Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We're going back!

To Disney World for Thanksgiving!!!

With our military discount, we got 2 five day passes to Disney World, and only used one of the days when we went back in August.

Sooooo that means we have 4 days left!

We decided it was totally worth it to make the trip again to use our 4 remaining days...I mean, how often is it that you live in Florida, within reasonable driving distance of Disney World. Hmmm....probably never again.

AND my parents and brother are coming with us! We are so excited to get away for a few days, and to be around some family. We are really missing all of our Texas family & friends!

So we will be out of touch w/ the computer realm for a few days, but will be back to the blogosphere soon, until then....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Blind Side


Ben & I went to see this movie last night at the midnight showing. Not really because we are all that fanatical, but mainly because we have the time now where we can do silly things like that. So we did. Little did we know that we would be waiting for our movie with every Twilight fan known to man in the city of Pensacola. Crazy.

Literally, they had one measly little theater reserved for the Blind Side and every other theater in the house was reserved for the midnight showing of New Moon. There were about 3,000 people that waited in line to get into that movie. And about 15 of us that showed up for The Blind Side. And I think some of those people were ones that came too late to get a ticket for New Moon.

I found it amusing afterwards, as we were all filing out of the movies, that I heard so many of the people who went to see Twilight saying things like, "Man, that was dumb" or "What a disappointment". And all that Ben & I could say was, "Wow, that was a great movie--what an incredible story."

So you should definitely skip all the Twilight saga hoopla & go see The Blind Side.

I cried, I laughed, I was inspired. The family that Sandra Bullock & Tim McGraw play were incredible parents to this kid that they literally took up off the streets. And he became incredibly huge in shaping their lives too. I was amazed by this family, who treated this kid as if he were their own son---pulling out all the stops for him, in the same way they did for their own children. That is incredible love and sacrifice.

The movie really hit a soft spot in my heart, for kids in lower income areas, that really are born with so little opportunity. I have seen first hand that unless someone is willing to help these kids, it is near impossible to get out of the cycle of poverty and drugs that their parents before them are living in. They can't learn, they can't pay for college-if they even get in, they can't afford tutors, they can't drive themselves to church or to job interviews. Its very difficult to get out of a cycle like that. And no government policy or stimulus can get them out either.

It takes real people. People who are willing to sacrifice their comforts, their time, their money. People who will teach the principles of working to make a living and most importantly, people who are willing to love them. It takes the church of Jesus Christ, living and serving in their community. His people, that will feed the poor & disadvantaged not only physical bread, but the bread of Life. People who will share our hope of salvation.

We need to be those people.

So, go see the movie--its well worth it!

And I hope you are encouraged and challenged as much as we were.

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Creativity

Here are some pics of my newest creations---Most of them were made using Amy Butler's new 'Love' fabric--which I am in love with :)

I will have them up soon on etsy, but here is a sneak peak!

*photography by ben :)

apron comes w/ a cute little pocket & a convenient towel loop

probably my favorite fabric ever on this new clutch

and another pretty little apron

Keep watching for a post on flight training status---coming soon!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gospel for Asia

There is a really neat opportunity from Gospel for Asia this Christmas to give gifts to people all over Asia. They have done this in past years as well, and Ben and I have loved being involved. One year our church purchased a Water Buffalo for men and women in need!

These gifts go to people who have never heard the gospel of Christ, as well as believers who are laboring as native missionaries to these countries.

You can find out more about purchasing Christmas gifts in this Christmas Catalog.

Gifts range from buying a chicken for about $10, to buying a simple water filtration system for about $30, to even buying a water well (which would be a great group purchase as it is about $1,000)!

I have had a lot of fun looking through the catalog--there are so many great things you can give these desperately needy people--and for so small a sacrifice!

So if you are looking for ways to give this Christmas, or would like to take the focus of off the materialism we so easily turn the holiday into--check it out! Its worth it ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day Freebies

For anyone who is active duty military or a veteran of war, you may be interested in some of these freebies, being given by different retailers & restaurants around the U.S. in honor of our veterans:

Applebee's Restaurant - Free dinners to veterans throughout the day.

Outback Steakhouse - Free Blooming Onion and beverage.

Golden Corral- Free buffet dinner from 5-9 p.m. on Nov. 16 to anyone who has ever served in the U.S. military

Krispy Kreme - One free doughnut of any variety.

Texas Roadhouse - Free dinner at most outlets.

Lowe's & Home Depot - Extra 10% off to active-duty military members, National Guard and reserve members, retirees, honorably discharged veterans and immediate family members.

Sam’s Club – Over 25,000 Hugo canes will be given away to U.S. veterans in need of mobility assistance. Membership is not required, but supplies are limited, so check with your local store.

Amazon.com - Free "Veterans Day Honor" MP3 album download. The album includes 12 songs by The Bands and Ensembles of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Cabela's Outdoor Store - Offers their employee discount to all veterans, active-duty military and reserves, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel Nov. 11-12. Discounts vary from 5% to 50%, depending on the item.

Build-a-Bear Workshop - Members of the armed services including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Reserve Officer Training Corps, will receive a 20% discount Nov. 11-15 on any one transaction at Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Veterans Day! We are thankful for those who have served & for those who will serve our country :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Not much has changed since Monday's blog post. In other words, we are still waiting. Ben will probably have a flight tomorrow and it will be a very important one. Either he passes, and they move him right along to the next flight, as though these past two weeks never happened. Or he fails, and although we don't know the whole story on what could happen then; he would be sent to a review board to see if he stays in the flight program.

His instructor on Tuesday was very encouraging and really thinks that Ben can pull out of this--he saw him as very trainable and told him that most of the flight went really well--he really wanted to pass him, but needs him to get just a couple of things down pat in the airplane before he can justifiably do that.

Its challenging to see failure as a blessing, or to see the good that God is doing through it. Its much more tempting to just measure yourself up to everyone else, the way the instructors measure you all day. Its exhausting to work so hard and to not reap the visible "reward" of passing. Its tempting to wonder, "is all this hard work I've been doing over the past year in vain?"

Those have been the struggles of this week so far, and of the last week too. We have to look for the good in this situation, we have to trust God's faithfulness & be thankful. We have to remember that God has not told Ben to leave the flight program, and we have to press on. Waiting, all the while for His plan in all this to be revealed...waiting to see how the next flight will go. Trusting, that God has had a plan in giving Ben success in flight school for the past year, and that he has a good purpose now in allowing him to fail these flights.

We are waiting...trying not to grow impatient or weary of working hard. I was very encouraged by a sermon from John Piper on Impatience & Unbelief this morning. Here is an excerpt:

"Impatience is a form of unbelief. It's what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God's timing or the goodness of his guidance. It springs up in our hearts when the road to success gets muddy or strewn with boulders or blocked by some fallen tree. The battle with impatience can be a little skirmish over a long wait in a checkout lane. Or it can be a major combat over a handicap or disease or circumstance that knocks out half your dreams.
The opposite of impatience is not a glib, superficial denial of frustration. The opposite of impatience is a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness either to wait for God where you are in the place of obedience, or to persevere at the pace he allows on the road of obedience—to wait in his place, or to go at his pace."

This is what we are striving to do, to grow in a peaceful willingness to "persevere at the pace he allows on the road of obedience.."
Like I said, He hasn't called us away from flight school up to this point, so we need to persevere & trust him.
Pray for us. That as we wait, our strength & courage in Jesus would mount, and that we wouldn't crumble in exhaustion. Pray that we have a right response to every which way He leads us this week. Pray that we would not dwell in the unbelief of impatience---but believe in patience!
"Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trusting His Ways.

****comment on post below: I wrote this primarily, to let you all know what the Lord is teaching us right now. But I do realize that in focusing on that, I left out some important details about what may or may not happen in the coming week. Please check the comment section for a better explanation of that.****

What a week.

Possibly one of the hardest we've had in flight school thus far.

We were coasting along through flight school--difficult, yes, but nevertheless, assuming that Ben would be graduating this past Friday from Vt-10. Assuming that it was God's plan, and well, just assuming a lot.

But on Monday (a week ago today), all of those assumptions blew up in our faces.
Ben failed his first flight. And long story short, the week didn't get a whole lot better after that, and failing a flight comes with a lot of added pressure and uncertainty.

What, Lord? That's not part of the 8 week plan!
That's not what we were praying so fervently for!
How can this be your will?

It was a pretty hard blow, but of course, God's purposes in revealing these things to us are always good.

And along with all of our prayers for Ben to be successful in his flying, we were also praying for God's will to be done. Well, he wasn't exactly "successful" on Monday, by flight school's standards, but we have to believe that it was God's will.

James 4:13-16 says, "Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"--yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

We are not guaranteed anything in this life. Ben is in flight school right now, I am in pre-nursing school--and we know that right now, this where God has us. But to make assumptions beyond that is arrogant and assuming. We do not know what the future holds and have to hold our plans loosely, trusting the Lord every step of the way.

Do we believe that God can cause Ben to complete all of flight school? Yes. Yes. Yes. He is the Almighty God, who has shown us so much of His power and favor over Ben's studies (and mine too, for that matter).

But, will we assume that God is going to do that? No. His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. So although, we think that it would be a great idea for Ben to complete flight school, and definitely hope that God has that in store for us--we are learning to trust Him more and more in this. His ways are best. So whatever He has for us, we will gladly accept.

We do not know what tomorrow will bring.

Its an interesting place to be. And we are still learning our right response. On the one hand, we are believing God. and praying with such belief that He can totally give Ben the ability he needs to pass his remaining flights. And on the other hand, we are also praying that we will trust Him and be willing for whatever he does have for us.