was to say a prayer at a women's event at my church that Saturday and the following words tumbled out of my mouth, "We may not know who our next president will be but You are my King." All these years later that is the prayer of my life. No matter what, He is my King.

Serving the King,


Monday, November 3, 2008


I'm home from India. I hope to type some of my experiences here over the next few days -- how God took me out of my comfort zone in more ways than one -- but today I'm recovering. I'm just flat out tired. From the time we started home until we got back to DFW was a 30-hour journey. I'm not complaining...some of the people at the conference in India travelled at least that long, some in un-airconditioned buses and some by train. Some will be returning home to areas where they will experience persecution. Some to villages where they are in desperate need of a water well so that they can have clean drinking water. You know what that means -- it won't be running water into their homes but they'll have to go collect it and bring it in jars and containers back to their homes. They won't be sitting around in the house watching Heroes like I will be tonight. They won't be getting food from a restaurant picked up by their husband because they are just too tired to cook. Actually, they are all still at the conference until Wednesday and their physical needs are being taken care of. After that, they will be headed back into their own local mission field. And me, I'm here in my own mission field. I hope I can remember that every single day. I pray that I will.

I've been to places where people live in poverty and, yet, it still shocks me every time. People living on the streets or on a lot under blue tarps saddens me. It breaks my heart. It's hard for me to imagine that there is a hope for a better future for some of them. But there is a Hope and His name is Jesus. Oh, that we would take from the blessings of our own lives and pour it out on those that are desperate. The poor and needy, both physically and spiritually.

Tomorrow I think I will write about Sibyl and the Jets. Those girls were the funnest part of the trip... we laughed our heads off at times. About any and everything and sometimes about nothing. I hope you'll check back tomorrow...

Serving the King,


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Three days until departure

It's only 3 days until I leave for India. The washer and the dryer are both on, all the groceries have been purchased (snacks for me to take and food for the fam while I'm gone), Jessica and I shopped for some things she needed last night...almost everything is done or close to getting done. (no, I have not started packing yet but I do know exactly what I am taking) The most important part of the trip, the whole reason I am going, is the hardest part to prepare. That's the ministry part. Ugh! I have been sitting at my desk almost all day...wanting to prepare, trying to prepare...but my mind wanders to the tasks that have to be done. Emails that have to be answered, plans that have to be made, clothes that have to be folded...

In the infinite wisdom of God He chose me (?) to go to India. Whoa. He goes before me and behind me. "Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all." (Ps. 139:4) I want to type right here -- could You just tell me in advance so I will know, too? Just kidding....sort of...

Back to work for me.

Serving the King,


Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Great Day for Re:Group

Today was Re:Group, a snazzy name for our high attendance day for our church Life Groups. Every class goal was "one more than before." That means, the class goal was to have one more in attendance than the class had ever had. Our class is only 2 years old (into our 3rd year together) and there were times when it was just me and one other person...or maybe just 2 or 3. We met and surpassed our goal and our room was packed. We played a fun game that revealed some things about each other that had me giggling...I have so much fun with those women (Take the Shackles Off My Feet So I Can Dance!) --truthfully, I look forward to Sunday mornings so much. I'm going to miss "my girls" (as I affectionately call them when speaking about the class to other people) for the next 2 weeks as I leave for India this coming Friday. I've still lots to do before I leave so it will be a busy week. One of the ladies in my class asked if would be blogging during my trip and, if internet if available, I will make a great attempt at chronicling my adventure.

As for today, I'm regrouping from a super busy weekend. It was homecoming at my younger 2 kids' school so we had lots of festivities. And, the college boy came over for church and lunch today so I spent part of yesterday making a delicious lasagna - even used herbs from my own backyard which is one of my favorite cooking things to do.

Tomorrow, I am seriously getting ready to go...

Serving the King,


Saturday, October 18, 2008


I've lost it. Not that I was ever particularly fantastic at it, but I used to have deep thoughts that flowed out of my brain through my hand and onto the page. I wondered about things and searched and researched to find the answers. I aspired to know -- now I feel like my brain is jello. It's actually more like oatmeal...mushy.

I cannot count how many times I've sat at this computer and wanted to type from the recesses of my inner thoughts, to expound on the computer screen some great biblical truth that God is teaching me. Oh, He's definitely teaching me...I just cannot find the words to express all that is going on in my heart.

I miss being in school where I was forced (though I secretly loved it) to write and to study and to know. I miss meaningful conversation and deep spiritual contemplation with my fellow students. Though most were younger than I am, their insight and enthusiasm inspired me.

I'm in a new season...lots of new things. It seems like so much is happening that I spend my time running and jumping from one thing to the next without stopping to absorb that which really drives me.

I leave in less than one week for India. I have a busy November planned. Johnny was so kind (cough, cough) to count it out and inform me that I will only be home for 11 of the 34 days starting Oct. 24th. Perhaps the many, many hours I will spend time traveling over the next few weeks will cause me to stop. Though I will be physically moving from one place to the next, trapped in my airplane or car seat, I will have to be still. And, in that stillness, I hope to find...something that I am unable to express. It's description is there, in the mush.

Serving the King and finding satisfaction in Him,


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

State Fair o' Texas

Monday we, along with every school age child and adult off work for the holiday in the metroplex, went to the State Fair of the Great State of Texas. It was a really fun day! Here are Jessica and Jacob! I can't believe how tall Jacob is!
Jessica checked out her dream car/Jeep at the car show.
We decided to try some of the "award winning" food. First we tried the fried grilled cheese. It was dis.gus.ting. Imagine the bread was like a sponge filled with grease that had not been wrung out. Soaking in grease........ugh! We also tried the chicken fried bacon. It wasn't bad. The best thing we ate was CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES!!
We rode some rides including the gigantic ferris wheel, checked out some exhibits, ate some food...aahhh, a great day! We don't go to the State Fair every year but this year I'm glad we did! The only thing sad about the day was that our Josh, the college boy, didn't get to go with us.

Today I ran errands all day trying to get ready for my trip to India, which is only 10 days away. I have insomnia because I wake up thinking about all I need to do -- everything that's going on between now and then and the things I need to take care of. Hopefully I'll sleep tonight!



Friday, October 10, 2008


Friends, Johnny and I went to the movies today! We rarely go -- mostly because there's usually nothing I am willing to pay almost $10 to see. And, I like to watch movies at home because when I watch a movie I want to hear every single word. And, you can't rewind at the theater. And, most of what comes to the theaters is not worth my time much less my money. Today we went to the matinee and both got in for $10! And, the movie was really good.

Johnny and I went to see Fireproof today. It was really good. I was caught up in the story and, yes, I cried at the end. You must go see it but, more than that, you must take your friends who are struggling in their marriage to this movie. Offer to buy their tickets. Offer to babysit their children. Dear ones, you really should take your friends who are just struggling in life to this movie. The message of Jesus and the hope that He offers is made clear in the movie. I sat in the theater today and prayed...prayed for the people in the theater with me (which, for a Friday afternoon after the movie has already been out for a couple of weeks was pretty full -- I was amazed) and those yet to see it. The movie is about real-life situations and hurts and trials...and I don't want to give one thing away so I will stop.

Go -- go straight from this blog to your movie theater's showtimes and pick a time to see the movie.

If you need a babysitter call me.

You should already be on the showtimes website...go now


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My daughter is so much better than me

Ugh! Parenting is way hard sometimes. (no matter what age the kids are...see my last post, too!) We are dealing with something right now that is so darn frustrating as a parent. I just want to snatch somebody's head off! Ugh, again! Jessica sees things more clearly than I do, it seems. We were talking last night and she said, "I think satan is using xxxxx to discourage me." Yeah, I can see that. That's why I want to really let xxxxx have it. That's my problem, not xxxxx's. Here's the kicker, though. After we talked some more I said to Jessica, "You really have a good attitude about it." Here's her reply, "It doesn't come without effort, that's for sure."


Her effort is better than my effort, that's for sure.



Thursday, October 2, 2008

Simpler Days?

I just got home from taking Jessica to school. As I was driving home I passed a day care where the kids were running around on the playground. One little girl was swinging, her hair flying in the wind as she went back and forth. When I turned the corner I saw a dad walking behind a little guy on a tricycle. I miss those days sometimes. They were less complicated even if they were more exhausting. I can remember just wanting 5 seconds to be alone -- to think without someone needing my constant attention and care. Some days I have way too much of alone.

In some ways this season is more complicated -- teenage years can be trying. However, I just read an account on facebook from a girl I know. It seems her 4 year old decided to take her earrings out after she was put to bed by her parents. To keep them safe until morning, she put them in her nose. Needless to say, the parents got to spend the day at the hospital. Reminds me of the time when Jacob decided to swallow a penny and it got stuck in his esophagus. It happened to be the day we were moving -- I was at the new place waiting for the movers and Johnny was in another city closing on our house. I didn't even know where the hospital was. When the doctor finally got the penny out, he presented to me and said, "Welcome to our town!"

I guess every season has its own joys and trials. Makes life interesting, to say the least.

Serving the King,


Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Yesterday I drove down to Waco to see my grandmother and spend some time with my parents. My grandmother was born in 1917 and lives in an assisted living home. Over the summer she was sick and had to go to the skilled nursing side of the home but returned back to her apartment just last week. Her mind is sharp and her hearing good despite the weakness in her legs and her inability to get move around without her wheelchair. My mom met me there and we visited in my grandmother's room until time for her to go to lunch. My mom and I walked her down to the dining hall and over to her table. They have assigned seating where she lives so I got to meet the people she eats with everyday. It turns out that one of them is a man that was good friends with my grandparents when they used to live out at the lake. This friend and his wife, my grandparents, and another couple used to go camping together. This would have been during my grandparents' retirement years. My granddad died in 1983 when I was in college. I adored him. Anyway, the friend at my grandmother's table started talking about my granddad. He said they were almost twins because their birthdays were just a few days apart and they were born the same year. (Which I thought was a sweet and funny thing to be said by a man in his 90's!) He then told me something I've never heard before -- he spent the day with my granddad the day before he died. They were doing some volunteer work at their church. They were putting a gable (?) on a roof. He said usually when they were working when he would try to go up the ladder my granddad would push him aside and go up the ladder himself. On that day, however, my granddad let his friend go up the ladder. At 5:00 the next morning, he said, my grandmother called him to tell him my granddad was gone.

I don't really know why, but I was fascinated to listen to this friend talking about my granddad. Maybe it's because I have not talked about him or heard new stories about him in such a long time. I love to talk to my grandmother and to hear stories about the past. She's the last grandparent that Johnny and I have left.

After we left my grandmother I went out to my parents' house and they fixed lunch for me. It was delicious, of course. After we finished lunch we played Sequence for a while then I had to head home. My parents were going after I left yesterday to work at their church serving food to homeless people.

Interesting -- my grandparents spent their time in retirement working and volunteering at their church. Johnny's grandparents gave land to their church and his grandparents worked in the church as well. Johnny's grandmother died in church after she finished teaching her Sunday School class that she had taught for decades. Both my parents and Johnny's parents are spending their retirement years involved in their churches and giving of their time.

What a legacy! I am privileged to carry on that which was passed down to me.

Serving the King,


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Don't Ask Why

Johnny's sermon this morning was based on the passage of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. He started the sermon by telling us (the congregation) that we shouldn't ask why because even if we got the answer we may not understand it. He illustrated this point by asking the question, how does an airplane lift off the ground? Do you know? He then played a video made this past Wednesday night by one of our church members of another church member (who happens to really be a rocket scientist) explaining how an airplane lifts off. The rocket scientist wrote mathematical formulas and drew diagrams explaining the process -- I didn't even understand all the words he was saying much less have any clue what he was talking about. I would have to know all that Mr. Rocket Scientist knows to fully understand the answer to the question why airplanes lift off the ground.

Sometimes I want to ask God why? Why do certain things happen? Even if He answered my questions, I don't know all that God knows -- He knows past, present, and future perfectly and the same -- so I may not even understand the answer.

The question is not why but how am I going to move forward from this point on, according to Johnny this morning.

Why, why, why? I've spent a lot of energy on why in the past. Perhaps I will again in the future. Hopefully I'll remember this morning and won't.

On a lighter note, one of my favorite shows started back up tonight -- The Amazing Race. I really like to travel overseas and go to new places so it's fun to watch the show.

I am stinking hot so I gotta go...Jeanette

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Friday!

I went to 24-hour Fitness this morning to the body sculpting class. After I went last Friday I could hardly even move on Saturday and Sunday but I am feeling really good today and, hopefully, will be tomorrow as well. Johnny was playing racquetball and so I did walk/run on the treadmill for a bit while I was waiting for him to finish after my class was over. After lunch we went to the Bass Pro Shop in Grapevine. Johnny got some gift cards for Christmas and he finally decided to use them. (A gift card to any store would not stay unspent in my possession for 9 months but, whatever...) We got some things for our travel trailer which made me more than excited about our upcoming camping trip. Well, it's not until Thanksgiving but I am anticipating it anyway! I love, love to go camping!

We are getting used to not having the college kid around too much. He has fall break in a couple of weeks and he said he's staying on campus -- I mean, he's not coming home for fall break! He works at the bookstore on campus and they are moving to a brand new building during that week so he says he's staying to work. I don't know what I expected. Our lives are super crazy and busy right now so I guess it's just as well... No, nope... it's not.

Enough of that...

I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend with not much on the agenda. I hope you, too, have a wonderful, restful weekend!

Serving the King,


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One Month from Today...

One month from today I leave for India. I am in my home office today doing a little prep work for the trip but, as usual, am sidetracked by my blog and facebook. So, here I am, typing away when I should be reading or studying or working on my outline. (I really have been working today...no, really, I have...).

I decided to take up running again. I ran yesterday on the treadmill at the gym and today I hit the pavement. I am just wondering this -- why is it so much easier to run on a treadmill than real running outside. Please, post your answer below! Inquiring minds want to know! I am motivated by my friend Julie who, apparently, recently ran 9 miles! (I hope you're reading, Julie. Way to go, girl!)

Today is See You at the Pole. Amazingly, this yearly event started when Johnny and I were first in ministry together and has just grown over the past couple of decades. For the first time ever, my kids didn't have to get up early and go pray at the flagpole before the school day started. At our new school, SYATP is a PART OF THE SCHOOL DAY! That's right, after school started at the regular time, the students then went out to pray. My kids were not as awed by this as I was. After all, they inform me, they pray everyday at school. I love private school.

Ok, this probably makes the top 10 list of most boring blogs ever. I'm surprised you're still reading...I'm out!


Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall

Another week, another Monday, except today is the first day of Fall. It doesn't feel like Fall quite yet in Texas. Actually, it almost felt like Fall last week but not so much today. This is the fashion-confusing season in Texas. It's officially Fall but feels like Summer so it's hard to know what to wear. Not the summer clothes, but too hot for the fall... To make for more season confusion, our lesson for Life Group this coming Sunday is the birth of Jesus -- the Christmas story from Luke 2.

I love the changing season. Now that we're a few weeks into school, I am enjoying the new schedule (though hectic) and all the activities that we are filling up our time in attending. I still miss Josh being home, sleeping in his bed, but we're getting used to it a bit. While life changes, schedules change, people change (my youngest child's voice is changing -- you know, the baby!), one thing that remains the same -- Our God, He is Immutable. He is unchanging. Check out James 1:17 --

"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow."

No variation, no change. His perfect love, grace, and mercy remain constant.

Amen and Hallelujah!

Serving the King,


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Morsel

A funny thing happened to me yesterday. I got sleepily out of bed and walked over to my little, antique writing table that I have in the corner of my room. That's where I like to meet with God. As I was walking I was praying, "Lord, would you just give me a little morsel this morning." I literally sat down and flopped open my Bible. I started reading the page on the right but then my eyes went to the left page where I read Proverbs 17:1 (ok, I really just opened my Bible and randomly came to this text!) -- "Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife." I ASKED FOR A MORSEL AND I GOT IT. Sometimes I think God has quite a sense of humor.

So, today, I couldn't get that out of my mind. I have been working in my home office all day and am feeling a little discouraged about a project I have been working on for a while. I have 2 sets of commentaries on my bookshelf so I got the Proverbs commentary down from one set and tried to open it up to Proverbs 17. Do you know that particular commentary does not contain Proverbs 17? First of all, I will be returning the book for a replacement but, secondly, HOW CAN THE CHAPTER I AM LOOKING FOR BE MISSING? So, I got the Proverbs commentary down from the other set. THE PAGE CONTAINING PROVERBS 17:1 IS DOUBLE PRINTED!! And, unreadable. Friends & readers, I am not making this up.

I want to be still and quiet and hear a word from God. Check out this verse from Psalm 84:

"For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness." (verse 10)

Even a crumb from the table of the Lord is better than a bountiful feast coming from anywhere else. His Word is life to me. He is able to speak directly to me (if I'm listening) and I don't necessarily need commentators or teachers or other resources. (though those are all good and God uses those in my life as well!) So, give me the morsel and the crumb...

...however, tomorrow I'm asking for meat.

Serving the King,


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Lull

I absolutely love Sundays. I enjoy my Life Group -- they are so great & we had a great day today!! They were so chatty -- I like that much better than when they sit there in silence, though! Worship was awesome today and the sermon was convicting and encouraging. Then, we got to go out & have lunch with some friends... an almost perfect day. And then there's Sunday afternoon -- made for napping. Really. I didn't make that up.

Remember the Creation story. God spoke and it was. Then, on the seventh day, He checked it all out, saw it was good, and rested. Do you think God gets tired? I don't think so -- the omnipotent God of the universe did not need to rest. He stopped creating, though. He took a break. We should follow His lead.

God doesn't need rest, but we do. He knew we would. It's good to stop activity and the hurry, hurry, go, go pattern we find ourselves in. Stop and renew your strength. Renew your mind and renew your spirit. Just stop. It's Scriptural. Not from a legalistic sort of way, but in a way that's just good for you.

So, I think I'll sign off now and go shut my eyes or read a book for just a bit.

Hope you will, too!

Serving the King,


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Home (Again) Sweet Home

I'm home from my trip to Ridgecrest. I had big plans to blog everyday and add photos from the mountains and of Johnny and I in all the spots where we first fell in love. We did take a couple of photos -- one in the spot where Johnny gave me my engagement ring -- and I did post one on my facebook, but am on a different computer and, truthfully, it's not that great of a picture. Johnny and I drove up a paved rode to the engagement ring spot -- a PAVED ROAD. When we were there 21 years ago it was a rough, gravel road that we drove up in an old pickup truck that belonged to the camp. There's even a wooden decking kind of thing built up there now. Amazing. We had a great time reminiscing. A lot of people asked if we had ever been to Ridgecrest before so we got to tell the story. It was great.

Johnny spent the remainder of our time there in meetings. I, on the other hand, got to have fun. There was a speaker for the 2 nights for the trustee wives, we got to go to a beautiful lunch at the historic Grove Park Inn, and shopping.

Yesterday was a long day, however. First, we had to drive to Atlanta to catch our flight. Our flight was delayed and it was really bumpy due to the inclement weather. We landed late then got stuck in traffic. I fear we are headed for more rain and, maybe, even some high winds even as far up as North Texas due to Hurrican Ike. It doesn't look good right now for our brothers and sisters in the Houston/Galveston area and along the coast of Texas. I'm praying that forecasters are wrong and the hurricane is merciful to those living along the Gulf Coast.

This is a solemn day -- a day of remembering and a day of appreciation. September 11th will always be one of those days that we will look back on and remember what we were doing when we first heard the news, the pain we felt for the families that were enduring great loss, the fear of the unknown about the future events as a result of the attacks.

I am thankful to be an American, especially today.

Serving the King,


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ridgecrest - Day 1

So, we arrived here at Ridgecrest a little after 11:00 this morning. Johnny was quickly whisked away to his important trustee duty (to play in the golf tournament) and I was left to enjoy the day in the mountains on my own. I caught up on my facebook peeps and the news (no tvs here in the Ridgecrest hotel -- but I usually read the news online anyway) then took my book and headed out to find a quite, outdoors place to read. The summer Johnny and I worked here we spent a LOT of our time in an auditorium called Lambdin. My classroom was in a building next to it. I found some swings right across the street. I couldn't start reading for the longest time...I just sat there and thought about all that happened in that very spot 21 year ago. My life was forever changed.

A few days ago I wrote that I am reading a book called Same Kind of Different as Me. I am still reading that book but, as usual, I am reading another book as well and that's the one I took out with me today. Today I was reading The Problem of Pain: How Human Suffering Raises Almost Intolerable Intellectual Problems by C.S. Lewis. The very fact that the word "intellectual" is in the subtitle might let you know that I have to read every sentence at least twice. It's an excellent book, however. Anyone out there read it? It's a little serious for such a beautiful day in the mountains but if I could simplify the first chapter into my own words it would be this - the reason there is pain is that there is free will. While God is omnipotent (all-powerful) He acts in accordance with the laws of nature. He does act mysteriously and miraculously but not always -- because just as we are given a choice, so is everyone else.

Ok, that really does not do justice to the book or the subject. Johnny's back, though, and we're going to get some dinner. I'll get some pics up next time!

Serving the King,


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Working from home

I am working from home today for 2 reasons: #1 - I don't have internet at my office yet. I don't have windows either. Not the computer program, but real-live, look at the outdoors, windows. It's almost too much. There's nothing at all in my office but a table, a chair, and an empty filing cabinet. I'm not sure I can work that way. Maybe I should look at the positive side -- no distractions. (ok, I guess windows aren't alive, are they? ) #2 - I am expecting my son to come by. I am working at home, waiting for my son to come by and DROP OFF HIS LAUNDRY. How many times did I complain about the dirty clothes littered all over his bedroom floor or his lateness in bringing the clothes downstairs so I could wash them (I will NOT go upstairs for their dirty clothes but will gladly -- cough, cough -- wash clothes that are brought downstairs) or clean, folded clothes all piled up on the dining room table because he could walk by them 5 thousand times, pretending not to see & not carrying them upstairs? Countless times, I am sure. And now, here I am, working in my home office with the curtains open (to the sight of my overgrown bushes blowing in the gentle breeze, not looking at bare walls) watching for his truck to drive up and pull into the driveway. I've missed that sight. I know, I know, I just saw him on Monday at the lake. Yet, here I am...wondering where he is...because I don't have anything better to do than wash clothes...

People, he's only been gone 2 weeks! Two weeks! A lot has changed in 2 weeks.

I'm rambling so I will go.

Serving the King,


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ridgecrest, NC

I am so distracted because I am more than excited about this weekend. On Saturday, Johnny and I are leaving for Ridgecrest, NC. Johnny is a trustee with LifeWay and I get to go to the trustee meeting with him!! I am always excited about getting away with Johnny but this is especially exciting because Ridgecrest is the place where we met. In 1987, I was a college graduate and a seminary student. I was hired to work at a summer camp called Centrifuge. There are several locations for the camp, but I was assigned to Ridgecrest. My first day there, someone captured by attention -- he was cooking hamburgers (some of the guys on the staff were cooking dinner for the rest of us) and acting silly. We became friends immediately. In fact, five weeks after we met we were engaged. Twenty years later, he is still the person I want to be with more than anyone else. He's my best friend and we have a blast together!

My mom is coming to stay with the kids. If you think about it, pray for her! She doesn't know about our crazy schedule yet. (yikes)

Focusing on today,


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And this is where I ended up...

Yesterday, Labor Day, was a really fun day! Josh and Justin brought 6 of their new DBU friends out to the lake. We also had some other teenagers (high schoolers and middle schoolers) out there. We had a couple of boats and a couple of jet skis brought out by friends. We played, we ate, we relaxed. Then, I was talked into getting out on the tube by one of my friends. Going along, falling to peer pressure, was my downfall. I had already been witness to the boat driving, the circling and wave hopping done to the glee of the boat drivers to see who would be the sole survivor on the tubes each round. (2 tubes with a max capacity of 3 each -- oh wait, that's until the teenagers begin hopping back and forth and throwing each other off) I should have known better. "Go slow," I asked the boat driver. "Stay on your own tube," I begged my husband. Above is the picture of me -- the first thrown off each time we started out. I'm a wimp, I admit it. I am sore today. I have bruises and I can't take a deep breath without a sharp pain taking the breath away again. Ok, ok, I loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat.
Serving the King,

Friday, August 29, 2008

My New Hero - Sarah Palin

Oh my goodness! What an awesome day! I don't know much about her yet but am already an admirer of Sarah Palin. She was just a regular gal - star of her high school basketball team and beauty pagent participant raised by school teachers. She married her high school sweetheart after she finished college. She got involved in public office to fight injustices she saw. She's a hunter, a fisher, a mother of 5, a political reformer, a wife, and, important to me, an advocate of life and the family. Today, she is celebrating her 20th wedding anniversary (I just celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary this year) and SHE'S MY AGE! She looks like Tina Fey and is eloquent and smart and is governor of the largest state of our great country. She's held elected office for 13 years already. The lefties and Democrats have already started their attacks. She had to know it was coming and she said "yes" anyway. Wow! She must be a scrapper as well.

Ok, I'll stop gushing. I'm all in now. I have to admit I am hugely patriotic and conservative and strong in my beliefs. I'm in favor of women being strong and independent when they need to be. I'm for family values and the fact that life begins at conception. I'm for limited government and freedom for all.

Really, that's all for now.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Riding in the Car

I’m typing this into my word processor and hope to cut & paste it when I get home. We’re in the car…driving home from a volleyball game in Wichita Falls. Yes, we drove 2 hours to watch volleyball. I do have a new appreciation for volleyball following the recent Olympic Games but, mostly, I have a love for my daughter. Johnny and I questioned the reasoning behind driving so far but then both said, “That’s what we do.” We support our kids. I’d walk through shards of glass with bare feet for those 3 that I gave birth to if the need arose. (hopefully, it won’t) However, as I am typing, we are STOPPED trying to get onto I-35. At 9:09 at night. Ugh! Anyway, as we are adjusting to our new school and schedule this week I have noticed that I have spent a LOT more time in the car this week. Our old high school was less than 2 blocks from our house. Not our new school – 10 minutes from the house on a good traffic day. And, with sports, they don’t get out at the same time. That’s what we do. We support our kids. If I didn’t miss Josh so stinking much maybe I’d be a little less eager to spend so much extra time driving back and forth. I am just reminded that time is short. Tonight Johnny asked what we’d be doing if we weren’t driving to the game. Watching TV (thank goodness I am saved from the torture of watching the Democratic National Convention!!!!), going to the gym, cleaning house (don’t mind missing that either), or some other chore.

So, on Tuesday I start my new job. Beth, my new coworker, told me she already set up my email. I am so excited! I have a work email!! A first for me. My first project will be to get ready for my trip to India in October. Beth and I are going with a team of other people. It should be a big adventure. I will be speaking to women in India. I am also seeking God for some other projects that I would like to do. I just want to be sure that it’s God’s plan and not my own. I think about it constantly. I am dreaming and praying and seeking.

One last thought before my laptop battery dies. I am reading Same Kind of Different as Me. I am just a few chapters into it but am mesmerized. I purchased it yesterday with a gift card I received for my graduation. I was looking at it in the bookstore, getting ready to buy it, and a lady came up and gave me a card for a free coffee in the bookstore. I decided to get the free coffee (duh!) and sit and read my new book. I had to close it abruptly at the end of chapter 3 because I was about to bust out crying right there in the coffee shop of the bookstore. Though I have not finished the book, I am going to step out on a limb and recommend it. Yeah, it’s one of those life-altering, attitude-changing books.

Well, we’ll be home soon. Whew! I just texted Jessica (she’s on the team bus) and they haven’t even gotten to the stopped traffic yet. It’s going to be a late night for that girl.

Serving the King,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Middle of the First Week

Well, so good so far. Or, is it so far, so good? All I'm trying to say (write) is that we are off to a pretty good start. Except for the fact that we got the school starting time wrong. Johnny took the kids the first day. To get to the school you have to go in a narrow winding road. I thought there might be a lot of traffic. When I talked to Johnny later that day he said, no, there was not a lot of traffic. Hmmm, I thought. The next day I thought we were supposed to pick up our friend, Jared. Johnny and the kids stopped at his house and he didn't come out. Johnny called and asked me to call his momma. I did. She wasn't sure we were coming so she took him. THE REASON SHE THOUGHT WE WEREN'T COMING IS BECAUSE SHE KNEW THE RIGHT START TIME AND WE DIDN'T. How does one start a new school and not make sure to know the correct start time? Good question. I had to hang up the phone with the momma and call the husband to tell him the kids WERE LATE!!! Then, the husband had to go into the school (joy of his life) because Jacob has the strickest teacher EVER for his first class. (This teacher has 6 pages of classroom rules....6 PAGES -- I have a feeling I will be referring to the packet of instructions frequently over the year since BOTH of my kids have her for a class.)

Other than that, we're off to a pretty good start, I suppose. I got to see the college boy twice yesterday. Johnny and I had lunch with him then he showed up at Jessica's volleyball game. I was surprised but he told me Jessica texted him and asked him to come. He hugged her after the game and when we got home she said, "Joshua gives really good hugs." The parents, apparently, aren't the only ones who miss the college boy.

We're still adjusting. I am thankful that there's a holiday on Monday -- I'm already ready for a rest. We'll get into a groove, I'm sure.

Serving the King,


Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day at the New School

Here are a couple of pics from the morning of the first day of school. First they posed with Josh's senior pictures in the background...so he could be in the picture!
Here they are! Ready for the first day at their new school! Notice that Jacob is now taller than his older sister.

So another school is underway. ho hum...

And I have a week then I start my new job...

I've talked to the college boy once on the phone but I've also chatted on facebook as well as left him a message (or two or so) on facebook. Ok, I admit it! I feel like a stalker...I find myself getting on facebook just to see if he's on.

Admitting there's a problem is the first step to recovery.

Maybe the other two won't find me lurking in the bushes outside their new school.

Just kidding, really!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Let Him Who Boasts, Boast in the Lord

Ok, ok, I've totally taken a portion of Scripture out of context (1 Cor. 1:31) but hang with me for just a second...

In my previous post, I was boasting about my dry eyes at the big college move-in. If you don't know, I cry at EVERYTHING. Anything can bring a tear to my eyes. And, I have cried a bazillion tears already about the transition in our family with Josh moving out to college. For me, not to cry as we said our final goodbye before we left our boy at college was huge. But, apparently, had nothing to do with me really. Since Monday I have received emails, text messages, and facebook notes on my wall and inbox of people (dear sisters in Christ) who have been and are praying for me. I am blown away and grateful. Grateful to all who have prayed and grateful to God for caring about all the details of our lives. (Thank You, Lord. You are so good!)

Now, if you all will just keep praying and while you're at it, would you pray that Josh will get up out of that dorm bed every single day for his 8:00 classes. That will be near miraculous!

Serving the King,


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

College Move-In Day

Josh and Justin in Josh's room. Justin's room is just 2 doors down. Yes, that's Josh's bed above their heads. The room is TINY and it was hard to fit 3 beds and stuff for 3 guys in there!
Johnny and Josh in the hall near Josh's room.

Well, I've been lamenting and celebrating this day over and over again but it finally happened. MY SON WENT TO COLLEGE TODAY! We met the roommates. Johnny actually knows one the guy's granddad! Small world. We got all Josh's stuff in the room -- except the cool chair we bought at IKEA. It's in his room upstairs at our house -- I guess he can sit in it when he's home because there's no way it was going to fit in that dorm room. The move went smoothly. I helped unpack, Johnny created a shelf that hangs off Josh's bed. We had to go out to Target and get MORE stuff but it was finally time for him to go and start SWAT (Student Welcome and Transition) week. We said goodbye and I DIDN'T CRY. Nope, not one tear. Honestly! There was a parent session and we stayed -- Johnny only for a little while. I rode home with my friend, Mary.

Well, I've got to get Johnny out the door. He's going to Nashville for a trustee meeting. Maybe it will hit me later that he's really gone. Josh, I mean. That he's not coming back. Right now it really just seems like he's off to camp or mission trip.

And, now I've got to clean his room -- which he left in a gigantic mess.

Proud, proud mama,


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day

We packed clothes last night. We made note of things that still need to be purchased. Johnny put together the items we bought at IKEA. We are almost ready - at least as far as the physical getting ready is concerned.

Jessica had a volleyball game yesterday and I had to ask a teammate's mom to give her a ride home from practice on Wednesday. "I can get her to practice," I explained. "I just need to see if you can give her a ride home because (sniff, sniff) we are moving her brother to college." YES, I teared up at the volleyball game asking a mom to give my daughter a ride home from practice. This mom does not know me that well yet. Jessica's friend, Jordyn, that went with us to the game LAUGHED at me. Jordyn knows how I am, though, and she was not all that surprised that I was at bit emotional.


What more can I say?


Monday, August 18, 2008

"The Changeless Christ"

I just flipped open my Bible (the Thompson Chain-Reference Study Bible, NASB) and landed on the last chapter of the book of Hebrews. The chapter title is "The Changeless Christ." Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever." Life changes. We've got big changes ahead - Josh to college, the other 2 kids to a new school, I am starting a new job - but Jesus is the same, from eternity past and forever. Hallelujah!

Yesterday we ended our study of the Old Testament in Life Group. We started at Genesis and flew through the OT and the last lesson in the curriculum was from the book of Nehemiah. I have loved it. It was pretty cool to be in OT I and II in my master's degree at the same time I was working through the OT for my lesson prep. I have learned so much literally and historically about the times and writing of the OT. But, the best part is how God has spoken to me through the pages that are His Word to His people. I am amazed at how He worked in history and how I could apply that to how He works in me.

His Word is always true. He is always faithful. He will never leave me or forsake me. He is always worthy of praise.

But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise Him yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of His righteousness, and of His salvation all day long;
For I do not know the sum of them. Psalm 71:14-15

Glory to His Name!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Waiting for Wednesday

I'm sitting on the couch, watching the Olympics (the 10,000 meter race...it's a nail-biter!LOL), and making cookies -- the kind Justin ordered. Josh and his buddy, Justin, move into the dorm at DBU this coming Wednesday. Justin's parents cooked steak and other favorites for the guys last night. Tonight we'll have the cookies and, apparently, they want lemon chicken this week as well, which is one of my family's favorites. This week only they can have whatever they want.

We took Josh to IKEA over the weekend to pick up some dorm stuff. Jacob twisted his foot at football practice and has been on crutches. He decided he didn't want to hobble around IKEA so he asked for a wheelchair -- and they let him use one!! We wheeled him all around the store (which is ginormous). In fact, the wheelchair added to the experience because, otherwise, Jacob would not have been thrilled to be shopping (for one) and at IKEA (for another).

Josh already started his new job at DBU bookstore (thanks to our friend, JS!). It's so odd to think that the day we have anticipated is almost here. I want him to go (because that's what we've been preparing him for and have expected of him) but, yet, I don't want him to go. But, it's almost here. I've washed his new sheets, bought dorm stuff -- I bought him some stuff at Target this weekend, too -- he's registered, he's ready.

I was thinking about the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. When Moses knew he would not be going into the Promised Land with his people, he wanted to make sure he told them everything they needed to know to go on without him. That's (simplistically) what the book of Deuteronomy is -- Moses's final addresses to the Hebrews. Have I said everything I need to have said to Josh? Have I adequately prepared Josh to go on without us? Will I have time in the next two and a half days to say everything that is left to be said?

I guess we'll see over the next couple of days.

Serving the King,


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Drumroll please

I always knew this day would come -- the day when I would transition from full-time mom to full-time mom plus something else. Is there such thing as part-time mom? I don't think so! I have dreamed and planned and wondered what I would do when I grew up. Well, as of September I will be working for Alpha International Ministries as the Director of Women's Ministries. I would love to give you a synopsis of their ministries but it would be better, if you have time, to check it out here. I will be doing lots of stuff -- some women's and outreach ministries in my community as well as planning for some conferences and other trips in India and, eventually, other nations as well. I will be going to India in October and, hopefully, again in the spring of next year. I feel way overwhelmed and excited and scared and humbled and privileged.

So, that's what God's up to with me. What is God doing in your life? How is He molding you and preparing you for what's ahead? Do you know what's ahead or are you just stepping out in faith and moving forward, counting on Him the whole time?

I would love to read your stories.



Monday, August 11, 2008

Surprise in the Mail

I hate to toot my own horn but (toot,toot) I got a surprise in the mail today that has made me quite proud. I got a letter from the outgoing Dean of Educational Ministries of SWBTS (where I just finished my master's degree) and a certificate that states the following:

"In recognition of significant academic achievement while enrolled as a full-time student in the School of Educational Ministries Jeanette Dickerson has been named to the Dean's Academic Honor List for the Spring Semester 2008."

The Academic Honor List! Ha! I made really good grades the whole time I was there but was rarely a full-time student, just taking a few hours per semester. Truthfully, I obsessed about my grades at times (no comment from you, Johnny Dickerson) but I really just wanted to do my best and learn as much as possible while I was there. It was a great privilege to study and learn and complete my degree.

It seems as though I might have a job opportunity -- Johnny and I are going to a meeting tomorrow to finalize the details so please check back for an announcement tomorrow! I am awed by the opportunity being presented to me.

Well, the rest of the day will be spent making 4 trips back and forth to my kids' new school -- 2 sports practices that are, of course, at different starting and ending times. The taxi service is in operation.

Taxi driver #1,


Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday Afternoon

I KNOW, two posts in one day. What is the world coming to? This one is out of desperation. You see, we have drums at our house now. Real drums. Not those neat electric ones that you can plug headphones into so you can play to your heart's content without disturbing everyone else in the house. Nobody ever played the electric drums -- not so with the REAL drums. Jacob has a friend over (there were some other guys here earlier but they left already) and Jacob is playing the drums...for hours...and the friend is playing guitar. Jessica said (before she left for volleyball practice), "Mom, you can tell him to stop." Johnny called -- I had to go OUTSIDE to talk on the phone because it is so loud in here (the drums are in the media room right above my bedroom where I am diligently folding laundry & unpacking Johnny's suitcase which is right where he left it when he got home Friday night) oh, I forgot where I was, oh yeah, Johnny called and he said, "You can tell him to stop." Yes, I could. I know I could. But, football starts one week from today and then school is right around the corner. Summer is almost over. I don't want to wish it away ... not one second. That time is flying by is so apparent to me with college move-in day being only 16 days away. SIXTEEN DAYS, friends! School is busy -- homework, sports, church activities. There won't be near as much time to play the drums. Or hang out with friends. I don't want to wish for peace and quiet because peace and quiet means the kids are at school, not home with me, and they are growing up way too fast. But, on the other hand, peace and quiet would be so nice right about now...

Maybe I should just go buy some ear plugs...

Or take a pain killer...

Or go shopping...

just for a little while...

til the drumming is over...

oh wait, it's quiet.....ugh, I typed that too soon...

Head pounding,


Monday Morning

My guys and the whole group made it back from Venezuela. I've gotten bits and pieces of information about the trip all throughout the weekend. I am so amazed at the work our partners are doing down there. It's both exciting and motivating.

I have quite the good news to announce -- I (me, myself) fixed the dishwasher problem previously mentioned on this blog before Johnny got home. I gotta give a shout-out to my friend, Sally, for giving me the tip that solved the problem!!

If that wasn't the kind of good news you were hoping for then let me give you some more -- here it is --

We have a great High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses. Even though He was tempted, as we are, He did not sin. Therefore, we can draw near to Him with confidence, to His throne of grace so that we may receive mercy and grace from Him when we need it.
(my very loose paraphrase from Hebrews 4:14-16)

So what's the good news? Whatever it is that you are struggling with today, whatever it is that you are sad about, whatever it is that is making you mad or getting you down, He understands. He hears your prayer. He answers when you all out to Him. He's there, always there.

Now that's some good news!

Serving the King,


Friday, August 1, 2008

Waiting on the travelers to get home

The itinerary says my guys should be on their way home about now. Until they land back on US soil I won't really know for sure. I talked to Johnny yesterday -- he called my cell phone. I don't know why I thought that was so odd but he called my cell phone from Venezuela. They have had such a great trip. I cannot wait to hear about it from Josh's perspective.

Johnny called yesterday to check on a meeting I had earlier in the afternoon. It did not go the way I hoped or dreamed. Do you do that? Have an appointment and before you even get there you have everything planned that you will say and how it will go and what the anticipated result of the meeting will be. I did and, needless to say, things did not go accordingly. I was bummed.

I don't know if read my blog about falling out of the boat during whitewater rafting in Colorado. You can scroll down to see it -- I could put that link right here and be all technical and smart but I just don't feel like it. Anyway, our guide, Larry, got Johnny and me back in the boat (out of the freezing water of the Taylor River which is really melted snow, BTW) and stopped us on a rock and said, "We need to regroup." I had to get up off the floor of the boat, out of the space where Larry's feet were supposed to be, and get back on the seat and pick up my paddle. (that is, after we got it from the boat ahead of us who kindly fetched it out of the water and waited for us to give it back to me) I had to do my part in the work of paddling to get us down the river. And, the rafting really would not have been any fun from the floor of the boat. I had to get back on the seat to enjoy the ride.

So, that's where I am today. Regrouping. Getting back on the seat where I can see what's ahead and enjoy the ride. Getting to work because that's what we're called to do as Christians.

No sitting on the floor of the boat wishing I had not fallen in for me -- nope, just moving forward.

Serving the King,


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's Raining

It's rain, glorious rain! I even hear a little thunder. We have had really hot temps here in North Texas -- last night the weather man said we were above average and he didn't think we'd be back down to average for a while. Average being upper 90's...

It seems like things only go wrong when Johnny is unavailable. Really. When the kids were little they would only get sick on Sunday -- the only day that he absolutely could not help me. I remember one time when the older 2 (actually, we only had 2 kids at that time) had a stomach virus and so did I...on a Sunday. Josh didn't quite make it to the bathroom and got sick on the carpet. I was sick as a dog, crawling on the carpet, trying to help him and clean up...

Maybe that's TMI.

Anyway, on Monday I turned on the dishwasher and all seemed fine. I was upstairs talking to Jacob when I could hear water pouring out... of the DISHWASHER!! It was coming out of the little extra drainy thing that's next to the faucet on the edge of the sink and under the sink. I started grabbing towels and yelling for the kids to bring me more. I don't know anything about dishwashers...I could call a plumber but I've just been washing the dishes by hand instead. I know, I know... waaawaaa...

We've had a fun week at home so far. We're headed out to a museum today. We thought about the zoo but it's just too hot. We stayed up late playing rock band on Monday night. I finally made it through a song on the drums. Of course, Jacob was not only doing the singing part but he also had to do the foot pedal for the drums because I just can't do my hands and feet at the same time.

Ok, enough of the randomness.

Hope to have something of more substance to post at some point in the near future.

Serving the King,


Sunday, July 27, 2008

And they're off...

Johnny and Josh are on their way to Venezuela even as I am typing this post. Their first flight was delayed but they still made it to Houston in plenty of time. They packed this afternoon -- just because I would have started packing days ago to leave today doesn't mean everyone who lives in this house would. They had their suitcases full and THEN went to the store to buy a few snacks. Johnny isn't the best about eating different foods when he travels overseas so he always packs the things he knows he likes -- snack crackers, pop tarts, peanuts. I had to practically repack both of their suitcases to get all the snacks to fit in. Neither will go hungry, no doubt about that.

Johnny and Josh went with a group of college students, another one of our pastors, and a layman who works in our college ministry. They will be doing a lot of different things -- if you are reading this blog would you stop and pray for them as well as our partners there in Venezuela? I would be so grateful.

Serving the King,


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Waiting for Dinner

I'm back in my room after at 7:15 Saturday evening because the two eighteen year olds are cooking dinner tonight. I walked in there a few minutes ago because I smelled something burning. It was the rice -- it's ok, though. We'll just dip it out carefully so as to not get the burned part on the bottom...

Today Johnny and I worked out in the yard. Jessica and Jacob had been out for a while and I brought out a big bowl of snack mix that I made -- you know, I just went into the pantry and pulled out cereal, cheese crackers, pretzels, and M&Ms and dumped it all together -- but they decided to walk to the new coffee shop up the street and left the bowl out there. I think they ate most of it -- I'm not sure. Regardless, Johnny and I were in the pool -- cooling off from working in the yard in the middle of the afternoon.in July.in Texas -- and I looked over and the dog was up on all fours on the table top with his nose down in the bowl of snack mix. Wish I had a picture of that to share with you... I guess he was hungry from all the swimming he's been doing. We weren't sure he was going to like the water but now he has become quite the swimmer!

I'm trying to think about something else except dinner so I'm thinking about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. You know, the story from Daniel chapter 3. I was in a musical when I was in elementary school called "It's Cool in the Furnace" at our church. It was based on the story of three forementioned guys and I can still sing the main song. I was in the musical in the 1970's and I can remember the words. The amazing thing about that is that I may not remember where I parked my car when I go into the grocery store or the name of someone that I've known for three years that I need to introduce you to, but I've got the words to a song that I sang in the 1970's. Something is completely wrong with that...

Anyway, our Life Group lesson tomorrow is from Daniel 3. The theme of the lesson is compromise. What will you absolutely, no way, not compromise on? Some things come to mind quickly but the hard question is the one that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced -- if your life is at stake, will you still stand firm? It's easy to say, "yes, I will absolutely stand firm," when I am sitting at my antique writing table waiting for 2 teenagers to cook dinner.in Texas.in July.inside the house with the air conditioning on and no one threatening me.

However, I did give in to temptation and ate a few chips a little bit ago after I told myself I needed to take off the few pounds I gained on vacation so I'm not going to eat junk food...I'm really hungry...I hope supper is good...

Gotta go - Josh said it's time --


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Soon to be Mustangs

One of the big things that's going on at the Dickerson house is that all three of our kids are changing schools. Josh moves into the dorm at DBU in less than a month! He and Johnny leave this Sunday for a mission trip to Venezuela and when he gets back we will have about 2 1/2 weeks to get him ready for college.
The other two kids are moving to a private, Christian school as well - Fellowship Academy. We'll be Mustangs then. This is huge for us. Josh started out in private school in kindergarten (FOREVER ago) and, since that time, we thought we would leave our kids in public school. Periodically, we would investigate private school and think and pray about it but it never seemed right or in our budget. (Yeah, like now that we are paying college tuition it's gonna fit in our budget!) All the reasons we wanted Josh to go to DBU seemed to be reasons to send Jessica and Jacob to a private school. Smaller class size, Christian environment, classes taught from a Christian worldview, service emphasized. Jessica will be going to Mexico in November with the rest of the high school students on a mission trip. As part of school! Love that!
God will work out the financial details, I have no doubt about that. I have a job interview next week and another possible offer as well.
My 90 year old Grandmother has been really sick and in the hospital. I would covet your prayers on her behalf as well as for her children (including my mother) as they take care of her and seek direction from the doctors.
Serving the King,

Monday, July 21, 2008


We're home from vacation. We thought we might not get home until today so Johnny is off and we're just hanging out. Haha! Do you ever really get to just hang out after vacation? NO! The yard has to be mowed, tons of laundry and unpacking needs to be done, and I have to go to the grocery store.

We had a really fabulous vacation. Thursday we went mountain biking at Crested Butte. It's really cool -- they put the bikes on the ski lift then you can ride down. It was kind of scary at times. Jessica read my previous post about the white water rafting (the part about hoping to not have an incident report) and said, "Too bad you fell off your bike!" Ok, ok, I did fall off and scraped my leg up. However, the scenery was beautiful. We might think everything is bigger and better in our great state of Texas but our state flower, the Bluebonnet, grows way bigger in Colorado.

We cleaned up our friends' house and left on Saturday to drive to Pueblo to see the new Batman movie. It's really good -- I was on the edge of my seat. There was more than once when I thought the movie was just about over and the action starts up again. I guess we were having media withdrawals -- no tv, no internet, no cell phone service for 6 days. Then I got home last night and flipped through the channels and was reminded that there really isn't much of anything worth watching on tv anyway. Nope, I didn't miss tv afterall.

Well, time to get busy! I do have more to write about vacation, how God spoke to me, and some new things coming up in the Dickerson family but I'll leave them for a future post!

Serving the King,


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Into the River

I’m typing this on July 16, 2008, even though it will be several days until I can post it because we don’t have internet access where we are staying. We are in beautiful Gunnison, Colorado. Yesterday we hiked – 2 hours up and 1 hour back down. The entire trail had a gain of 2,500 feet – I’m not sure if we made it all the way to the top but from where we stopped the view was breath-taking. God is the Master Creator.
Today, our adventure was white water rafting. We went to a place called Three Rivers, paid our money, put on our water shirts & life jackets (am more than thankful for both of those as you will read below), listened to the “safety speech”, and got our paddling instructions from our guide, Larry. We got our boat into the water, Johnny in front on the right side with me behind him and Jessica behind me. Josh was in the front on the left with Jacob behind him, then Monica in the back. Larry, of course, was center in the back. Then we set off down the river.
We really had not gone very far at all when the left side was being overpowered in paddling by the right side. Not good when going down roaring rapids. We hit a rock sideways and the boat tipped – Johnny and I fell into the water. Yes, JOHNNY AND I WERE OUT OF THE BOAT AND IN THE RIVER. First of all, the water was about 46-48 degrees so immediately I am not only shocked that I am in the river but my breath is taken away by the freezing, cold water. Gasping and wiping the water out of my contacts, I begin to look for the boat. In any given situation there are two things that will always be true – I will panic and Johnny will be calm. He followed the instructions from the safety speech – nose and toes pointed down the river. I, on the other hand, screamed and panicked. Larry reached out and grabbed my life jacket. He had me and was trying to pull me into the boat. I was screaming, “Where’s my husband?” Larry just wanted to get me in the boat so we could head on down the river and pick up Johnny. Larry pulled me in, where I sat on the floor of the boat in the space where Larry’s feet were supposed to be. Josh pulled Johnny in and Larry got us to a stop on a rock in the middle of the river. “Let’s re-group,” he said. That was an understatement.
When someone falls out of the boat (a “swimmer” they call it) an incident report has to be filled out. I listed our kids and Monica as the witnesses. Larry listed Josh as the “savior” because he pulled Johnny in.
Larry said something about karma being involved in my falling out because I asked where the safest place was in the boat the first time I got in. I told Larry I didn’t believe in karma but in God. Larry said he was the one that pulled me in the boat so he saved me. I am thankful to Larry but also that am glad that I had a chance to tell him Who I think is really responsible for my safety.
Tomorrow we are mountain biking. I hope to have a great adventure that does not include an incident report.
Serving the King,