My Big Life Change!

Picture taken by Abby Austin of 1000 Miles on my own two feet.


To transform my life, with God's help of course, one step at a time.

1. Get healthy & honor God with my body

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

2.Become at least 50% sustainable with emphasis on doing our part to take care of God's planet.

3. Live life as an adventure, experiencing new places, things & people.
18 out of 150 bucket list goals accomplished

4. Become debt free & build security for my family, so we can then bless others financially also.

5. Continue to grow closer to God, building My family's faith & sharing the Gospel with those we meet, by using the talents and gifts God has provided us.

6.Continue to make money by creating and sharing my thoughts and beliefs through artistic expression: all the while hoping that my art will impact others. "Holly Kennedy

: All I know is, if you don't figure out this something, you'll just stay ordinary, and it doesn't matter if it's a work of art, or a taco, or a pair of socks! Just create something... new, and there it is, and it's you, out in the world, outside of you, and you can look at it, or hear it, or read it, or feel it... and you know a little more about... you. A little bit more than anyone else does... Does that make any sense at all?" Quote from PS I LOVE YOU

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

things that you may not know about me!!!

Okay this is a totally fun blog, which means no moral lesson today. Since I have a whole bunch of new buddies on facebook and blogger, I am gonna post some fun facts about me that you may not know. Please comment with some fun facts of your own. Or post the numbers that you did not know.

1. I have piloted a Piper Airplane.
2. I have had a bear encounter
3. I love tacos and taco salad
4. I make great/legendary guacamole
5. I was "barren" for 8+ years before being blessed with my daughter Joslyn
6. I am terrified of spiders and used to catch them in glasses and pour rubbing alcohol on them to watch them die.
7. I am a lover of musicals!
8. I played Grace Ferral in my high school play ANNIE
9. When I am really mad or upset I will sing really loud with headphones on.
10. I fell out of a tree when I was eleven and went to the hospital with a cracked tailbone.
11. I have one sister and one brother, one half sister that I do not know and a BIG Sister from BB/BS.
12. My dad was in the Airforce
13. I am a pretty good swimmer and I love the water
14. I get a euphoric feeling around waterfalls.
15. a comfort food for me is crunchy rice with doritos, onions and cheese
16. I once won an award for top soprano in jr. high choir
17. one of my nicknames in school was mother Teresa
18. I love science
19. up into college I wanted to be a widllife conservationist
20. my husband John was the boy next door
21. My husband and I fell in love by writing letters to each other.
22. my favorite past times from childhood was game nights with my mom, bro and sis
23. I spent 2 summers in Estes Park, Colorado and 3 summers in Illinois.
24. Used to work as a chef at Girl Scout Camps
25. my soulmate is a woman
26. I have had blood poisoning (I don't recommend it)
27. I have been to Reynosa, Mexico and built houses on a mission trip.
28. I have went to almost 20 different schools from 1st grade to Senior year
29. Used to collect everything Tigger
30. I almost caught Chick-FiL-A  on fire when I put a bag of food under a heat lamp and it burst into flames.
31. I have used a fire extinguisher before.
32. I love to paint
33. I have seen Mamma Mia at least 500 times
34. I have 4972 songs in my I-tunes
35. I have worked at a wedding dress shop
36. I have been to Maine twice
37. My southern accent comes out when I am tired
38. I love road trips.
39. I would love to visit Italy
40. I accepted Christ in my heart when I was 5.

There will be more when I think of them... Did you know all of these?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Be an animal hero!

Do you love animals? My family does. We don't just want a dog that is going to look pretty in pictures. My husband and I love animals! I believe that a love for animals is Biblical! God first made the animals and then when he made Adam he gave him dominion over them. Adam's first children where animals! Now this isn't a blog about not hunting, or breeding or anything like that. But how often do you teach your children love of animals? In our house loving the animals comes naturally, but I know this is not true for all houses. I want Joslyn to love animals! Not so that she will have a dog later in life, but a life long yearning to take care of the animals. The birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and all around us are animals that God has placed in our care. But so often, like the starving people under the highway, we chose to not subject our children to the sorrow, and pass them by. I want Joslyn to grow up with that need to serve the world. The people and the animals. Feeding the birds, walking the dogs, and even taking the kiddos to the zoo, are good ways to get them started! I can't wait to see what her passion is going to be. But my heart will always have room for the animals. Maybe she will too!

Our lives have been so enriched by our animals. And seeing Joslyn react to them and them react to her has been such a blessing. We currently have two old cocker spaniels that are more family to us then some of our relatives. Nickie- our old grey-haired 11 year old male, we call him the Grumpy old man. And Jinger, who is 6 years old and loves to play fetch with tennis balls. We also have two foster dogs right now, Jazzmine and Piper. Jazzmine is a great dane/pointer mix that is probably the sweetest dog imaginable. She is about a year old and very playful, curious and cuddly. Piper is a husky mix and is new to the household. We don't know much about her yet except that she has been kept in a cage most of her life. So we are having fun watching her run and play out here in the country.

I have met many animal heroes lately, and most of them have foster dogs and cats from Best Friends of Pets. Are you looking for an animal? Check out for your next friend. There are so many animals looking for a home. Please remember that you don't have to have an animal in your home to be an animal hero. Donating to one of the thousand of animal rescue web sites, one of my favorites is . They are motorcycle riding tough guys that rescue abused animals and do everything in their powers to get the abusers convicted and put away!

What can you do to be an animal hero?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Here comes the whale!

As I'm looking back over the past year, my eyes have been opened to the gentle guidance of my Father. I was questioned many times on my families decision to move to Chickasha and leave my church family and friends. Sometimes I would cry and think I have done the wrong thing. But, I know that God is leading us through a drought and teaching us valuable lessons of his grace and providance along the way.

I was being a Jonah. Thinking that a move to the country would solve all of our problems. I was insecure about being a mother, struggling from financial burden, and mourning the loss of control I had on everything. My world was crashing. So what do you do when you have lost all control? I decided it was time to move. I was sure that Chickasha held the answer!

You can never run farther than God. You can run away from God, but he is always there. Waiting for you to open up to Him and knock down those barriers you build between you and Him. Turns out, I didn't run away from my problems like I thought.

My pre baby life consisted of staying busy enough to not have to deal with my insecurities and codependency. I had just learned through Celebrate Recovery that I was a codependent. I knew that I was dependent on my ministry. But I didn't have the courage to stand up for myself and just quit. I was afraid that if I quit my ministry and stayed in the church that I might be looked down upon or be judged. I also felt that I wouldn't be able to quit fully and would drag myself back into the same predicament when I started feeling out of control. Please don't think that my church would have looked down on me. I love that church, and all my problems were because of my codependence. Codependence is an addiction to people and the reactions of them. I wanted so bad to get better and I knew that taking a break from ministry was the only way for me to seek God for my acceptance and not people. When I moved to Chickasha, the first thing I did was get involved in a church and start serving. I thought, it won't be like it was in Moore. Well, God brought a whale to devour me and make me stop. It didn't feel right. God was telling me that I wasn't supposed to be at this church and here I was back at the confrontation again. I couldn't run away this time. I had to face my fear of confrontation and tell this lovely church that I had made a commitment and couldn't keep it. The old me would have stayed and suffered. So I prayed and sought council and then wandered in with the heaviest heart. And just like God did with Jonah, when he repented, God was merciful. I went in there and told them that I wouldn't be able to fill my commitments and the pastors said we know. I was like what do you mean "you know"? God had prepared their hearts too. He had told them that I would leave and that eventually they would find someone to fulfill those commitments. I was in shock and was humbled. Sometimes I forget how Big God is! He had it all worked out. So I ended up at another great church and had to do the right thing and tell them I couldn't get involved in ministry for a year. And although it has been hard, I am actually learning to get my acceptance from God.

The second thing I was running from was my insecurity about being a mother. I had always wanted to be a mom, and when it finally happened I was scared out of my mind. Seeing how big of a mess I made with my life, I was sure that I would screw up Joslyn. I was so insecure that when I would take her out around people, anything they would say would knock down my security. "She sure spits up alot, is she colicky? She is kicking her legs a lot, she might be constipated." I was able to take little remote concerns and blow them out of preportion. Instead of trusting my instincts. I actually got to the point that I didn't want to take her around people because of the way I would feel for days after. Well, since I had moved too far from the people I knew, now I had to deal with my insecurities alone. Well that has not been easy. God brings in another whale. This whale is actually a person. She is a person in all honesty that I can't stand. It seemed like everywhere I went in this new town, she was there. Why can't I stand her? Because she personifies my insecurities. She is a struggling mom, I have this fear that people will see me as a struggling mom. When I see her I am drawn to the fact that she doesn't always put her child first, and I am so afraid that people will see my selfish side, that I won't always do the best for my child. She is an outsider, I am so afraid of being away from the crowd. I need that acceptance. So much so that I struggled with making sure that Joslyn always looked proper and when something would go wrong, Like a blow-out diaper, I would be disappointed in myself. She is sloppy, I am a closet slob. Only those who really know me know my mess. I will wear myself out making sure the place looks decent for visitors and not be able to enjoy their company. ETC...ETC. So slowly but surely I am facing these flaws of mine and having to learn compassion for her and me. We are not perfect and when we hide our flaws we give up that opportunity to have God fix them. Sometimes He shows us that our FLAWS are actually connections to others. When other people see our vulnerability, they let down their guard and God can come in. I think its better to be flawed and reach others for Christ than to pretend to be perfect and reach no one!

So the last Ninnevah in my life ( thing I was running from) was my finances. Or should I say my inability to control them. John and I have been running from our financial burdens since the moment we said I do. We fell into every pitfall that you can fall into finacially. Credit cards, home mortgages, refinance, loans, and finally bancruptcy. I thought that if we moved to Chickasha that we would actually be making a better change. Our rent went down substancially, but our fuel and wear on the cars went up. It didn't matter how much John worked, we never had money at the end of our month. Suddenly, we had diapers we had to buy, formula, baby food, and doctors expenses. Although I knew that money didn't grow on trees, I was used to a habit of spending money when we had it and not saving for the future. So God's whale for us was poverty. I don't mean true poverty, because even at our lowest moments we were still richer than most of the world. But I mean, not knowing where the money was coming from to pay the electricity bill, how we would buy baby food, and eating rice and beans. I had to learn how to make bread, because we didn't have any money to buy any. We accepted food from church and family, and I had to tell people that I couldn't go anywhere because we had to save the gas for John to get back and forth to work. PLEASE dont feel sorry for us! I am not telling you this to make you feel sorry for us. Everytime, we had to ask for help, or turn down going somewhere, God was humbling us. For the first time in my life I had to look fear of rejection in the eye and say it doesn't matter what people think of me. the love of money had always controlled me. I am so grateful!! The biggest thing is that my husband is right there with me. We rarely communicated about money, unless it was to fight about it. Most of the time, we didn't even fight about it, we just conceeded to each others wishes so that we wouldn't have to be the bad guy. So finally after 10 1/2 years marriage we are communicating about money. We also have a plan to learn how to handle money. I recomend Financial Peace University to everyone. We are learning how to make a budget, how to save and plan for the future. We also have both agreed that Joslyn will grow up knowning all that we have learned so that her future is not full of money mistakes. I will forever be grateful for the lessons that God has taught us during this time.

SO like Jonah, I ran away from the task that God had set before me. And I encountered hardship along the way that I probably would have avoided had I made the changes God's way. But because of God's grace and mercy he brought Jonah and me out of the whale and taught us valuable lessons. I know though that had Jonah not run from God, his story wouldn't have been in the Bible. God can use us, runners or not. Some of us have to encounter a few whales along the way, but it does make for a better story!